But Jesus said to them, “There’s no need to send them away. You give them something to eat.”
Matthew 14, 16
The King Herod had birthday and celebrated a big party. His mistress, Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, had a daughter who danced before the king. The king was so enraptured that he wanted to give her everything she wanted. The daughter consulted with the mother and they wanted the head of John the Baptist. Then the king was very sad, but he had made a vow! So John, the friend of Jesus died.
When Jesus heard about John, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. When the crowds in the cities heard this, they followed him on foot. When Jesus arrived and saw a large crowd, he had compassion for them and healed those who were sick. That evening his disciples came and said to him, “This is an isolated place and it’s getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said to them, “There’s no need to send them away. You give them something to eat.” They replied, “We have nothing here except five loaves of bread and two fish.”
I love to read this text! It always gives me a deeper insight into the nature of Jesus. How much did He love the humans! He watched how they desired for living water and no longer wanted the dry sermons of the scribes. They wanted grace and love of God! He healed all the sick and comforted all who mourn. He himself had great sorrow, and yet He immediately turned to the people and forgot himself. He wanted to heal the people, save, love, celebrate and rejoice with them. He liked being with them. Therefore He did not want to send them away. Because for these people He wanted to go to the cross and buy them with His precious blood. He saw the pearls in them, not the dirt and sin.
He wanted to pamper them with manna, like the time when Israel wandered the desert and God gave bread from heaven. But he also wanted His disciples to learn: He’s the giver, they are only distributors of His grace! We are often faced with problems we can not solve, because we have too little. Our words are too weak, our money to little, our time planned. Often our hands are tied when help would be needed. That is why Jesus says, You give them! And when we begin to do the works he tells us, then He multiplies our opportunities, energy, time, money … For He is the giver, we only distributors. Let’s trust Him again and let His heart matters become our work. And we never lose contact with our “bread giver”!
Thank You, Jesus, that I am worth so much to You! You see that I actuall have nothing, but you give, so that I can give and distribute! You really are a kind, compassionate, great, friendly and loving God! I want to trust in You and serve You!
Only you can know the secret truths about God’s kingdom.
Matthew 13, 11
God has many secrets! How He rules the earth, how He created everything, how He works in us, how it once will be in heaven… But the biggest secret is He himself. What does He look like? How is He thinking? How is it in His presence, before His throne?
Jesus wants to share His secrets with us, if we want to. The Bible tells us many things about God, that we only learn when we read His book. He himself would like to meet us when we take time for prayer and silence. He is present in our praise and wants to act. He is experienceable, and we can see a lot about Him. And in the knowledge of Jesus and God, we can grow a lifetime and are still not at the end. It is a beautiful and exciting journey!
Some people somehow are immune to God. They can not see or understand Him. For them, everything that has to do with God, is ridiculous. The visible world is enough for them and if really miracles are happening, they explain it with any accidents. These people have a hard heart against God. This is for Jesus, who gave His life for them, very hard. But His Spirit can also soften these hard hearts and our prayers can do wonders with them.
Let us go deeper into the mysteries of God! Then God’s presence in our lives is always visible. The more we understand and see how God’s world penetrates our world, the more we can see everything from God’s perspective. And our lives will be more targeted, focused on Him. We will be more relaxed, because we see the Lord of all things see working. We will have more hope and courage; we will have His consolation; His joy and His peace will rule us.
Yes, Jesus, I want more of You! You are not a God who is hiding somewhere, but who can be discovered. Thank you that You have revealed Yourself to me. I want to see more and more of You and be more and more influenced by Your secrets. You are a wonderful God!
“Do you want us to go and pull up the weeds?” they asked Jesus. “No”, he answered, “because as you gather the weeds you might pull up some of the wheat along with them.”
Matthew 13, 29f
A man sowed good seed in his field. But at night, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat. And as the wheat grew, the weeds came through. The servants asked the landlord: Sir, it was good seed you sowed in your field; where did the weeds come from? He said: An enemy has done this.The servants said to him: Do you want us to go and gather them? But the landowner didn’t want it and told them: No, because if you gather the weeds, you’ll pull up the wheat along with them. Let both grow side by side until the harvest. And at harvesttime I’ll say to the harvesters, “First gather the weeds and tie them together in bundles to be burned. But bring the wheat into my barn.”
