Discernment, for some reason lately I keep coming back to that word. There are many spiritual gifts a person can have, in the bible there are 7 spiritual gifts that are listed they are as follows; wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.
I remember when I went to church that the outreach committee had us look at a questionnaire and answer some questions to determine what our spiritual gifts were. Determining your spiritual gifts or gift obviously helps you figure out how you can best be of service, how you can help a ministry. I was told I had the gift of discernment. This was described to me as the ability to read scripture and then apply it in a way that relates to my current everyday life. I read the Blog A fractured faith Stephen most definitely has the gift of discernment and uses it wisely for his ministry.
When I was coming back home from my 7am AA meeting I was thinking about the lesson of the day which was the need to see the good in people and my thoughts segued back to discernment. It struck me that the Bible has all of the wonderful stories in them but the problem is that most people truly miss out on the whole point of the story. Being inspired I re-read several passages. I read the Adam and Eve and garden of Eden account, I read about Cain and Able and then I went to the new testament and read about Jesus and how he fed the multitudes or in laymans terms a shitload of people. 5000 to be exact in the first account and shortly thereafter was an account of 4000 people. Same idea, different occasion.
Indulge me if you will and think about the following: imagine the following scenario, you are unaware of the story of how Jesus fed he multitudes so you ask somebody to tell you the story. Most likely the answer if brief will go something like this. Jesus and his disciples went to a mountain by the sea and 5000 people went to see Jesus. Upon seeing the multitude Jesus took 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread and fed the whole crowd. What is your reaction? Wow, that is a miracle and you are left with the impression that Jesus is a miracle worker. It is impressive and you are left in awe of the abilities of Jesus.
What if I told you that we are all looking at this story the wrong way. We need a new perspective. When you hear a great story from the bible don’t say I am being taught a great story change your wording say I am being taught a great lesson.
Most people when they tell the story tell it like I did in the above paragraph because they see it as a story and not as a lesson. When you are taught a lesson you pause and you think, what am I supposed to learn from this. How can I apply this to my life. What am I to learn.?Check out what happens when you tell the story as a lesson.
So Jesus, had just gotten word that King Herod had killed his cousin John the Baptist. Word got out that John the baptist had been resurrected and the King demanded that John the Baptist be killed and John was captured and beheaded. Being distraught and in fear of his life Jesus fled and ended up in a mountain side by the sea.
Jesus was so powerful that word got out where he was and over 5000 people showed up just to see Jesus. Despite the fact that Jesus was fearful and mourning he still showed compassion towards the crowd. He told his disciples to feed them and they said that they only had 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. Jesus then took the 5 loaves of bread and fed the multitudes and nobody went away hungry.
The lesson about feeding the multitudes was in Matthew 14 because I wanted to learn from this I went back a chapter and thought that I should get some context and I read chapter 13 which explains about John the baptist being beheaded.
What are we to learn from this? Well for 1 even when Jesus was fearful and distraught and both mentally tired from all the drama and physically tired from traveling he was still gracious. He put the needs of others before him even when he was undergoing huge amounts of stress. His life was in danger and he still wanted to take care of the crowd.
the next thing we can learn is to give all you have even when it doesn’t seem like enough and Jesus will make the most of it. If you give all you have it will be enough and your life will be rewarding. This point is so important, the morals from this story so valuable that the same story is basically told twice in succession starting with Matthew 14, for emphasis.
I am missing one important element here. the one that probably applies to 95 % of people, the masses. In this parable we are the masses. We are the 5000 that went to see Jesus. If you seek righteousness you will be fed, you will be taken care of. Do not worry about if things will work out, if you believe in something seek out the good, go the distance and things will work itself out. You will be taken care of as long as you are in pursuit of what is good, what is holy.
So that is all I have to say about the feeding of the multitudes but I want to impart that we should always see things not as a story but as a lesson. Ask yourself what are you to learn? And always go 1 step further to explore things to find out the true meaning of something.