Entrepreneurship lesson from the feeding of the 5000

Entrepreneurship is used to refer to the setting up of a business, but I would like to use the word in the context of Jesus’ ministry and his work ethic.

Let’s set the stage for this blog article. Jesus had sent 70 disciples as missionaries and they have now returned and have shared with Jesus and the disciples about their experience. Luke says many where coming and going so there was no time to eat.

Matthew records the beheading of John the Baptist and in verse 13 says when Jesus heard this He withdrew with his disciples to a private place. It is clear the Jesus was looking for some downtime with his disciples in a quiet place. How many of us can relate to that need?

Photo by Wesual Click on Unsplash

3 lessons from Jesus’ actions

Jesus is the ultimate example for us. He said, “Follow me.” While tracking the footsteps of Jesus you can see His work ethic and how he lived his life for the mission and that is what we will focus on here.

Jesus was ready to put in the time when he saw the need.

When you start a business, you will soon realize that the amount of time needed to start and run a business takes a lot of time. You may have also heard how they spend 100-hour weeks working to get their product to the market.

We see Jesus seeking a quiet place with his disciples after a series of taxing events. John the Baptist is beheaded, the disciples have returned with their reports of their ministry. Jesus and the disciples have missed their meal yet again. Now when they reach the destination with rest on their minds, Jesus and the disciples are greeted by a huge crowd.

The reaction of Jesus is important to note here. Matthew says, “He had compassion on them.” The ability to reach out and serve comes only when there is passion for your work even though you are almost running on empty. And Jesus heals the sick among them. There is always a great need for service everywhere around you and therein lies your opportunity.

Mark adds another detail for Jesus’ compassion. He says, they were like sheep without a shepherd. How this statement is true today. How we all are looking to follow people on social media and the likes. How we seek the advice and guidance of other individuals to learn and know about their experiences. The opportunity to serve is on your fingertips today and you can start your service from the comfort of your home.

Jesus demonstrates the passion that he had for his work and how he was willing to set aside physical needs and postpone emotional needs so that he can be engaged in his work. It is that example that we need to employ in our jobs today. In service of others for HIS glory.

Jesus was focused

Focus is a key ingredient in success. It is easy to be distracted as there are many things today that need your attention and there are those things that are competing to get your attention. In the attention economy, people with focus are the ones with the superpower. Being focused helps you to prioritize the tasks that you do in a day and spend your time only on the things that will help you to move forward.

Jesus is the prime example of focus. He was here to seek and save the lost, to reveal God on earth. Jesus spent most of his time teaching and that is what he started to do in this instance as well. Jesus started teaching the crowds that were present there. He provided them physical relief by healing the sick but also spiritual relief by making the truth plain.

Jesus never missed an opportunity to setup a situation for someone to learn. John records this mini incident within the larger miracle. Jesus asks Philip a question. “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” Jesus is using the word “we” here because he is not looking to treat his disciples as servants but as friends. Jesus shares equal responsibility in the task that he is working to achieve.

John says, Jesus asked Philip the question to test him. It was a teaching moment for Philip. For Philip to learn about faith in God. It becomes evident from Philip’s answer that Philip needed that lesson that day. Philip was looking unto himself for an answer to the problem, but he needed to look to Jesus. John also says, “Jesus already knew what he was going to do.”

Jesus also taught the disciples a lesson that day on problem solving. The disciples where keen to not be faced with the trouble of feeding all those who had gathered there so they even suggested a practical solution. The lesson for the disciples was God can do anything and when He is with you there are NO big problems.

Jesus did not lose sight of his Purpose

After Jesus had fed the 5000, the men tried to crown Him the “King of Jews”. They thought that the solution to the people of Israel’s problem of being slaves to Rome will soon be over if Jesus became their king. Why wouldn’t they think that way? Jesus had just fed all of them with 5 loaves and 2 fish. Imagine what else Jesus could do they must have thought.

Jesus purpose on earth was to reestablish the connection between Heaven and Earth that severed because of sin. Every act of Jesus was done with that purpose in mind. What is your purpose? What is your mission? Are you focused on that mission and purpose?

Jesus with withdrew from the crowd to connect with the Father. Jesus was finally able to get the alone time that he wanted before the miracle. Jesus was not interested in a short-term win and demonstrated laser sharp focus on His purpose. A short term with that distracts you from the path you are on is a distraction. Every moment spent achieving that takes you away from achieving your purpose.

The short-term win for Jesus that was in line with His overall purpose was to reveal that God cares about our physical needs and nothing is too small to matter to God. Your smallest of needs matter to Him. Jesus’ long term purpose was to be the Savior of mankind and that did not align with being the King of the Jews so Jesus walked away from that offer. How was he able to do it? Jesus was focused.

Jesus lived the life of an entrepreneur. He worked long hours, was focused and never lost sight of His purpose. How about you?

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