God has a lot o patience! He guards and cares for every little plant and blesses it, so that it gets large and fertile. But the enemy is jealous and envious and sows weeds; – People who do not want to listen to God and go their own ways stubbornly; People who decide what is good and what is evil; People who do not belong to God. Often I have asked God to “take away” such a human. I saw how much evil he did to others, how he tried to seduce God’s church or exploited and cheated others, or even caused strife and wars. But God would not listen to my prayer. He always told me that He also loved this man and wanted him to be saved. I always had to be ashamed of my impatience and pray for these “poor” people. God showed me my own shortcomings. And He said: Well, should I really eradicate all evil? Then I had to sadly realize that I belong to this crowd as well. But how good that God has so much patience!
There will come a day when the angels are sent to catch and collect the evil and throw it into a fiery furnace. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom (V.43)!
Thank You, Jesus, I am not better than anyone else. Only You can make me righteous. Once I’ll be in Your kingdom and will shine carefree and happy as the sun. How fortunate that You have so much patience with me! How good that You care about me and nurture me like a small plant. You promised that I will bear good fruit; – And You will keep Your promise. You are God!!
He stretched out his hand toward his disciples and said: “Look, here are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven is my brother, sister, and mother.”
Matthew 12, 49 – 50
Jesus’ mother and His brothers wanted to visit Jesus. But there was such a big crowd of people that they didn’t get through to Him. A man told Jesus that His relatives were waiting outside. He interrupted his speech and asked: Who is my mother? Who are my brothers? And then pointed at the people around Him: You are my family here!
This is no “against” towards His own family. And its no devaluation of Maria and her siblings as well, but an appreciation of His disciples. We clearly distinguish: Here is my family, parents, siblings, wife and children, there are the friends, colleagues and comrades. But Jesus draws all who love Him, into His closest relationship. He longs for all His brothers and sisters! He does not love them less than His Mother and His physical brothers and sisters! Our Heavenly Father is the Father of Jesus, and just as He the father of all brothers and sisters of Jesus! Not a little less! No, for the heavenly Father they are all equally loved and equally worthy.
Check it out, how much the Father loves Jesus. How much He helps Him and listen to his prayer. As they are both one, have fellowship, honor and love each other, not losing sight of each other. Such community Jesus wants to have with us and also His father wants to get His siblings, us, in His presence. He longs for His children! He wants us as His family very close to His heart, turning to Him in joy and sorrow and are happy together, comforting and awardening courage to each other. He does not like the eternal bickering of His children; He has prepared something much better for us!
Thank You, Jesus, now I really am a child of the Heavenly Father! You have chosen and rescued me and made me a brother of You. You are interceding for me before the heavenly Father. Thank You that I can belong to the family of God!
Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with celebration!
Come before him with shouts of joy!
Know that the Lord is God –
He made us; we belong to him.
We are his people, the sheep of his own pasture.
Enter his gates with thanks;
enter his courtyards with praise!
Thank him! Bless his name!
Because the Lord is good,
his loyal love lasts forever;
his faithfulness lasts generation after generation.
Thanks, praise, rejoicing, jubilation and joy, these are the hallmarks of the redeemed before the throne of God. This mighty God, the Creator of heaven and earth, had mercy on us! We are the flock of His pasture! How can we not rejoice there? Finally redemption has arrived, at last God himself is attainable! For He leans down to us, He is kind, forgives any debt and surrounds us with salvation. This mighty God shields His children like a strong shepherd protects His sheep: No one can snatch them from His hand!
Let us open our hearts to gratitude and praise. Do not point your eyes at the floor, but raise your heads to Him and begin to thank. Let us ask the Spirit of God to work in us and to help us sing and to praise. Then He can do great things in us: He fills us with songs, cheers and joy!
