Running on Fumes

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30 The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. 31And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. 33Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them.

34When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. 35And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. 36Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”

37But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?” 38And he said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties.

41And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. 42And they all ate and were satisfied. 43And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. 44And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men. Mark 6:30-44

Running on Fumes

The disciples where tired. They had started the day with hopes of rest with Jesus. But Jesus spent the day teaching the crowd that intercepted and interrupted the retreat plan. And now the crowd is hungry. The disciples wanted them to go home. Jesus wanted the disciples to feed them.


“You give them something to eat.”

Without this invitation and command the day would have passed into the mix of other crowded days in the disciples’ minds. But now, Jesus turned it into a memorable moment. Retelling this moment would have grounded their faith in Him.

An imagined conversation
“Remember what Jesus did with five loaves and two fish?”
“Remember how tired we were? I was fuming by the end of the day!”
“Remember, there was enough!”
“More than enough.”
Jesus is enough. Walk with Him and there will be interceptions and interruptions. This intersection of people and need is a holy moment when our apparent inadequacy meets the not so obvious abundance but very much real grace of Jesus.

Feeling empty? Inadequate? Severely challenged, perhaps annoyed, by ___________________ ( you fill in the blank!)?

Pause and listen. What does Jesus want you to be a part of? As you take what you already have, He will provide the balance… and more.


2 thoughts on “Running on Fumes

  1. thank you for this. one of my favorite “inadequate” passages – Lord, I’m inadequate. You aren’t. here’s what I got. Take it, break it, bless it, and use your power to feed the crowd

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