Jesus, Author of Confusion, Compassion, and Provision

Herod was confused as to who was causing all the commotion.  He had just put John to death but who was doing this?  We speak here of the preaching, the casting out of demons, and the healing of the sick.  We see the confusion that Jesus brings.  He is elusive in that we can’t put him in a box.  He confounds in that he operates outside expectations.  Can we receive this, believer and non-believer?  Can we accept the things about him that confuse us?  He will not do things in a predictable manner nor will he lead as you expect.  Herod was ultimately not able to surrender to the enigma of Jesus.  May we concede his mystery and surrender to him as he leads.
The commotion that upset Herod was finally ended when the twelve reconvened with the Lord.  He pulled them aside to rest.  The crowds followed him anyway.  They were probably unaware of Jesus’ need for rest.  They were not unaware of their own need.  The response of our Lord is yet again a reason we follow.  He “welcomed” them!  How many times have we been interrupted by people who were unaware of our planning?  He had compassion on them and received them, when he was tired and in need of rest.
By day’s end the disciples suggested he sent the crowds away since there was no food or lodging.  Testing the disciples, Jesus asked them to deal with the dilemma.  They were dumbfounded, no money, and just a few loaves and fish.  Like us, they determined that the situation was beyond redemption BASED on the resources they had.  No problem, we do it all the time!  Here is the problem, Jesus had other plans and they did not think of his intentions or plans.  This is where Jesus challenges our problem solving methods.  Yes, consider the money in the bank, yes, consider the resources you have, but do not stop there.  Ask the question, is God desiring something?  If the answer is yes then our planning pivots on that, not the money or the resources.
Then Jesus took what a little boy had, five loaves and two fish, and fed thousands of people.  It was a miracle.  Jesus provided with his own power.  May we trust him to provide where we cannot.  If he intends on doing something then he will provide the necessary resources to bring it to pass.
There we have it.  Jesus who brings confusion also brings compassion and provision.  If we can accept it, we can receive him as he brings these things.
This message comes from Luke 9:7-17.  Want to listen? Here’s the online sermon archive.
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