Paired with Episode #46 - "Defiant Kindness”
Matthew 14:13-21 Common English Bible (CEB)
13 When Jesus heard about John, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. When the crowds learned this, they followed him on foot from the cities. 14 When Jesus arrived and saw a large crowd, he had compassion for them and healed those who were sick. 15 That evening his disciples came and said to him, “This is an isolated place and it’s getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”
16 But Jesus said to them, “There’s no need to send them away. You give them something to eat.” 17 They replied, “We have nothing here except five loaves of bread and two fish.”
18 He said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 He ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves of bread and the two fish, looked up to heaven, blessed them and broke the loaves apart and gave them to his disciples. Then the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 Everyone ate until they were full, and they filled twelve baskets with the leftovers. 21 About five thousand men plus women and children had eaten.
Introductory Image - Action or Western Movie Intro
Someone or some group valuable to a family, community, or nation is taken, harmed, or killed. There is a movie preview out now setting the scene for children being taken and the mom’s relentlessness and impending violence. There is clearly an appetite for books, television shows and movies about vengeance.
Moving Beyond the Image - Name the times you have read of Jesus vowing revenge or finally encountering someone he’s been waiting to fight and kill. Explore different instances where he has defused the conflict and moved on to a life-changing event for all involved.
How do you imagine the onlookers would have responded? Would it make a difference if the people there were deeply religious, anti-religion, close followers, or onlookers? If Jesus were interviewed on our 24 hour news networks and said, “our primary goal is reconciliation and inclusion of the lost, broken, and deeply evil” how would people respond?
We often read of the patience, kindness, and generosity of Jesus. Do we simply observe it and say, “thanks for all that” or do we actually attempt live to live that way ourselves?
Three points of discussion
"Solitude" - Following the terrible news about his friend and colleague, John the Baptist, Jesus departed and went up a mountain. Just like Moses, Jesus left the stress of a crowd to find peace and clarity. When you experience great pain, anger, or fatigue where can you go to be quiet and reflective? What are the repercussions of not having an answer to that question?
"Compassion" - Jesus saw great crowds coming for him that were desperate for his attention. Even in the midst of his great pain, he was willing to teach again and help feed the people surrounding him. What was the great fear of the disciples? How do your fears of scarcity impact your compassion with other individuals? How does this story impact your beliefs?
"Generosity" - People have told this story for thousands of years. We are inspired by stories of people sharing what they have and multiplying resources for all involved. Share a story of people coming together for a common cause.
This Sunday, we will celebrate a meal that clearly defied the human tendencies of anger and seeking revenge.
Click Here for an several more resources for this week - www.textweek.com/yeara/propera12.htm
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