“We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.” 2 Corinthians 6:8-10
The preaching had ended for the moment but the peopled remained. So many. All hungry. What was Jesus and the disciples to do? Should they send them away or reward their attentive ears with a meal for their stomachs?
Jesus desires to feed them as he has with this Word. But this presents a logistical dilemma. There is no food and not nearly enough money to buy food. “Have the people sit down,” Jesus told the disciples. Then all of the hungry listeners ate an were satisfied.
“Like them, we too, have nothing. We have no innate goodness, no righteousness, no wisdom, no strength, no miraculous power to enable us to work hard enough to meet the overwhelming need of our souls. We are completely bankrupt; we’re devoid of the power we need to conquer our sin, to change our nature… We have nothing of our own. But our Savior calls to us, “Sit down.”
“His answer to our prayer for some labor to do is to sit down and believe.”
“Yes, it’s true that we have nothing. Recognizing our innate destitution and bankruptcy is so freeing. It so strips us of self-reliance that our busy heart is able, at last, to find calming rest. It tells us that what we need to do is stop milling about, trying to find something we can do to make ourselves better. All we can do is sit down and trust that he is handling it. He’s got lunch covered. All we can do is sit down and let him serve us. Amazing condescension and grace.”
“But our destitution isn’t all there is. Paul described his life with these words: “as having nothing, yet possessing everything” (2 Cor. 6:10). Not only do we have nothing, but we also possess everything. We’ve been given more than an abundance of blessing – not just a scrap or two of bread, not just a bite of fish. There is an abundance, there is plenty, there are leftovers. When Jesus serves you, expect to be overwhelmed.”
Lenten devotion from Comforts from the Cross by Elyse Fitzpatrick. Day 30.