After visiting Tyre and Sidon,
near the Sea of the Mediterranean,
Jesus returned to the Sea of Galilee.
He must have been exhausted
because He climbed a hill and sat down.
“A vast crowd brought to him people
who were lame, blind, mute,
crippled, and many others.
They laid them before Jesus,
and he healed them all.”
The crowd was amazed!
The mute talked, the lame walked,
the crippled straightened up,
and the blind could see again.
And they praised the God of Israel.
Then Jesus called his disciples and told them,
“I feel sorry for these people.
They have been here with me for three days,
and they have nothing left to eat.
I don’t want to send them away hungry,
or they will faint along the way.”
This is the location in the story
where I need to add my interjection.
Jesus just returned from a long excursion
from a pagan nation
where he had to cast out a demon
of a Gentile woman.
He climbed a hill and sat down,
probably totally exhausted.
And crowds came to him,
bringing the people they love
so that he could heal them.
He continued to give,
and laid hands on them.
The outpouring of his love never stopped!
Then he thought of their hunger needs
and asked his disciples to feed them.
His compassion for others
has to be commended!
Not once did he think of himself.
His ability to keep on giving
is a never-ending outpouring of his love.
The disciples replied,
“Where would we get enough food
here in the wilderness for such a huge crowd?”
This story reminds me of Elijah
when he was hungry,
and the Lord told him to go
to the village of Zarephath,
near the city of Sidon (that was pagan)
where he would meet a widow
who would feed him.
"But when he got there,
feeling totally exhausted, she said,
“I swear by the Lord your God
that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house.
And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar
and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug.
I was just gathering a few sticks
to cook this last meal,
and then my son and I will die.”
Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid!
Go ahead and do just what you’ve said,
but make a little bread for me first.
Then use what’s left
to prepare a meal for yourself and your son.
For this is what the Lord,
the God of Israel, says:
There will always be flour and olive oil
left in your containers until the time
when the Lord sends rain
and the crops grow again!”
The woman did as Elijah said,
and she and Elijah and her family
continued to eat for many days.
There was always enough flour
and olive oil left in the containers,
just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.
1 Kings 17:8-16
Now let me return to Jesus.
“How much bread do you have?”
They replied, “Seven loaves, and a few small fish.”
So Jesus told all the people
to sit down on the ground.
Then he took the seven loaves
and the fish, thanked God for them,
and broke them into pieces.
He gave them to the disciples,
who distributed the food to the crowd.
They all ate as much as they wanted.
Afterward, the disciples picked up
seven large baskets of leftover food.
There were 4,000 men who were fed that day,
in addition to all the women and children.
Then Jesus sent the people home,
and he got into a boat
and crossed over to the region of Magadan.”
Not once did Jesus stop
when his ministry started,
even when he was exhausted.
He was always pouring out
healing and compassion -
which reminds me, once again,
of Elijah, the widow and her son.
“Some time later the woman’s son became sick.
He grew worse and worse, and finally he died.
Then she said to Elijah, “O man of God,
what have you done to me?
Have you come here
to point out my sins and kill my son?”
But Elijah replied, “Give me your son.”
And he took the child’s body
from her arms, carried him up the stairs
to the room where he was staying,
and laid the body on his bed.
Then Elijah cried out to the Lord,
“O Lord my God,
why have you brought tragedy
to this widow who has opened her home to me,
causing her son to die?”
And he stretched himself out over the child
three times and cried out to the Lord,
“O Lord my God,
please let this child’s life return to him.”
The Lord heard Elijah’s prayer,
and the life of the child returned, and he revived!
Then Elijah brought him down
from the upper room
and gave him to his mother.
“Look!” he said. “Your son is alive!”
Then the woman told Elijah,
“Now I know for sure
that you are a man of God,
and that the Lord truly speaks through you.”
1 Kings 17:8-24
GIVING out of compassion
is an outpouring of God’s love,
and healing and restoration is the natural expression of it.
I pray to God that this poem is a blessing to someone.