Feb 23, 2015

Loaves and Fishes

This morning, I read in Matthew 14 about Jesus feeding the 5,000. As I read, these two verses jumped out at me:

As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”  Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” (Matthew 14:15-16 NIV)

Translated: “Don’t send them away to someone / something / somewhere else, you take care of them.”

I thought about times when someone came to me for help or counsel, and I: 
  • didn’t know the answers 
  • didn’t have enough experience 
  • couldn’t relate to what the person was going through 
  • feared making a mistake

So I sent them to someone who was wiser, more experienced, and could help them more than I could.

“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. (Matthew 14:17)

I made excuses. I sent them along because I didn’t have a ready solution to their problem. Like the disciples, I acted on what I could see (or not see) in front of me.

But wait. 

It’s not about me having the solution, or about my anything. It’s about Jesus helping them through me. Continuing on in Matthew…

“Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children. (Matthew 14:18-21)

Jesus took the few available resources, gave thanks, and God multiplied them to fit the need. All the disciples had to do was (1) bring what they had to Jesus, then (2) do what He told them.

We have the Holy Spirit. When we give thanks for the opportunity and for His provision, He’ll meet the need through us despite our feeble humanness. All we have to do is (1) ask with thanksgiving, and (2) obey.

It’s not about us, it’s about Jesus.

Can we help everyone who comes our way? Maybe not…but will we walk with them and allow Jesus to love them through us until their need is met?

Will we step out in faith when we can't see the whole picture, or know the results?

And this is not just about helping people. It's about trusting the Lord to give us the resources to accomplish anything He brings our way.

Jesus longs to reveal Himself to the world. He provides all we need, if only we are willing.

Lord, help me to be more willing. Forgive me for the times I was lazy, afraid, or selfish. Open my eyes to see who you’d have me help today. Help me remember to seek You when any task seems impossible. Thank you for the opportunities you’ll bring my way.

Questions to ponder: Who has the Lord brought into your life to help? How can you be Jesus to them, above and beyond your own resources?


  1. Love this Mary. It is so tempting to want to send the problem or the challenge away! I'm so glad you reminded me that it is Jesus who wants to work through us, not the amount of resources or ability we have.

    1. Yes, that's always a temptation for me, especially when I'm "too busy". When God sends someone our way, He gives us what we need, including time! Thank you for your comment!


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