Yes, let us dedicate this day to the Lord and thank Him! He will do great things for us. Thanks and praise are the “tickets” for the gates and courts of His temple, in the presence of God. Do you have a big concern or problem that you want to bring before God? Then enter with thanks and glory and praise the Lord, who rules over everything so wonderfully. He will do what we can not, for He is the God who takes care of the smallest details and greatest things. He is God! His is our honor and worship!
Thank You, Jesus, for paving the way to God! Now I can stand before Him, thank and praise Him. Thank You, You take the burden of my sin and sorrow. You send me the spirit that fills my heart with gratitude and praise. Yes, I want to sing for You, and rejoice above Your goodness and mercy, and the fact that You love me so much.
When they returned to the crowd, a man came to Jesus, knelt before him, and said, “Sir, have mercy on my son!” … Jesus gave a command to the demon, and it went out of the boy, and at that very moment he was healed.
Matthew 17, 15.18
The father was quite desperate. His son was lunatic and had to suffer severely. Again and again he fell into the fire or into the water. Behind it was an evil spirit who wanted to destroy the boy. But how good that Jesus is the stronger one! How well that Jesus is full of compassion! He is the Lord and not the evil!
There are people who seem as if they want to destroy themselves. They pay no attention to their health, risking a lot, have terrible habits and addictions, as if her life had no value. Again and again they are involved in serious accidents. Often they even try to take her own life. This bent for self-destruction is much more than “stupid habits.” Somehow there is a curse on life; it seems impossible to break through. There seems to be a NO to these people; they feel unwanted, rejected, unloved, misunderstood, worthless, useless. But nevertheless Jesus is the Lord, the saviour!
God’s Spirit will give us knowledge about the hidden causes. Sometimes the ancestors have sinned and therefore the evil one has a right to torment the descendants. Sometimes other people have done much evil to him. Sometimes he himself has done bad things and thereby invited the darkness. But Jesus wants to give us wisdom and discernment so that we can eliminate the causes and become free. Of course, a lot of prayer and time is required. But He wants to prove that he is the LORD, even over such “hopeless” cases! Jesus basically says YES to us. He has hope for us, where everything seems to be in vain. He has promised: “Because you are devoted to me, I’ll rescue you. I’ll protect you because you know my name.” (Psalms 91:14). He will save and redeem you, too, because you are so much worth to Him.
Thank You, Jesus, for Your liberation! You are the Lord, who does not know hopeless cases! That’s why I cling to You and ask You to be my Lord! Only You shall reign in my life! You shall be my king who determines everything. Please, reveal all the hidden things that make my life hard and heal me!
The one who is high and lifted up, who lives forever, whose name is holy, says: „I live on high, in holiness, and also with the crushed and the lowly, reviving the spirit of the lowly, reviving the heart of those who have been crushed.“
Isaiah 57, 15
So is God’s will: He wants to be with those who have no hope. He wants to comfort those who otherwise have no comfort. He wants to be close to those who are left. He wants to give strength where discouragement is. His heart is full of love and compassion for the crushed and the lowly. He does not care whether the misery was caused by own fault or through the fault o others. For He is our Father who comforts firstonce and connects the wounds. A father who forgives every sin of His children. By Him and in His heart, we really are at home. Therefore, we want to seek Him and let us be comforted by Him. We do not want to give up, but always come before Him with our concerns. Until He takes us in His arms and comforts us. He has promised and He will keep His promise. He is with the crushed and oppressed, to revive their spirits and to let their heart beat anew.
Father, where is a God like You? You are the Holy One, but so full of mercy on us! You look at our misfortune and want us to be close and comfort. You forgive all the guilt and sin. Yes, where is a God like You? Your father heart beats with love for Your children. How could You ever forget us?
The scripture says: “It is kindness that I want, not animal sacrifices.” If you really knew what this means, you would not condemn people who are not guilty.
Matthew 12, 7
Kindness, that always sounds like warmth, or even like “hot heart” to me. If anyone sees a man, then he has a cold or warm heart for him. When His heart is cold, then he sees the errors and offenses. Is it warm, he sees chances and the good, strong sides. The Pharisees were not interested in people, they only cared whether anyone followed the rules.
