Part 2 of Are You Feeding the 5000?
It's crazy how God will put a certain (and sometimes well-known/read) passage right in front of you and it just sticks like glue to your brain for days. I've been amazed how the sermon from 2 Sunday's ago continues to roll around in my head.
Hopefully you read my first blog in this series which was about missing the tiny miracles while searching for the massive one. Today, I want to speak into your heart to help you find out who your ‘5000’ are. It'll be short and sweet because I feel that the lesson here is pretty straightforward.
It really all just comes down to who you are supposed to be ministering to.
Throughout the gospels we see Jesus speaking and healing in all kinds of different settings and various circumstances. Sometimes His words were for the masses... those hillsides full of people milling about, hearts quickened and minds strickened by His words. Other times, we see Him having beautifully intimate conversations with his group of 12, or perhaps even sharing a meal with a small family.
Regardless of the size of the audience, He always had a word for them. He knew their hearts, what they needed to hear, the lessons they needed to learn. He was aware of them.
We all have an audience. Whether they be organic who are 'stuck' with us (like our children, our family, our spouse) or people who are more in our lives by choice (theirs or ours), we all have those precious souls who are watching us.
But WHO are they? Beyond our family, who is our audience? Who is God putting in our life. sitting at our feet, waiting to listen, begging to be taught? How do we know who we're supposed to be pouring into?
First off, according to the passage in Matthew 14, the crowds followed Him. They sought Him out, they got up, left their home or work, and went after Him. "...But when the crowds heard of it, they followed Him on foot from the towns" (Mt 14:13 ESV).
Look around, who is following you right now? Who do you see popping up in your life regularly? Who is making an effort to be around you and hang out? Who is hanging out in the corners of the room listening intently to your words?
Secondly, who is naturally (read: God appointed!) on your mind nowadays? There is always someone that Christ wants us ministering to- it may be our child, a neighbor, a small group, our twitter feed, or a huge congregation. Regardless of size, we all have our audience assignments. "When He went ashore He saw a great crowd, and He had compassion on them..." (Mt. 14:14 ESV). In this passage (and in many stories that show Jesus with 'audiences') it tells us He saw them and had compassion on them.
Who has God put knee-deep into your heart to 'have compassion on'? Who do you find your thoughts straying towards clothed in mercy and grace? Who do you notice yourself thinking about helping or coming alongside? Who’s face is the Spirit harkening to your mind?
If you are a Christian, there is no such thing as not having an audience. We may not be called to speak to them all the time... but I guarantee that people are watching. I encourage you today to be aware of who is watching, who is listening to you (even just passively) - but just as importantly, who you actually are supposed to be teaching. Jesus performed miracles for the people to witness- they saw His actions- but more importantly He spoke the Good News to their souls. Likewise, our actions are important, but never hesitate to speak to those gathered around to listen to you. The Gospel must be proclaimed, encouragement must be given, a kind word spoken, a gentle correction doled out… words are important! So speak them to those listening. We all have our own audience- seek the Lord, open your eyes, and start looking for who your 5000 is.