Saturday, July 20, 2019

Dependent upon Jesus: Luke 9:16

In the story of how Jesus fed the five thousand with two fish and five loaves of bread, we read, “Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them, and broke them, and kept giving them to the disciples to set before the people.” (Luke 9:16) In the Greek, the verb “giving” is in the imperfect tense, which represents a past continuous action. Here, it is translated as “kept giving” but could also be translated as “was giving.” What is important is that Luke did not use a simple aorist form of the verb, which represents a past point action. Luke did not say that Jesus “gave” the fish and bread to the disciples, but that he “was giving” them to the disciples. The disciples were privileged to participate in a tremendous miracle of God, but that miracle originated with Jesus. Without Jesus breaking and giving the bread and fish, there would be no miracle for the disciples to perform. They were dependent upon Jesus for the miracle and for the means of feeding the multitude with them.

This story reminds me of how, in my daily life, I am dependent upon Jesus. Jesus did not give us all we would need for life and then sent us on our way. Rather, he gives us only what we need now, thus necessitating our continual coming to him for what we need. Daily, and moment by moment, we need him. This truth causes me to ask myself, “Am I trying to live life on my own and by my own wisdom and strength, or have I come to understand that it is only by coming to Jesus that I will receive what I need for each moment and opportunity in life?” The choice is ours. We can either live life on or own or by that which Jesus so richly and generously supplies to those who come to him.

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