When Jesus is confronted with a crowd of 5000 hungry people he reacts with action-oriented compassion. He recognized both their spiritual and physical needs, seeing them as “sheep without a shepherd.” (v.34)
The disciples are shocked when Jesus tells them to feed the people themselves. They said, “That would take eight months wages! Are we going to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?” (v. 37)
A God-sized vision like this is impossible for us to carry out on our own strength. Some will turn away from needy and hurting people with the excuse that the need is too great and our resources are too small. However, when God asks us to do the impossible, it is not up to us to point out the cost to him. There are always plenty of resources to God's work. Pioneer missionary, William Carey challenges us to “Attempt great things for God and expect great things from God.”
When Jesus asked, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” (v. 38)
It's hard to believe that, out of 5000 people, the disciples were only able to round up five loaves and two fish. It's probably all anyone would share. Jesus focused on what was faithfully offered and was thankful for it. He blessed it and changed the crisis of scarcity into a bountiful blessing. There were 12 baskets filled with leftovers.
In God's hands a little is more than enough. Over the past 4 years Baptist Temple has done so much more than we thought we could because God’s call is always bigger than our resources. You may think that you have little to give for the building of God’s Kingdom but, if we put ourselves--all we are and all we have--into the hands of Jesus, he can and will do great things with us and through us!
Jesus knew what would happen but the disciples acted out of faith. All they had to do was obey. When we act out of faith we release the power of the Holy Spirit. Imagine if no one had contributed the bread and fish.
What if the disciples said no? There are stories of people who said no to Jesus including the rich young ruler and Judas. The gospel continued without them – they lost out on the blessing.
What are you holding back? What resources do you have to offer? What opportunity has God put before you? Don't be surprised by the power of God to multiply our resources and magnify our efforts.