Matt. 14:19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing.
Jesus looked up to heaven, He knew only the blessing of God would do. Sure, He knew He could turn rocks into bread but this was not about that. This meal was about more than filling people’s bellies, this was about filling people’s souls. Sure, He was dependent on His Father to multiply the fish and the bread but He was after way more than that. He was trying to reach that hard hearted Pharisee He had noticed at the edge of the crowd, He was hoping to touch the broken heart of the widow struggling to get by, He was also praying for the prostitute He had noticed hiding in the shadows. Today was about so much more than fish and bread, this day was about people. It was about broken people, some who had come off of the rails, it was about healing, forgiveness and restoration. The bread and fish were just tools to reach the crowd’s hearts. Here are some thoughts from Spurgeon on today’s verse.
“There is something in his glance and gesture, — he looked up to heaven. What did that mean? ‘O Father, these loaves and fishes are thine. Thou hast given them to us. We thank thee for them. And now, O Father, the power to make these sufficient for the emergency comes from heaven, vouchsafe it, we pray thee.’ Brethren, always give that look upward before you begin your work. Say, ‘Lord, here am I, a poor nobody, trying to teach others, and to bring souls to Christ. For what I am I thank thee, for I am that by thy grace, but if I am to be useful thou must make me so. Lord, I look up with the hope that thou wilt look down.’ After our Lord had looked up to heaven we find that he blessed, and then he brake, the loaves. Jesus must bless our labor or it will be fruitless. He could bless the bread for himself, but we must look away from ourselves for the blessing. May Jesus bless you all, and he will if you look up, and say, ‘Lord, bless us.’ …Oh, for more looking up to God, for in him lies our strength. Oh, for more praying; there can never be too much of that.”
Feed the Multitudes gives us that opportunity every year to reach someone’s heart. Maybe it will be the desperate homeless man, or the alcoholic or drug user, or maybe an orphan, or a forgotten elderly person, or even an overwhelmed single mom that the Lord has set apart for you to reach this year. It’s easy to get lost in the event and in the work but remember, at the end of the day, that it’s reaching that one that will really make the day worthwhile.