Has Jesus told you to do the impossible?

Pastor Chuck Israel

Overlooking the Sea of Galilee as Pastor Chuck Smith teaches from the Sermon on the Mount Scripture.

When Jesus found out that John the Baptist had been beheaded, He withdrew to be alone. However, the crowds followed Him. He looked at the crowds and had compassion on them and healed their sick.

Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” Matthew 14:15-16

“We have only five loaves here and two fish.”

Three questions about the disciples’ choices

  1. They told Jesus what He should do. Jesus was the Teacher. He was the Healer. Did Jesus need instruction?
  2. They scanned the crowd for food before they went to Jesus. Did they know the nature of Jesus would not allow Him to send the people away hungry?
  3. They responded in weakness, only five small loaves of bread and two small fish. Was anything impossible for Jesus?

Jesus’ compassion

And He said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children. Matthew 14:18-21

Jesus chose to take the little food that the disciples had found, bless it, break it, multiply it, and give it to the disciples to distribute to the crowds.

The disciples did feed the crowds with the little that they had when they surrendered it to Jesus.

Each time I have read this story, I have concentrated on the compassion that Jesus had on the crowds. I think that there may be a greater compassion that Jesus had on the disciples.

Jesus gave the disciples an impossible task to do in their own strength. I can imagine Jesus taking a long breath, smiling, and looking at them in love as He said, “Bring them here to me.”

He looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.

Here was the example. Jesus looked to heaven. He prayed.

Jesus multiplied the little that the disciples had and gave it back to them to feed the crowds.

And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. Matthew 14:20

Out of surrender came empowerment.

Out of little came abundance.

Out of prayer came a miracle.

Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds. Matthew 14:22

Out of obedience came another assignment.

This is the only miracle of Jesus that is recorded in all four Gospels. The Holy Spirit has much to teach us about the nature of Jesus, total surrender, and the Christian walk through this miracle.

My prayer for you

Compassionate Father, grant Your perfect wisdom to Your children as You teach us the truths in this miracle of provision, this miracle of total surrender, this miracle of taking little and growing it to abundance. We bring what little we have to You. Multiply it and empower us to bless others with abundance and service. Thank You for Your compassion on Your followers and the world.

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