Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.”
Matthew 15: 32
The crowds who had been following Jesus had witnessed some pretty amazing and miraculous things. But, in this verse, Jesus turns from the big stuff to think about something very mundane and ordinary – that, after three days, these people would be hungry. There’s no suggestion that they had been complaining of hunger but Jesus knows their needs before they express them.
I’m sure we’ve all experienced times when we’ve been too preoccupied to feel hungry – or at least we haven’t been thinking about food – until we smell something cooking and suddenly we’re ravenous. On these occasions it takes something to trigger our awareness of need.
Just as Jesus knew that the people in this passage would be hungry, so he already knows what our needs are, as we go about our daily lives. Before we even bring our needs to Jesus in prayer, he knows exactly what is on our hearts. But are there other needs that Jesus sees in us, that we’re not aware of? What is Jesus telling us about our spiritual needs and how do we respond? Perhaps we need to listen to him in order to know how hungry we really are.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank you that, just as you showed compassion to the people in this Bible passage, so you show compassion to us. You know exactly what we need and what is best for us. Help us to be open to your will for us, every day. Amen.
Action: Think of those who are in physical need of food today and take time to pray for them; give thanks for those who feed the hungry – and pop something into a foodbank, if you can.