READ: Psalm 132, Zechariah 11, Matthew 14, 2 Timothy 4
God’s great shepherd heart longs to care for those who are cut off. It longs to seek the young, heal the broken, and feed those that still stand (Zech. 11:16). God invites us into His passions and into the means of His provision: brokenness. In Matthew 14 Jesus staggers from the loss of his cousin and friend and retreats to gather Himself but is denied even that small solace by a needy crowd. Jesus does not allow loss and hurt to blind Him to the need of others. He takes bread and “looking to heaven, blessed and broke it” (14:19). Prefiguring His own broken body, Jesus makes provision for the needs of man.
We are broken to be a blessing. When Jesus commanded His disciples to give the crowd something to eat, it was in the context of them not having the capacity externally to do so. Jesus was teaching them (and us) that our resource is not what is in our hands, but what is sealed in our hearts. What we really have to bless others is what has been steadily deposited in our spirits by the Lord over time, and it can only be accessed when we are broken. Picture a sealed piggy bank that Jesus has deposited into steadily– grace, mercy, truth, love, peace, joy. When Jesus wants to access those resources in order to help others, His only means of unleashing the stored riches is by breaking the bank–the clay vessel that carries treasure within. The resources we have in our hands are not renewable–they are finite and we should give them, and give them sacrificially. The resources we carry in our hearts, however, are replenished morning by morning, and they are inexhaustible as long as we continue to abide in Jesus.
It is a blessing to be broken. Jesus blesses us by breaking us. We are so used to being blessed by being given things, honored, satiated, and healed. God sometimes uses these means to bless us, but uniquely God also blesses us by breaking us down. It is a blessing to be broken because it allows us to partake sweetly in the divine nature. God’s means of blessing the world was by the broken body of Jesus on the cross. When Christians are invited into divine agony, they are also granted divine joy. There is a fulfillment beyond description when we are broken and poured out for others (2 Tim. 4:6). Undeniably, brokenness costs us something; it hurts to be broken, and to be broken repeatedly, repeatedly hurts. Yet overriding the pain is the searing joy of having “the message fully preached through us” (v. 17). To be invited into the fellowship of His sufferings is also to be invited into the blessing of sharing His joy. A great treasure of the gospel is that it is most blessed to be broken, it is most sweet to be poured out, it is most glorious to be the offering. Brokenness is the great favor of God to His beloved ones–it makes us like Him.