Thursday, November 21, 2013

See His Provision

Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Festival was near.
When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there).  Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.”  John 6:1-14

At the beginning of this account, people were pursuing Jesus.  They were interested and hungry for Jesus to do the amazing.  Do you feel that people are pursuing you and wanting you to do something amazing, to have all the answers to their problems and meet their needs? Or are you like the people in the crowd, hungry for Jesus to meet your need?

When Jesus saw the great crowd he asked Philip where they could buy enough food for all the people.  Philip immediately looked at his own ability and said I do not know, I could work a lot of days, half a year as a matter of fact, and still not be able to feed these 5,000 plus sufficiently.  Even after all my work they would only get a tiny morsel. 

Can you relate to Philip?  Do you find yourself saying I could work endless hours and the crowd will only be fed a little?  They will still be hungry.  My to-do list will always be a mile long.

Then Andrew pipes in.  He notices a young boy with two fish and five barley loaves and tells Jesus about it.  I appreciate Andrew because he sees what is available, even if it does not appear to be enough.  Philip sees the lack and Andrew sees the provision (even if he questions how it will be enough).  May I encourage you today to stop looking at the lack and see the provision, no matter the size?  Give what you have-your time, your energy, your knowledge.  Trust God to multiply it, to stretch it, to do the work.  There will always be an abundance of needs, a crowd.

Jesus took what “little” was available and gave thanks-thanks for what he had and for what his father was able to do.  Then he did what seemed foolish, silly if you will, and passed it out to the people.  Jesus was not striving, running around trying to gather enough food and make sure the meal was perfect.  Instead he took what he had, gave thanks, walked in faith and served.

How much time do you have today to give to the crowd?  Thank God for this time.  Trust him to grow your time and your reach.  Those two fish and five barley loaves reached pretty far to feed over 5,000 people!

Jesus gave to the people as much as they wanted.  He did not portion the food.  The people chose how much they would eat.  As you serve others you can’t make them eat.  They will take as much as they want and some will remain hungry.

The multiplication from using what was available, giving thanks, and walking in faith resulted in leftovers, more than enough, extras.  This miracle also made people take notice of Jesus. 

Give what you have, give thanks, and walk in faith so that others may recognize Jesus.

No comments:

Post a Comment