“If we are insecure, we tend to use people instead of serving them”
Read that quote again. Hard hitter? When I feel insecure about myself in the slightest, whether it be physical appearance, wondering if I’m good enough, questioning if I’m loved, etc. I don’t walk into a room and think, “hmmmm. How could I serve these people like Jesus did when He was here on earth?” Instead I’m waiting for someone to encourage me, serve me, compliment me.
But Jesus says there’s another way.
In the first couple of verses of the passage about Jesus feeding the 5,000 (Read Mark 6:30-44 if you need a refresher), Mark sets up a scene for us. The disciples, who were all young teens had completely left everything in their life to follow this man. They have just come back from a tour of telling everyone about Jesus. After they gave Jesus the summary of how it went, Jesus responds by telling them that he’s tired and hungry. AKA the man is getting HANGRY. The version that I read out of even says, “Jesus said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his disciples didn’t even have time to eat.” He tells them that they’re going to go to a quiet place and rest for a while.
I don’t know about you, but when someone tells me that we’re going to eat, I start preparing myself. I like to know what we’re going to eat because I like to get my taste buds ready and excited for what I’m about to eat (I’m a big foodie if you can’t tell). Once someone’s told me that we’re going to eat, I can’t shake the feeling of being hungry. It’s basically all I can think about. ESPECIALLY if I haven’t had time to eat and have skipped a meal or two.
The next part gets me. It says they left on the boat to go to a place to chill (Mariah version), but people started to recognize them and started running up the shore to follow them. At this point, I would have probably been REAL hangry and been like, “Jesus they’re following us!! Step on it!!!” (Like they had fuel powered boats back then). The Bible doesn’t say what the disciples were saying or thinking, but I’m pretty sure their thoughts were similar. But in the middle of their thoughts, they see Jesus doing something unimaginable.
Now remember, HE was the one who suggested lunch. HE was the one who suggested getting away to chill. That means that HE was tired. HE was hungry. But instead of rowing their boat faster (or whatever they did back then), he saw the huge crowd on the shore and got OUT OF THE BOAT.
Now I try to think of the Bible practically, and when I read this, I hear the disciples saying: “WHAAAAAT?!? JESUS WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!? GET BACK IN THE BOAT. GET YOUR BUTT BACK. IN. THE. BOAT. WHY ARE YOU STILL IN THE WATER? WE HAVE FOOD TO EAT. SLEEP TO BE HAD. GET IN THE BOAT.
I imagine after their constant protest, Jesus just continued on their way as his friends sat there with their arms crossed in frustration, listening to Him speak to more people.
It says that later in the afternoon his disciples reminded him that it was getting late and told him to send the crowds away so that they can go get something to eat. And Jesus had the nerve to say, “You feed them”.
WHAT?! The disciples are like, “uhhh. Jesus, I don’t know if you remember or not, but WE NEVER ATE SO WE HAVE NO FOOD TO FEED THEM WITH! Plus, there are thousands of them! We don’t have that kind of money!!”
And Jesus, in His loving, sassy-self tells them again to go find what food they can and bring it back.
Next scene: They came back with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. They’re probably looking at Jesus with a “told you so” face. But Jesus continued to tell the disciples to go tell everyone to sit down and get ready for dinner.
Honestly, the disciples probably thought he was going crazy. As people were rolling their eyes when they told them to get ready for dinner, the disciples were probably like, “yeah, I don’t know either”.
But then he prayed over the food and dished out the food and let the disciples serve it to the people. Once he started giving food, it didn’t stop until there was more than needed.
The disciples were probably embarrassed for the way they doubted and asked for forgiveness for what they did when they were hangry. (Been there, done that).
Okay Mariah, we know the story. What’s the point?
If Jesus would have been concerned about his needs, he wouldn’t have looked for a way to serve the thousands that he got to minister to and potentially change their lives forever! Often, we can be like the disciples and be so caught up in our needs, desires, insecurities, etc. that we can’t even see the opportunity in front of us to honor others in order to honor God.
“I want to be so secure in God that when I walk in a room, I look for ways to serve others instead of looking for ways that they can/should serve me”.
That’s what Jesus did in this situation. He could have easily told them he was hungry and asked for food for He and his friends before He served them, but He put serving them as a priority because He was so secure in God that He chose to serve before being serve.
If the creator of the universe chooses to serve others before being served, why can’t we?
If He can walk into a room and change the atmosphere by His servant-ship (even when He’s exhausted, hungry, and ready to rest), then what’s our excuse?
When we are rested in our Savior, we look for ways to serve. We look beyond our petty needs and look for ways to honor and serve those around us. Even if we deserve to be served.
Wow. What a beautiful example to be led by.
So even though the carbs made Jesus get real sassy with His friends, He knew what He was doing. He knew they wouldn’t understand, but He showed them grace in their misunderstanding.