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Ministering to Uninvited Dinner Guests

Monday, March 11, 2019

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“Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self.” - St. Francis of Assisi

Matthew 14 tells the story of John the Baptist’s beheading. After John was executed, his disciples buried his body and went to tell Jesus the news. In verse 13, it says, “When Jesus heard what had happened, He withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.”

Mark 6 states there were so many people surrounding Jesus and His disciples at the time of the report, that they did not even have a chance to eat. So, Jesus decided they go from there and find some privacy.

It is understandable that Jesus would want to be alone. He had just been told His friend and relative was killed. The man who prepared the way for the Messiah and baptized Jesus into the ministry was now gone. As with anyone, Jesus needed time to Himself to grieve.

However, plans change. When people from towns in the area saw Jesus depart, they ran ahead to meet Him. Upon coming ashore, Jesus saw the crowds and had compassion on them. The account in Mark 6 says Jesus saw them as sheep without a shepherd. He began teaching the people and healing the sick. Evening approached, and it was on this day that Jesus fed the five thousand.

It would have been easy for Jesus to remove Himself from the people. He was hurting and sad. No one could blame Him for wanting to be alone. But, His calling to give of Himself and love others superseded personal needs. As a result, one of the greatest miracles in the ministry of Jesus Christ occurred.

In Matthew 20:26-28, Jesus said, “...Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave - just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

Jesus gave us the greatest example of loving and serving others, even in the toughest of times. Likewise, we are to love and serve the world as a testament to Christ’s presence in our lives.

“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35 ESV

- Christopher Glading, Director of Programs and Publicity

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