Scripture: John 6:10 CEB
“Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass there. They sat down, about five thousand of them.”
Let’s start out with a question today … how many times have you either read or heard this story taught or preached about? I have read this story more times than I can count. I also have preached on it many times and heard others preach on it many times. I thought I had considered all of the angles on this account of Jesus’ ministry. Then I was rereading the story for today’s devotion and something different stood out. It was two words, “sit down.” In The Gospel of John, we read, “Jesus said, ‘Have the people sit down.’ There was plenty of grass there. They sat down, about five thousand of them.” I had never paid any attention to those two words before now. So, I began to ask myself why they were standing out this time. Out of all the incredible things in this story, why did those two words make a difference at this time. I started praying for God to show me why.
The first thing that stood out to me is the obvious nature of the directive. Jesus most likely decides that if they were going to serve them lunch they should sit down and get comfortable. That makes a lot of sense to me. It would have also been more manageable to distribute the food if the people were organized to receive. There was definitely a practical aspect to the command of Jesus to have the people sit down in an orderly fashion. The second thing that I noticed is that the place was appropriate to the fulfilling of this request. Jesus did not ask his disciples to have the people sit on a bunch of dirt or rocks. Jesus was asking them to get comfortable and knew that this was a place where that was possible. The last thing I noticed is that the people responded and “… sat down, about five thousand of them.” I have never tried to get five thousand people to do anything all at once. Yet, Jesus asked his disciples to have five thousand people sit down and they did. Jesus had a plan for them and they were ready to receive a miracle.
In our life Jesus gives us many directives and asks us to move to action for him. I believe these lessons from above will help us respond. First, we can recognize when Jesus is asking to do something because it will have a practical nature to it. We may not recognize this at first. In fact, it may seem so much larger than we can imagine (like feeding 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish). Jesus will ask us to do the practical, or possible, and he will take care of the miracle. Second, we will be in the right place at the right time for what Jesus is asking us to do. Jesus won’t ask us to do anything for which he hasn’t already provided the right place. We may feel out of place, but Jesus will have us in the exact right place for what he wants us to do (like a grassy place for 5,000 people). Last, we will be moved to respond to whatever it is Jesus is asking of us. We most likely will not know everything about what Jesus is asking for, but we will be moved to respond (like 5,000 people sitting and 12 disciples feeding).
The application for me has to do with our willingness to sit down. Where is Jesus asking you to sit down today? It could be we are one of the five thousand who will experience the miracle of God’s abundant provision. It could also be that we are one of the twelve called to do the possible and watch God do the impossible. However, we may also be the boy with the loaves and fish who is asked to give whatever we have so that Jesus can bless it and multiply it for his kingdom purpose. The one thing I know for certain in this whole scenario is everyone involved was blessed. Everyone experienced the great abundance of God’s provision in and through the Son, Jesus Christ. Where are you being called to sit down to work with and witness Christ today?
Prayer: Holy God, when you ask me to sit I will sit. When you ask me to stand I will stand. Empower me to do the possible today and allow you to do the impossible. When I see you move in abundance today I will give you praise. In Jesus name. Amen.