This past week I have been thinking about the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. It is a beautiful story about Christ’s willingness and ability to multiply what we give him. I believe this story teaches that when we give Jesus all we have, he takes what we give him and blesses, multiplies and uses it to bless others in ways we never could have imagined.
In Matthew 14, we see Jesus getting into a boat in order to withdraw from people. Apparently, he wanted to put some space between himself and the crowds that had been pressing upon him. Although it seems Jesus’ intentions were to go to a desolate place alone, the crowds were so desperate to see Him, hear Him, and be touched by Him that they followed him on foot. He was unable to break free from the demands of the masses. Do you ever feel like the demands of people are pressing in upon you and all you want to do is break free and get some time alone? It seems that’s is the scenario Jesus found himself in that day. So what does he do?
In Matthew 14:14 we read, “When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.” How does Jesus respond to the needs of the people? He has compassion on them and heals them. Despite the fact that he so desperately wanting to break free that he got into a boat by himself to go to a desolate place, he still put the needs of others ahead of his own. He surrenders his right to be alone and rest in order to minister to others. It just one of the many examples in the scriptures of Jesus laying down His life for those he loved.
But what happens next is unbelievable!
As the long day finally begins to wind down, the disciples tell Jesus to send the crowds home so they can all go get something to eat. Jesus responds by telling them, “You give them something to eat.” Their response, “We have only five loaves and two fish.”
Can you imagine this scene? The scriptures tell us that there were 5,000 men there. If you were to count women and children the multitude may have numbered more than 20,000. And all they have is five loaves and two fish. Surely, the disciples are exercising wisdom in suggesting everyone simply go home and take care of their own, but Jesus wants his disciples to learn a lesson so, referring to the five loaves and two fish, he tells them, “Bring them here to me.”
You guys know the rest of the story. He takes the food, prays, gives it to the disciples and tells them to give the food to all the people. In verse 20, we read, “And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up 12 baskets full of broken pieces.” All 5,000 men and their families were filled and there was food to spare!
If you grew up in the church, you are very familiar with this story. It is one of the most famous stories told of the miraculous power and life of Christ. The story also gives us a wonderful window into Jesus’ heart for the multitudes of hurting and hungry people.
Although this story is by no means a new one to me, this past week I have been thinking about it in a fresh way. I have reflected on some areas in my own life where I have given Jesus my five loaves and two fish and in return have seen him take what little I gave him and multiply it in a miraculous ways. I have watched Him do the same things is the lives of many friends who have surrendered to Him and given Him all they have.
Here’s the thing, Jesus isn’t asking for much. That day all He needed was five loaves and two fish. And while He may not be asking for much, He is asking us to bring to Him what we have. As we do that, He is the one that blesses and multiplies what we bring him. When we surrender what we have and simply offer it to Jesus, He is able to take it and do with it abundantly, exceedingly more than all we could ask for or imagine. In the same way that in this story, everyone ate until they were satisfied, when we trust Christ and give to Him all that we have, He satisfies us and uses what we give Him to satisfy the world.
All He is asking is for us to bring Him our five loaves and two fish!