Posted on Friday, June 14th, 2013 at 8:28 am

image“But Jesus said to them, ‘They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.'”
Mt 14:16

What a ridiculous response to the disciples’ reasonable request: there are over five thousand tired, thirsty and hungry men, women and children following us around in this wilderness. You’d better send them off, Jesus, so they can get their needs met. Very reasonable, thoughtful even.

“You give them something to eat.”

I imagine the disciples gawking at Jesus, then the crowd, then the wilderness. Where were they going to get the resources to meet such a great need? There was no taking up a collection or pooling credit cards to buy enough burgers at the nearest drive through. The disciples didn’t have a meal between them, but had to take a kid’s lunch.

“You give them something to eat.”

Jesus wasn’t taking responsibility for feeding the crowd, nor did he tell the disciples what he was going to do. Instead, he waited, waited for them to measure their own resources. Five loaves. Two fish. You really want us to feed ALL these people, Jesus? Five, count ’em…one, two, three, four, five loaves, five SMALL loaves! And one, two fish. Pretty measly stuff, Jesus. Send them away!

Our gifts, talents, experiences are inadequate for the people around us. We measure our resources and their needs and come to a reasonable conclusion, better send them to someone more anointed or experienced or educated than me, Jesus, because what I’ve got ain’t gonna cut it. Such a reasonable evaluation and we expect his holy approval and reassurance, a pat on the head and some understanding.

“You give them something to eat.”

I am inadequate, don’t you get it, Lord?
I’m not an evangelist or healer or prophet. I’m not the most gifted person in the room or ministry or church. All I’ve got is this lunch and its not even fancy. As far as callings go, I’m brown bagging it.

“You give them something to eat.”

When We focus only on our poverty of gifting, training, or experience, We’re indulging in what A.W. Tozer calls “perverted faith”, a faith in our inadequacies, rather than in the God who delights to multiply. You see, he is so moved with compassion by the needs of his sheep, he will use the morsels we carry. All he is looking for is for us to trust in his desire to preach good news, bind up the broken hearted, and free the captives. So, we are to offer what we have, believing he will use even us and that he will never fail to multiply and increase what we offer, because he is faithful.

“And he took the five loaves and two fish, and looking up to Heaven, he blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes.”
Mt 14:19

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