Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Feeding the Five Thousand - Part 2

"Jesus therefore lifting up his eyes, and seeing that a great multitude was coming to Him, said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread, that these may eat?"  And this He was saying to test him; for He Himself knew what He was intending to do.  Philip answered Him, "Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, for everyone to receive a little."  (John 6:5-7)

I can relate to Philip.  Sometimes I can look at a task the Lord has set before me and think, "It's impossible.  It can't be done, not even a little bit."  How quickly I forget that "nothing will be impossible with God."  (Luke 1:37)

"One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to Him, "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?"  (John 6:8-9)

I can also relate to Andrew.  Sometimes I can see bits and pieces that could be instrumental in accomplishing His will, but the task seems overwhelming and what few bits and pieces I see seem so small and insignificant, that I tend to discount them quickly as a viable possibility.

God can take what we see as impossible, or too small and insignificant to be worth anything, and perform miracles!

"Jesus said, "Have the people sit down."  Now there was much grass in the place.  So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.  Jesus therefore took the loaves; and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated; likewise also of the fish as much as they wanted.  And when they were filled, He said to His disciples, "Gather up the leftover fragments that nothing may be lost." And so they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, which were left over by those who had eaten."  (John 6:10-13)

There are several things we can glean from this passage:

Thanksgiving preceded the miracle (v. 11)
We need to cultivate a thankful heart!  (1 Thess. 5:18)

He used what was offered (a simple lunch)  (v. 9)
Offer Him your life, and allow Him to use you.  He created you and gave you gifts and abilities that He can use to bless others!

What was given was enough...more than enough! (v. 11-12)
Don't believe the lie of the enemy that you need to be "more than" in order to be of any use to the Lord.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) and "He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1:6)

Nothing is wasted (v. 12)
There were twelve baskets full of food left over!  Not only do we see the abundant provision, but notice that the disciples were privileged to witness and participate in the miracle!  Each disciple gathered and personally carried for himself evidence of God's abundant provision!

It blows my mind that God wants to use broken vessels like you and me to accomplish His purposes. He does all the work, but allows us to be a witness and participant in it!  All we need to do is have a willing heart, and offer what we have.  After all, what we have came from Him!

"Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us."  (Ephesians 3:20)


  1. Very well put! I think we are often so concerned by what we "can bring to the table" we forget that what God really wants is for us to offer ourselves wholly and unconditionally, baggage and all. It's not about us and what we can't do, it's about God and what He can do. I remember once our pastor saying that no matter what we have, even if it seems small and insignificant, give it to God. Even when all we feel we have is fear and weakness. Are you feeling weak? Give God your weakness. Are you afraid? Give God your fear. As Josh Garrels put in his song "The Resistance":
    He can bring His truth through the mouth of a mule
    You can move a mountain without any tools
    It just takes the faith of a little seed
    To make a way through what might seem to be impossibility

    1. Thanks, Matt! It's like you somehow peeked into my notes about Part 3 which I will be posting later today! I haven't heard that song, but will check it out...