You give them something to eat

May 6, 2013

by Kara Boda, Communications Advisor

The feeding of the 5,000 and an emergency food program in Nepal.

On the rolling hills around the Sea of Galilee, Jesus and his disciples once stood and overlooked the water.

On its expanse, the disciples had battled a great storm; beside it, the demoniac was freed; into it, the demons who called themselves “Legion” fled; and over it, Jesus walked and declared His power over fear and death. 

But on this particular day, Jesus and His disciples not only saw the sea, but also the crowd of 5,000 on its shores. The people had come to this remote region to hear Jesus teach, but nightfall was quickly approaching and they needed food.  

“Send the crowds away,” the disciples suggested, “so they can go to the villages and buy themselves food.” But their practical solution wasn’t the answer Jesus was looking for.

“They don’t need to go away,” He said. “You give them something to eat.”

Can you imagine the disciples’ response to Jesus’ command? How would you have reacted to this seemingly impossible mandate?

Fast-forward 2,000 years to another scene:

This new location is also remote and mountainous: Nepal. But the lack of water draws a stark contrast between the two places.

In fact, it hasn’t rained in this region of Nepal for two years, and the drought has left the soil parched and unproductive. Like the 5,000 that stood on the far-off shores of the Sea of Galilee, the people living in this secluded area (the Chepang tribe) are going hungry. Actually, they’re starving.

One man who lives there, Akash, has eight children to feed. “I have worried every day, because I haven’t known what we will eat that night and the next day,” he said.

Now, imagine that Christ is standing beside you as you overlook this scene. What would you ask Him?

How can you let these people go hungry, Lord?” or “How are you going to feed them?”

But what if he turned and said, “You give them something to eat”?

Long ago by the Sea of Galilee and today, Jesus is calling His people to radical service. And we serve our God by serving others—sometimes we are the solution to the problem. Jesus said:

“I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink…I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matt. 25:35 and 40, NIV).

Today, Samaritan’s Purse is caring for starving families in Nepal, and we invite you to partner with us. The emergency food that we are providing to the Chepang tribe is given in Jesus’ Name, because we serve a God who has called us to “the least of these.”

Who of “the least of these” are you serving today?