“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’” (Matthew 14:15-16).
Look at the disciples. A happy thought has occurred to them, and their faces are flushed by its fire. They have been measuring the situation with their calculating eyes. They have seen the sun setting, they have felt the evening chill in the wind, and they think they have thought very kindly of the large crowds who were in this desert place. As if their Master had been absorbed in heavenly contemplations, having in them nothing for the care for the present life, they go up and tell Jesus what to do. Their suggestion is at best a copy of the world’s benevolence, the same notion of charity that rules nearly all cases where the love of Christ is absent. How much better to have gone to Jesus and left the case in His hands.
It is always wise to trust omniscience. It is a continual mistake to be making suggestions to divine providence. Let us be thankful we are not left to the devices of the disciples. How did Jesus reply to their suggestion? In contrast to their “send them away,” He says, “They do not need to go away. You give the something to eat.” How musical His voice sounds after their rough tones. Put the two expressions together and see the infinite discrepancy. The disciples’ “send them away” is exposed for what it is—a rude, vulgar proposition that flows from a selfish mind. Hear the voice that holds in it all heaven’s music: “They do not need to go away.” That was the revelation and that is true of human life in all its points, aspects, bearings, and necessities. Whenever Christ is present, He has the power to meet every need and comfort every care. Let us never find ourselves sending away seekers through our own lack of faith.
Adapted from In His Presence