Second Helping

Read Matthew 15:29-39

Today's Bible text from Matthew contains two episodes.  The first is the curing of the curing of many people and then comes the feeding of the four thousand.

Jesus notices the invisible people.  In the ancient world, much like today, those that were blind or lame were often invisible.  They were there, and everybody knew they were there, but not many people paid attention to them.  They were not productive members of society.  A blind or lame person cannot help one make their way up the corporate ladder or get that promotion at work.  Even worse, sometimes people used the blind or lame in exploitive ways to get themselves noticed while still ignoring the human person on the other end of their good intentions.  Jesus is different.  Jesus notices the invisible people and helps them and heals them.  Jesus' greatest desire it seems is to help all people find the peace and joy in life that God intends for them.

Then, Jesus throws a party.  Just to prove that all his work is designed towards finding peace and joy in life and celebrating the life that God has provided, Jesus celebrates and invites others to celebrate with him.  It's not an extravagant party.  The important people are not the ones that get the invitation.  Instead the invisible people get to come too.  It's a simple party, using whatever the group has in resources.  There are seven loaves and a few small fish.  Yet, all are fed.  All celebrate.  All are blessed.  In the abundance of this party, thousands are fed and there is even some left over.

Interestingly, this is one of the only stories in the narrative of Jesus that happens twice.  As if Jesus didn't want us to miss this story, he feeds the multitudes twice.  The celebration happens more than once.

This is what Jesus seems to be all about.  Invite all the world to embrace peace and joy, embracing the life God provides and then celebrate.  Healing those in need of health and wellness.  Celebrate that all are welcome.  Celebrate that all are saved.  Celebrate that Jesus is Lord.  "Come to me all that are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)  Thanks be to God!


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