In the Lord's hands, a boy's five loaves of bread and two fish fed more than five thousand hungry people. What will you bring to Him?
The disciples were faced with an impossible task. Their master had asked them to feed more than five thousand hungry people. They had no idea how to do what He asked of them, but Jesus knew what He was about to do.
Jesus had withdrawn from the crowds, but they followed Him. Seeing the crowds, Jesus "had compassion on them and healed their sick" (Mt. 14:14). Where you and I would just see a sea of faces, Jesus saw precious individuals in need of His attention. God certainly knows everyone's name and their personal stories. Although He doesn't expect us to know everyone like He does, He expects all of us to treat other people as His precious creatures made in His image. As a disciple of Jesus, we should learn from Jesus' compassion and respond to the needs of people around us.
The disciples thought it was time to send the crowds away to find something to eat, but Jesus told them to feed everyone. The gospel of John reveals to us that Jesus had asked that of His disciples, "only to test them, for he already had in mind what he was going to do" (Jn. 6:6). God often asks us to do something impossible to expose our limitations and demonstrate His limitless power and glory. Remember how He asked Gideon to defeat the Midianites with an army of only 300 men? He did so, "in order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her" (Judges 7:2). We cannot depend on ourselves for our eternal salvation and we cannot depend on ourselves for our Spiritual growth. It's impossible for us to love others, or make disciples of all nations, or forgive our offenders as Jesus expects us to. But when we realize we are powerless, that's when God can show us what He is capable of through us.
So, with only five loaves of bread and two fish that His disciples had brought to Him, Jesus gave thanks, divided it up among the people and, miraculously, there was so much food that the disciples were gathering leftovers after everyone had eaten. We might not have much to offer the Lord who asks us to lend a hand, or help someone in need, or feed someone poor or give to the Kingdom's cause. But, maybe Jesus is waiting for you to bring whatever it is to Him so that He can show you something about His abilities that you will never forget.
When my children were little, they thought their Daddy knew everything and was capable of anything. They would come to me as though I would know where that missing glove ended up or why it was still raining. They would bring to me their broken things as though I could fix anything and they would still ask me for milk, even if I had just said to them we were out of milk. They have since grown up and they realize now I'm not all-knowing or all-powerful. But as we grow up in our relationship with God, our faith in His abilities should grow and our confidence in Him should become greater with each new experience of His power and as we encounter situations where He demonstrates His wisdom and timing.
Jesus revealed to His disciples that God wants us to love people and meet their needs even when our resources are limited. Will you entrust to Him your resources, talents, gifts, abilities, time, energy and anything else He asks of you?
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Eph. 3:20-21, NIV84)