Have you ever noticed how Jesus dealt with need?
He went to what was supposed to be a secluded place. He intended to mourn the death of one He loved dearly, John the Baptist. The crowds were as big as ever. This, in fact, is the largest crowd documented in His ministry. We call it the feeding of the 5,000 and yet the text tells us,
There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children. - Matthew 14:21 NASB
So could we guess somewhere between eight and twenty thousand?
That doesn’t really matter to Jesus, so let’s not get crazy about the number. The point is, it would be IMPOSSIBLE to feed these folks, since they apparently didn’t even bring food for themselves, or had already eaten it on the way across the lake.
In any case, Jesus looked at this multitude, far from the local markets, and decided to ensure they didn’t go away hungry. Matthew, Mark, and Luke agree that Jesus told the disciples to feed them. It the kind of thing that would be hard to forget.
I can see Matthew at a table in His old age writing down the accounts of his time with Jesus. What would I remember about that day, even if it was fifty years past. I would remember the moment when Jesus turned to me, standing with my satchel empty and said “Feed this multitude.” It’s just the kind of thing you don’t forget.
So what is Jesus’ solution to this dilemma of thousand’s to feed?
It’s His two step plan for abundance.
It will work in any life.
If you have the courage to follow this plan, you’ll see something unforgettable.
Step one: Find out what you have.
And He said to them, "How many loaves do you have? Go look!" And when they found out, they said, "Five, and two fish." - Mark 6:38 NASB
And here is the key to abundance.
Step two: Bring it to Jesus.
And He said, "Bring them here to Me." - Matthew 14:18 NASB
I just love that!
What do you have?—Bring it to Me.
You have to see this. Jesus never allowed circumstances to convince Him that He was in a tight spot.
Do you think Jesus thought they had enough in their bags to feed this crew? He knew they didn’t have a year’s supply of stores with them. They came here to be alone, not intending to deal with the crowds. This mob tracked Him down.
But He has a simple solution to the problem.
What do you have?—Bring it to Me.
Have you ever come up against a need you really wanted to meet, but you pulled back because you just didn’t have the resources to deal with such a great problem?
What do you have?—Bring it to Jesus.
I’m not saying to be foolish.
I’m not saying if you want a bigger TV or a snazzier car you should go into debt “trusting” God to feed your own lusts.
What I am saying, is when you find yourself in a tight spot—gather up what you have and bring it before the Lord. Then pray and listen for His solution.
Really, try this. (I’m going to—this message is really for me.) Lay your bills and your bank statements (or wallet, if the bank has nothing to offer) out on the dining room table (or the floor, if they have already taken your table.) Give it all to Him, your bills, your debts and your resources.
Lord, this is where I am. This is what I need and this is what I have. What am I to do?
Then listen. Have a pen and paper with you. If thoughts come to mind - write them down. They will probably not all be God thoughts, but write down everything you hear, or sense. Then pray through what ended up on the paper. Look for the life on the list. What, on the list, gives you a sense of hope.
If it’s something that sounds crazy in the natural, you might want to get some trusted godly counsel.
If you’re married, do this with your spouse, and DO NOT proceed unless you both have peace and sense life.
By the way—Jesus didn’t tell the boys to go into debt to solve this problem. The only risk involved with what Jesus told them to do is that they might have felt a little foolish if nothing happened.
So, I’m not telling you to take all your life’s savings and send it to a preacher somewhere.
I’m asking you to bring what you have to the Lord. Put it all at His disposal, and ask Him what to do next.
I’m expecting great things.
Have a great weekend.