On hearing this, Jesus slipped away privately by boat to be alone. ... When Jesus landed he had a huge crowd waiting for him. Seeing so many people, his heart was deeply moved with compassion toward them, so he healed all the sick who were in the crowd. Matthew 14:13-14 TPT
Jesus has just heard the news about the murder of his cousin, John the Baptist.
He responds to this devastating news by withdrawing to a quiet place.
I cannot imagine the sadness that the news must have brought to him.
People handle grief differently.
Some want to be alone and some want to be surrounded by friends.
Jesus wanted to be alone but his fame would not allow an extended time of grieving alone.
This is the context of his compassion.
From the depths of his grief Jesus heals hurting people and then he does an amazing miracle.
Still reeling from sad news, he takes five barley loaves and two fish and feeds over 5,000.
Interesting how Jesus works the miracle of the fishes and the loaves.
For everyone to eat a few people had to give Jesus all of their food.
The disciples wanted to send the crowds away - they only had enough food for themselves.
Yet Jesus wanted them to let go of the safety of their food.
Perhaps miracles and compassion can be released in the midst of grief only when we let go?
Maybe God wants us to leave our comfort zones by giving him all of our fishes and loaves
Lord, help me to let go of my fishes and loaves.
... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.