Never underestimate the power of God! Period.
I’ve loved this story since I was a child. It may be my first memory of Sunday School. Remember the felt boards? If you’re scratching your head, it was a great way to tell Bible stories. Felt boards, Bible characters, other cutout props for each story. Felt animation!
I can see it playing out, can’t you? The disciples are just back from their mission. You may recall just a few verses before Jesus had sent them out with NOTHING to teach about the Kingdom of God and to heal. Imagine the stories they came back with, eager to share with Jesus their wins! Actually, that would be God’s doing, they were just there.
Wanting to take this reunion somewhere private, they try to leave for a more secluded spot. But the enthusiasm of the people is growing, and Jesus is finding it harder and harder to slip away. And, Jesus being who he was (and is), will never let a teachable moment be wasted. (Nor should we, by the way.)
Now, the people, being enthralled by the teaching hung on Jesus’ ever word. Despite the time of day, the meal(s) they were missing, etc. The number of folks listening in probably only grew larger as the day went on. More and more people saw and heard that Jesus was nearby and came to see, despite how remote an area.
Then it happens, the disciples panicked. They wanted to send the people away to get their own food and lodging, but what did Jesus tell them? “You feed them.” If that’s not a “laugh out loud” (LOL) moment, I don’t know what is. There were 5,000 people there!
What did the disciples lack? Vision. Faith. Trust. Despite the miracles they had witnessed, and even helped to happen, they still couldn’t see. Their vision was not clear. How couldn’t they know – God could do anything. Just trust. Jesus brought them back to reality with some instructions, followed by the miracle of miracles.
Five loaves of bread and two fish. Not much when you’re feeding an army of people. But what happened? God multiplied. He even over estimated! To make sure there was plenty! God made a bold statement. What a testimony to us!
Are you feeling hungry for God? Maybe your insides are feeling a bit empty or lonely? You know God will multiply what it is that you need. Right? You need to “feed” yourself by spending more time connected to God. Building the most important relationship of your life will “feed” you and leave you satisfied.
In today’s reading, what strikes you more? Is it the lack of vision of an energized group of disciples just back from their witnessing mission? Or perhaps it’s how God multiplied the food into more than enough? Or perhaps how Jesus matter-of-factly told them to feed the people?
What is Jesus telling you to do today? Does it seem unattainable? Be bold and believe. Let your trust guide and sustain you.
Let’s pray. Lord. Thank you for the nudge I needed. May I not disappoint you. Your word today is probably what I needed to get me back on track with what you want me to do. I am energized to listen and obey. Really energized. Thank you for all that you are doing in my life. When life pitches a curve ball, I’m so glad you’ve given me the ability to skillfully dodge it and get right back to waiting for the next pitch. Thank you for my amazing husband who is always there to support me. You’ve given me a guide, and he’s the love of my life.