Jesus learns the devastating news that John the Baptist was murdered, his head presented on a platter. The life and sacrifice of an unwavering disciple is no joke. Yes, Jesus is God, but at this moment, He is also human. He grieves and withdraws to a desolate place to be alone with His Father.
The crowds don’t care about Jesus’ grieving or privacy; they want this healing they have heard so much about. Despite His pain, Jesus has compassion on the masses coming to Him. He heals them.
The problem is that the crowds have followed Him to this out-of-the-way place where there is no food and no place to get it. Despite watching Jesus perform countless miracles (even here…He has been healing), the disciples have no clue how to feed the people and want Jesus just to send them away.
Jesus says, “YOU give them something to eat.”
They look around at the meager supply of food available – 5 loaves and two fish. Enough for a family maybe, but not the thousands that have gathered. How in the world can such a small portion solve this enormous problem, they must be whispering among themselves.
Jesus says, “bring them to me.”
You only have a tiny fraction of what you need. Bring it!
He orders the people to sit on the grass. This isn’t going to be a quick charity handout line. We are going to sit, eat, enjoy each other’s company.
All eyes must be fixed on Jesus, wondering what He is going to do; how He is possibly going to feed this large of a crowd…upwards of 15,000+.
Jesus takes the five loaves and the two fish, looks up to heaven and says a blessing.
He gives thanks… before the miracle. He always gives thanks before the miracle.
We tend to think of gratitude as something that comes after the provision, but Jesus shows us that gratitude comes before the miracle too. Gratitude releases the miracle.
Jesus invites His friends to be part of this holy provision. The disciples get to distribute the bread and fish, which don’t seem to run out. Not only does everyone eat until they are satisfied, but there are also leftovers.
The little surrendered to Jesus has produced abundance.
Jesus shows us that no amount is too small if we bring it to Him. He will take what we have, invite us to be part of the miracle, and turn it into abundance.
After this dinner on the grass, the disciples go ahead of Jesus on a boat while Jesus goes to a mountain alone to pray. He later joins them…walking on water. Peter brings his request to do the same to Jesus; fixing his eyes on Jesus, he walks on water too. But when he diverts his focus back to his circumstances and limitations, he sinks.
We can focus our attention and energy on our limited resources and seemingly impossible circumstances, or we can GIVE THANKS and bring our little to Jesus. He can’t wait to take us along on the miraculous ride, accomplishing things that would be impossible on our own. And in His provision from our little, we know it is ONLY JESUS. Our faith becomes stronger. Our fear becomes weaker.
Chuck Swindoll says, “The size of a challenge should never be measured by what we have to offer. It will never be enough. Furthermore, provision is God's responsibility, not ours. We are merely called to commit what we have - even if it's no more than a sack lunch.”
God, please don’t let me miss out on Your miraculous provision because I choose to hoard what little I have, while at the same time fixing my eyes on my limitations instead of Your unlimited power. I surrender my resources to You. I thank You for what you have given me, and I thank you in advance for the miracles to come.
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