Bring me what you have
In today’s passage Jesus has actually just withdrawn (or tried to) from the public eye for a while, after the brutal murder of His cousin and friend, John the Baptist. Yet even in the midst of His own grief, He still sees the people who have gathered and healed their sick. As a result, even more people gather and by late afternoon a large crowd has formed. As the day draws to a close, the disciples are concerned that the people have no food. Jesus tells them to feed the people – but they have only five loaves and two fish to hand. The disciples focus is on what they don’t have.
Jesus says “Bring me what you have”
Many of us are familiar with what happens next – but there is a point in this passage that we often miss:
- The loaves did not multiply in the hands of Jesus – they actually multiplied in the hands of the disciples!
- Jesus didn’t pray, and He didn’t ask God to multiply the bread – He simply said a blessing, and then the disciples gave the food out until everyone was fed – and there were still leftovers!
Having seen multiplication happen myself, I can tell you that actually, the one thing you never see is the actual multiplication itself. Instead, the food just keeps going, and it is only afterwards that you realise that it should have stopped long ago!
The other thing I have learned, and this reading shows us, is that the Kingdom principle is to take what you have, and use it. Focus on what you have, not what you don’t have.
Jesus didn’t tell the disciples ahead of time what was going to happen – I would imagine that as they first began, they were thinking “Well, this isn’t going to be any use – we have over five thousand people here and He thinks we can feed them on five loaves of bread!” Then as they got further and further into the crowd and the bread still had not run out, there must have been a moment when the disciples realised what was happening. How amazing to witness a miracle on such a scale!
I love how this account shows us that Jesus is interested in our needs, not just in a spiritual sense but in a very practical sense too. How often have you thought that a situation was hopeless, only to realise when you looked back afterwards, that God was with you all the time? I know I have.
It’s still January – lets make a resolution that this year – in every situation – we will bring what we have to Jesus for His blessing, and then use it – in the sure knowledge that our Father in Heaven will always provide for our needs.