Monday, April 27, 2015

Don't Have Much To Give? Good!

God uses inadequate people with inadequate resources.


John 6:5-13 Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for Him. Turning to Philip, He asked, "Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?" 6 He was testing Philip, for He already knew what He was going to do.

 7 Philip replied, "Even if we worked for months, we wouldn't have enough money to feed them!" 8 Then Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up. 

 9 "There's a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?" 10 "Tell everyone to sit down," Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) 

 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward He did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. 12 After everyone was full, Jesus told His disciples, "Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted." 13 So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves.

In the previous post we saw that the crowds that followed Jesus around were not really followers of Jesus. To them he was an amusement and a resource for free health care. They had a lot of nerve to say to Jesus "Show us a miraculous sign if You want us to believe in You. What can You do?" (John 6:30)

Jesus knows that they don't have enough money to feed all of these people but he also knows that there is a boy whose mom made him wait before he left the house so that she could finish packing his lunch. Again we are going to see that Jesus has a plan and he has an agenda.

Jesus has compassion for this crowd but he also has a higher agenda just like when he cleared the temple, when he healed the man by the pool on the Sabbath and when he "needed" to go through Samaria to meet a woman. Jesus always has an agenda. Jesus had compassion for them all but the greater end that Jesus is working toward has more to do with teaching the disciples a lesson than it does the feeding of a hungry crowd.

The disciples are looking for an easy way out, this crowd has been a pain for too long, perhaps they wanted to use this opportunity to get rid of them. Let's send them away so that they can buy their own food and we can have some peace and quiet. (Mark 6:36)

Jesus ruins that idea when he asked Philip about the local food supply. Philip should have said to Jesus, not too long ago I saw you turn water into the best wine, he should have thought that Jesus could give them food from out of nowhere just like the manna that God made fall from the sky for their forefathers. The disciples should have been ready to say to Jesus "You can feed these people you don't even need the little boys lunch to do it." (John 6:5-6, Deuteronomy 8:16-17)

These guys were low on faith but they were still obedient and made the crowd spread out and sit down. Maybe the fact that they were right there with Jesus and he gave them a direct order made them feel pressured to go ahead and do it. Usually a lack of faith makes me become disobedient.
Jehovah Jireh
Philippians 4:19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
Jesus proves that he is totally sufficient, he is in control, and he has unlimited resources. Imagine watching the first and second person get their food and you are next, you probably think that the food from that little lunch box is all gone, but then the food comes from somewhere. I have to wonder at what point the new pieces of bread showed up. Could the people see the next piece of bread suddenly pop into Jesus hands or did they pop into the basket just before Jesus reached back in?

Jesus uses the inadequate people who yield their inadequate resources to Him. What an awesome lesson for the disciples and one that we need to come to realize as well. God's people are inadequate to meet the needs of the people that they minister to and it is better for us if we realize that before we get busy in ministry. Without God we can't save them and we can't meet their real needs.

Sometimes we get overwhelmed by the needs around us and we can get burned out in serving the Lord because we are trying to meet those needs in our own strength, if we rely on God and his resources we will be freed from worry and we will become more generous as we prove his faithfulness.

Help me to be faithful to do your will, forgive me Lord for being disobedient when I can't see the resources to do what you want me to do.