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.

2 choices when Jesus asks, “Do you want to be healed?”

Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.”  John 5:8

Jesus walks through the blind, lame, and paralyzed to one man and asks him if he wants to be healed. The man gives an excuse rather than the answer “Yes!”

“Get up, take up your bed, and walk.”

The man has two choices

  1. Make another excuse,

“That’s impossible!”

2. Place both hands on the ground, swing both legs around, roll up on knees, curl toes under, force legs up, straighten the back, fix eyes on Jesus.

“With Jesus, the impossible is possible!”

It takes courage to obey Jesus and attempt the impossible. When the man decided to do what Jesus commanded him to do, strength surged through his legs and straightened his back, so that he could fix his eyes on Jesus.

And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. Now that day was the Sabbath. John 5:9

It took courage to take up his bed and walk in health. This man had to discount what men would think and exclusively focus upon the walk Jesus had given him.

What is your impossibility? It’s possible with Jesus.

My prayer for you:

Thank you, Jesus, for stretching our faith, so that we have to step into the possibilities that only You can create. It’s Your power, Your love, and Your wisdom that equip us and renew our minds, our bodies, and our spirits. Transform us, renew our minds, and renew our bodies, so that in all we do, we point people to You.

God empowers us to step into the impossible, even for healing, to possess His great promises

Some streets in San Francisco appear to be impossible to climb. It takes one step at a time to reach the top. Breathless but proud that I made it, I looked down and recorded the accomplishment for all the world to see. This was two months after I was healed.

He entered again into a synagogue; and a man was there whose hand was withered. They were watching Him to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. He said to the man with the withered hand, “Get up and come forward!” And He said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath to save a life or to kill?” But they kept silent. After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored. Mark 3:1-5

Jesus had a reputation of showing compassion to the people He taught. When He encountered someone in need, He acted. Many times, though, He asked a person who would be healed to do the impossible.

Imagine being the focus of religious leaders intent on catching this famous Teacher and Healer doing good if He chooses to heal you.

Jesus looks at the man and commands, “Get up and come forward!”

He gasps, “Me?” Jesus nods.

Head down, withered hand shoved behind the folds in his robe, he shuffles through the crowd to Jesus.

“Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath to save a life or to kill?” Silence.

Angry and grieved, Jesus looks around the room, catching the eye of some who quickly look away.

“Stretch out your hand.”

“Doesn’t He know that’s impossible? … Maybe He will heal my hand.”

The withered hand appears from the folds in his robe. The thumb quivers and breaks away from the rest of the hand. His fingers begin to move apart.

Smiling, the man raises his hand toward heaven as his fingers wildly dance back and forth.

His hand is healed!

On November 21, 2010, the Lord healed me. The next day, Jesus asked me to do the impossible, go back to work and act as if I were healed from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome even though the doctor had placed me on reduced work and was encouraging me to think about disability or another job.

I told my doctor, and he said, “This could be good. What do you want to do?”

I said that I wanted to go back to work full time and begin weaning myself off my fibromyalgia medications. He agreed to test me for a month. A month later, he confirmed that I was healed.

Some asked me if I was afraid to tell people that I was healed.

“That’s why it’s important that I tell people that I am healed.”

I took Jesus at His word that He had healed me, and He gave me the power to be healed.

On the edge of the Promised Land, God also asked the Israelites to do the impossible … possess the Promised Land, a land filled with fortified cities and strong armies. They refused to obey God. God is a gentleman and gave them their wish. He provided for His people while they wandered in the wilderness until all had died who had refused to go into the land, except for Caleb and Joshua, who had encouraged them to possess the land.

Again, God asked them to possess the Promised Land. This time, Joshua led the people into the land, and God fought the battle for them. He empowered them to take possession.

Has God asked you to step from the side of the possible to the side of the impossible? He will empower you to take possession. Take the first step towards obedience, and He will fight the battle.

My prayer for you:

Father in Heaven, give us the faith and courage to step into the possible, so that we can take full possession of the promises and abundant life You have set before us. We’ll give You the glory and praise for the great and mighty works You will accomplish.