When we listen to ourself what we say or even think about others, then we often realize how we get upset about outward things and possible errors. But this is not how God wants us to have! For He doesn’t deal with us this way, but sees us with eyes of love. He simply forgets our failures and constantly gives us a new start. He sees so many good sides of us and sees our possibilities! Yes, He is good and looks at us with a warm, actually even hot heart. Therefore, we want to see our fellow human beings with the eyes of Jesus and so think and talk about them as Jesus wants it.
What God requires of us, namely kindness, He is itself. He is the mercy in person. Just read the Gospels about the life of Jesus, there you will only find merciful deeds, thoughts and words. Just as He is with you. He is merciful to you. He is gracious to you. He loves you without fuss and quibble. He forgets your failure. He longs for you. Yeah, He is love and kindness in person.
If God is for us, who can be against us? Who can accuse God’s chosen people? It is God who justifies. Who can condemn? Not Christ Jesus, who died, or rather, who was raised to life and is at the right side of God, pleading with him for us! Who, then, can separate us from the love of Christ? Neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or principalities, neither the present nor the future, neither the world above nor the world below – there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 8)
Thank You, Jesus, You are so full of kindness for me! Yes, I want to take Your mercy, it shall rule over me. I will bring You my concerns and needs, for You have only good thoughts about me. You are a wonderful Lord, my Savior and Redeemer!
While Jesus was having a meal in Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and other outcasts came and joined Jesus and his disciples at the table.
Matthew 9, 10
Jesus was a guest at Matthew’s, the tax collector. Publican cheated travelers and usually were quite rich people. But of course they were very unpopular and social outcasts. Only Jesus called publicans in His successor! Because:
“People who are well do not need a doctor, but only those who are sick. I have not come to call respectable people, but outcasts.” (V. 12f)
Jesus wants to save sinners, this is why He has community with them, eats with them and calls them. He had no inhibitions due to his reputation! It was more important to Him, what God thought about Him, than what people might thought. And they really were mocking Him and called Him a glutton and a drunkard.
The more we become one with Jesus and follow Him, the less it means to us, what people talk about us. It becomes less important to us and hurts less when they gossip about us. Insecure people can be beaten with some pointed remarks. But who is rooted in the Lord, stands firm. People need to be big, strong, prosperous and beautiful outwardly, so no one hurts them, but they are admired. The men have the fastest and best cars, women make themselves pretty. They find it very, very important what others think about them.
And to us it is very important what Jesus thinks about us. As soon as we begin to believe that we are very important and worthy to Him, our dependence from other people’s honor changes. We stand firmly, even when others revile. We want to sacrifice our reputation to Him and do not let us stop from doing the works that Jesus would have done in our place.
Thank You, Jesus, I’m worth a lot to You! You build me up and give me security. You hold me and comfort me when others hurt me. Yes, I’m dependent on You and want to please You. To You I sacrifice my reputation and name. It shouldn’t matter what others think about me. I want to go my way so that You like it! I will not feel to good to talk to the “outcast” and to love the “sinners”. You are my Lord and my good shepherd!
Or perhaps you despise his great kindness, tolerance, and patience. Surely you know that God is kind, because he is trying to lead you to repent.
Romans 2, 4
Our God is totally different as we can imagine. He doesn’t want to judge over us even though there is much to be judged. He knows that we are very simple, limited man; in our hearts is not automatically good. But He loves us! He is our Father and wants to bring us to His heart. But this does not work by threats and punishment, but by His goodness, mercy, patience and love. How can you continue to live in sin, when you once have tasted the kindness and love of God? When we understand how much God loves us, we want to be as He is: Full of kindness, love, gentleness, mercy and patience. We want to reflect His character. And God sends us His Spirit who causes this in our hearts. Let us no longer be afraid of God’s judgment, but believe in Jesus’ forgiveness and be free of any conviction. We also want to stop condemning ourselves, because God does not do it as well.
Thank You, Father that You love us so much. You never ever condemn us. And I will not be afraid of Your judgment, and I no longer blame myself. Because Jesus took all my guilt. Help me to reflect Your goodness and love in my life! For You are the God of Mercy.