God Provides

“When it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, “This place is desolate and the hour is already late; so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!” They said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” And He said, “Bring them here to Me.”” (Matthew 14:15–18, NASB95)

The miracle of the feeding of the 5000 is one of the best-known accounts in Scripture showing the compassion of Jesus and the short-sidedness of the disciples. Jesus and His disciples had gone away to rest in a secluded place in the hillsides of Galilee when the crowds following Him found Him. Seeing the crowd, Jesus was moved with compassion to meet their need for healing and help.

When evening came, the disciples wanted to send the crowds away. No doubt they were tired of the people and perhaps frustrated that their time with Jesus was interrupted by the relentless needs of people. The disciples didn’t see the crowd the way that Jesus saw them. Their solution to the problem of the people was to end the day and send them away. This is a common response when people serve in their own understanding and determine that they do not have what it takes to meet the needs of people. The disciples not only didn’t see people the way Jesus saw them, but they also didn’t see Jesus as the one who provides. If Jesus has the power to heal the sick, then doesn’t Jesus also have the power to feed 5000 people?

This miracle was performed to teach the disciples a lesson about divine provision. First, Jesus commanded the disciples to feed the people and teach them that they will soon become responsible for serving people when He is gone. Philip declared that they lacked the resources to meet the need. Andrew found a boy with a peasant lunch of five loaves and two small fish, yet stated that it was not enough. Next, Jesus commanded Andrew to bring what they had and prepare the people for the meal. Christ-followers need to consider what God has already provided and then bring it to Jesus to meet the needs of others. The needs of people will only be satisfied when what we have passes through the hands of Jesus and is given away. Finally, receive from the hands of Jesus what He provides and give it away. The disciples were commissioned to take what they determined as being inadequate and watch Jesus provide. To prove abundant provision, Jesus commanded the disciples to gather the leftovers. With each trip, the disciples would have to consider the miracle and how Jesus abundantly provides.

May we develop a heart that sees people the way that Jesus sees them, as people in need. Instead of turning people away because of perceived lack of provision, may we bring to Jesus what we have and experience God’s multiplication. Jesus is “the Bread of Life,” and as His disciples, we are called to receive Him and then give all that we have received away to others.

Pastor Cary

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