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Bring Them to Me

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When Jesus heard what had happened, He withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed Him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them and healed their sick. As evening approached, the disciples came to Him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Bring them here to Me,” He said. And He directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to Heaven, He gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.[1]

In this section of scripture we have been shown a first command, “You give them something to eat.” Yet there is a second command, “Bring them here to Me.” Bring who? We can read this and automatically assume that Jesus was telling the disciples to bring to Him the bread and fish, but when read more carefully, we can see that on the other side of the coin, Jesus was also speaking about the people, and asking that the people be brought to Him! For immediately following this verse, we can see that Jesus had the disciples direct the people to sit down. In the other passages of scripture that also recount the feeding of the 5000, we can see that Jesus told the disciples to have the people sit down in groups of 100s and 50s, and then Jesus multiplied the bread and gave it first to the disciples and then the disciples gave it to the people, as in Mark 6:39-42.

If we are to “Listen To Him,” then have those who call themselves disciples of Jesus today in our current time period, been feeding the people who have been brought to Jesus, to sit down and listen to Him like Mary did? What about in the churches in general, have the people in the church been fed by true disciples who meet the three qualities of a true disciple of Jesus? Do they bring the people to the feet of Jesus to learn to listen to Him?

The three requirements of a disciple shown to us by Jesus through Ed distributing the bread and meat are:

§ To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”[2]

§ “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.”[3]

§ “This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples.”[4]

There are also three other requirements for people who cannot be a disciple of Jesus:

§ “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be My disciple.”[5]

§ “And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple.”[6]

§ “In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be My disciple.”[7]

What is meant by ‘hate’? What is meant by ‘carrying one’s cross’? What is meant by ‘giving up everything’?

Looking at the first: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be My disciple.”[8] God said, “Do not hate your brother in your heart.”[9] And, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of Your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness…”[10]

So, what type of hate do you have for those around you? It is the wickedness in them you are to hate. Do not hate them in your heart, but have love for them yet hate the wickedness of their actions that denies God. A disciple of Jesus will hate the wickedness in those around him or her.

Looking at the second: “And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple.”[11] What is the cross we carry? For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in His flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.[12]

The cross we carry is the putting to death of all in our lives that separate us from God. The putting to death of our self brings peace with God. This is what Jesus showed us, by going to the cross. This is the cross we carry, the constant putting to death of our sinful way and nature. It is not an overnight event, but a journey along the path of righteousness.

Looking at the third: “In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be My disciple.”[13] What is the ‘everything’ we are to give up? Just before Jesus said this, He spoke of a parable: “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be My disciple.”[14]

What Jesus is speaking of here is surrender. Consider if you are at war with God, indeed our sinful nature does war against ourselves and God, and when we are not at war with our sinful nature then we must be at war with God! Is He not more powerful than you and I, and all men standing together? So, consider what His terms of peace are and surrender to His terms of peace before Jesus arrives back. The Holy Spirit will guide you into what you are to surrender, and Jesus’ words will show you what to surrender, step by step.

What is meant by ‘hate’? We are to hate wickedness in our own lives and in those around us. What is meant by ‘carrying one’s cross’? We are to take responsibility of the putting to death the sinful nature in our own lives. What is meant by ‘giving up everything’? We are to surrender to God and fully accept His terms of peace, which are given to us in the words of Jesus.

So are there not six plus one requirements of the disciples of Jesus? The seventh is the main command, “Listen to Him,”[15] which the Father commanded the disciples.

It is the disciples of Jesus who are to bring the people to sit down at the feet of Jesus, and the people are to learn to listen to Jesus, as the true disciples distribute the bread and the meat. We now can see more clearly the disciples of Jesus, and follow the command, “Bring them here to Me.”


 

[1] Matthew 14:13-21

[2] John 8:31-32

[3] John 13:34-35

[4] John 15:8

[5] Luke 14:26

[6] Luke 14:27

[7] Luke 14:33

[8] Luke 14:26

[9] Leviticus 19:17

[10] Psalm 45:6-7

[11] Luke 14:27

[12] Ephesians 2:14–17

[13] Luke 14:33

[14] Luke 14:31-33

[15] Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35

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