Luke 9:10-17 – “And the apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they had done. Then He took them and went aside privately into a deserted place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. 11 But when the multitudes knew it, they followed Him; and He received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had need of healing. 12 When the day began to wear away, the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding towns and country, and lodge and get provisions; for we are in a deserted place here.”
13 But He said to them, “You give them something to eat.”
And they said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we go and buy food for all these people.” 14 For there were about five thousand men. Then He said to His disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of fifty.” 15 And they did so, and made them all sit down. 16 Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude. 17 So they all ate and were filled, and twelve baskets of the leftover fragments were taken up by them.” NKJV
We all love the accounts of feeding the multitudes and the greatness of the miracle but how often do we fail to catch the key command of Jesus to the disciples? We do not know how many were in the crowd that day for the typical method of counting was men not women and children. The food available to them was five loaves and two fish. Obviously feeding 5 was incredibly but how about possibly fifteen thousand using the meager offering is impossible in the natural.
The fact that Jesus had them seated in groups of fifty is significant but not the topic I will not pursue at this juncture. The fact that all were filled and of the fragments there were twelve baskets leftover is important and significant but not the focal point of what I am desirous to convey. The fact that it was an object lesson not soon to be forgotten is valuable but again not the command I want us to focus on.
The most important command of Jesus to the disciples that day, in my view was? When the disciples approached the Master with their plight and predicament of a hungry multitude, they asked the LORD to disperse the crowd so the people could go into the neighboring villages and find food but Jesus ignored them. Instead He said something many seem to miss. He said, “You give them something to eat.” He did not say, “Sit them down and I will work a miracle.” He did not say, “Bring them to me and I will pray over them and they will miraculously find food from the rocks or manna from heaven will fall like dew.” He said, “YOU give them something to eat.”
Imagine that! Simply, take what you have and begin feeding the people. Step out with what you have and be confident that I will be with you. Be like David with the five smooth stones and face the Giant. Be like Gideon with the 300 against a multitude and face the insurmountable odds. Be like Moses when facing the Red Sea with the Egyptian Army on their heels and step forth in faith. Be like Abraham when instructed to offer Isaac in confidence that God is a God of His word. He never leaves nor forsakes but is with us and will provide.
They did not immediately respond to the directive of Jesus, but continued to offer objections based on natural reason as to why they could not. Jesus then demonstrated to them what they could have done based on His command. Remember Jesus said, “The works that I do shall you do and greater works…” He took what they had, prayed and gave thanks and distributed food to the multitude.
I am not suggesting that you launch out into the impossible where you would encounter massive debt but when instructed by the Spirit of God, based on the Word of God to do something – DO IT! If God orders it He will see to it that it comes to pass. Remember in Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” If God says jump through the hole in the wall it is our job to jump and His job to make a hole in the wall.
God bless you as you walk in full obedience on this beautiful day!