Bring it On!
Jesus can handle whatever you’ve got!
This story, the Feeding of the Five Thousand, is precious. It shows not only Jesus’ compassion on the people, but also His patient playfulness with those who are trying to follow Him. His love for everyone is astounding and miraculous in itself.
Jesus was always feeling the pain of the people who he saw as lost sheep. He was their shepherd of course, and felt responsible to do what they could not do for themselves. Ironically, those who followed Him closely often couldn’t see their own abilities or shortcomings. Jesus, being God, doesn’t possess the limitations humans do; and He can call on heaven’s resources to supply any need. Often He tried to show His disciples if they would just believe that, they could do great things as well. It was the ignorance of their lack of personal resources that kept them from seeing their wealth, having eyes but lacking sight, having ears but not hearing.
Similar to us, the disciples are often overwhelmed by what is right in front of them, and they end up missing the point. I frequently receive letters from people, who tell me that God cannot accomplish what they cannot see. They are so caught-up in the current situation that they forget the God who created everything in sight, and who has sovereignty over it.
They forget that God’s promises are for them. They feel as though they carry the burden of their lives to the extent that God is limited by what they can know. They live in the poverty of their own making, their own minds.
In this story, Jesus sees the poverty of both His disciples and the people in need. Really, it’s all the same…needy and in need of a good shepherd.
After He shows Philip and the others that they are in an untenable position, He asks for the barley loaves and two fish. What does He do? He thanks God for the little bit…and what happens? It becomes a supply so big that they have leftovers. Jesus tells them not to waste it. He tells them to “gather up the leftovers that nothing may be lost!” (v12). Jesus is so cool, another lesson! He is always giving them examples of who He is, why He is here, what He is trying to accomplish, and we are so lost…like sheep; sheep aren’t too smart!
Jesus took the little bit that they had and made it more than enough! So what are you struggling with? The economy? Starting a new life? Fear of the future?
Well, bring it on! Jesus can handle it!
See Ya Next Time
Read John 6:1-15
1. What was Jesus’ feeling toward all the people who thronged around Him?
2. Why did He ask Philip where they could buy bread?
3. What was Jesus’ object lesson in asking Philip this question?
4. What should have Philip done instead?
5. What do you think the disciples thought about Jesus before He fed them?
6. How many of us think that Jesus needs our resources to make miracles happen?
7. Why didn’t Jesus need to buy bread?
8. What are some things that we limit Jesus with?
9. What expectation should we have of Jesus’ ability to give us what we need?
10. Why are we so skeptical?