God Will Provide
A new pastor and his wife invited the entire church board, (…and their spouses) to their home for dinner. It was a lot of work but it was also a good opportunity for the pastor to show off his family. When it came time to eat the pastor’s wife proudly said, “Our four-year old daughter will say grace.” The nervous little girl said, “I don’t know what to say.” Mom said, “Honey, just say what Mama says.” With all heads bowed, the little girl said, “Dear Lord, why did I have all these people over for dinner?” Amen.
Maybe that’s how Jesus felt when he looked out on those 5000 people who came to hear him teach. We call this story the feeding of the 5000, but Matthew said it was 5000 plus women and children. (…it could have been well over 10,000…or more.) “Dear Lord, why am I having all these people over for dinner?”
This is the best known story about Jesus. All four of the Gospel writers include it in their narrative of Jesus’ life. This story comes at an interesting time. John the Baptist, (the man who baptized Jesus) had just been be-headed by King Herod. When Jesus heard about it, he and his disciples went on a retreat to sort things out. (Jesus understood what it was like to lose someone close to him.)
…You might remember that the next time you lose somebody close to you. (Jesus understands your hurt.)
This large crowd of people followed Jesus. They wanted to hear his teaching. They wanted healing. And Jesus had compassion for them. So, he started healing their sick. When evening came the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Lord, this is a lonely place and it’s getting late. Send the people away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.” Jesus said, “We can supply them with food.” Then he said, “See how much food you can find among the people.” The disciples came back with bad news. “We only have two fish and five loaves of bread from a child’s lunch box.” “Master, send them away.” Jesus said, “Bring me the fish and loaves.” He took the fish and loaves and blessed them, broke them. He then gave it to the disciples to pass it among the multitude. They ate, and they were filled. It was enough. (Twelve baskets full were left over.) It was a miracle.
This is a story that is important for our time. First of all: This is a reminder of Christ’s compassion. He started healing their sick. When Jesus arrived at this desolate place he saw the crowd and had compassion for them. Troughout the Gospels Jesus calls to the tired, hungry, and sick, “Come unto me and I will give your rest.” To parents, he said, “Bring the children to me.” “…Bring me blind Bartimaus.” “… Bring me the lepers.” “…Remove the roof and lower the lame before me.” ….Jesus was sent to save the lost and heal those who hurt.”
Why should we be concerned for those who have no concern for the church? Because Christ cares. (He cares about their needs and he cares about your needs.)
II. Here’s the second question
It’s never a question of resources. It’s a question of commitment. When Jesus told the disciples to feed the 5000, they only had 5 loaves, (the size of donut holes). In the Masters hands, it was enough. H0w did Jesus feed so many with so little? (We don’t know.) It really doesn’t matter. “The miracle is that he did…and he did it beginning with a child’s lunch pail.” “It wasn’t a question of resources, it was a question of Jesus doing it.” Commitment is always a giant factor in God’s work. GOD WILL PROVIDE.
1. III. The 3rd thing: “They all ate and were filled. Isn’t that a great statement? The disciples picked up twelve baskets of left-overs. This is a statement of God’s abundance. God provides more than what is necessary to meet our needs.
2. All of us are disturbed by images on TV of children starving to death.
Did you know this may not be necessary?
(thought)`Max Lucada shares some insight on this. Max says, “We have ample resources; to take care of the world’s needy.”
…A mere 2% of the world’s grain harvest would be enough to erase world hunger. (if only we would share it.) There’s enough food on the planet to offer every person 2500 calories each day.
We have enough food to feed the hungry. We have enough bedrooms to house the world’s 145 million orphans.
…246 million Christians in America have the resources to house all orphans.
Could God be calling us to minister to the hungry, the orphans and the homeless?
Looking out over that great multitude, the disciples probably prayed, “Dear Lord, why did you have all these people over for dinner?” But Jesus looked over that crowd with compassion, and asked, “What do you have?”
All it takes is for someone to step up. (A little child surrendered his lunch that day.) The disciples answered, “Not much. Just two pieces of fish and five little donut holes. …Jesus said, “It’s enough.” He took it…and blessed it.
Broke it and passed it among the disciples and they passed it among more than 5000 people.
They ate and they were filled.
…”It was enough!”
IT WAS A MIRACLE. AMEN.