She was completely focused on the top shelf, where the glass jars of spaghetti sauce sat. I’d been standing beside her in the grocery aisle for a minute or two eyeing that same shelf, trying to decide. But she seemed oblivious to my presence, lost in her own predicament. Now I have no problem with top shelves because I’m a fairly tall man. She, on the other hand, was not tall, not at all. I spoke up and offered to help. Startled, she said, “Goodness, I didn’t even see you standing there. Yes, please help me.”
The disciples had quite the situation on their hands—hungry crowds, a remote place, and time slipping away—“It’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food” (Matthew 14:15). When challenged by Jesus to take care of the people themselves, they responded, “We have here only . . .” (v. 17). All they seemed to be aware of was their lack. Yet standing right beside them was Jesus, not just the multiplier of bread but the Bread of Life Himself.
We can get so wrapped up in our challenges and trying to figure them out for ourselves with our often-limited perspective that we miss the abiding presence of the risen Christ. From remote hillsides to grocery store aisles and everywhere else in between, He’s Immanuel—God right there with us, an ever-present help in trouble.
How can you increase your awareness of Jesus’s presence? Why is it vital for us to gain His perspective in what we’re facing?
Learn more about the life of Christ at christianuniversity.org/NT111.
A set of three events illustrates the fast-paced, powerful nature of Jesus’s ministry and the emotional roller coaster it must have been for the disciples. First is the recounting of John the Baptist’s death, culminating with John’s disciples reporting his death to Jesus (Matthew 14:1–12). This is followed by the miraculous feeding of 5,000 men, plus women and children (vv. 13–21). After this miracle, Jesus sends the disciples away by boat (vv. 22–33), joining them later that night by walking to them on the stormy Galilee. This appearance prompts His men to worship Him as “the Son of God” (v. 33).