Late that afternoon, his disciples said, “It’s getting really late and we’re here in this remote place with nothing to eat. You should send the crowds away so they can go into the surrounding villages and buy food for themselves.” (Mark 6:35-36)
It’s been a long day and the disciples were hungry. I certainly would be! They were supposed to be off on a special, “let’s spend time together and rest trip” with Jesus. But the crowds found them. Again. And Jesus, being Jesus had compassion on them and set aside His own agenda to tend to their needs. After a long day of ministering, the disciples are hungry. You know the feeling you get after church when the “kids” need to go home and eat? Yeah, that one, only times ten because it’s been a LONG day. So the disciples want to send the people away to get food, but the problem is there isn’t anything nearby. Jesus’ solution: “You give them something to eat.” Sure Jesus, as simple as that. Um, perhaps you need to lay hands on your own eyes. Do you know how many people are here?!? It would cost a fortune to feed them! And besides that, there’s no food close enough to get it here quickly! Were you listening? (Your ears Jesus, pray for your ears too.)
I can almost see Jesus chuckle, glance up to the sky, and give Father God a wink. Here we go again. Setting the stage for yet another lesson about heaven’s resources.
“Organize the crowd.” Jesus tells them. If we’re going to have a miracle let’s make sure it’s well documented. The disciples obey. “OK, everybody count off in groups of ten! Now, you five groups, you sit over here. Now your group, join that one… Come on people, keep it coming!” What is Jesus up to? Well, He is Jesus anything is possible. “Ma’am, can you please ask your children to stop doing somersaults on the hillside? I’m losing my count here!” Jesus, I sure hope you know what you’re doing.
“There, we’ve counted them all Jesus. 5,000 men with their families. No, we didn’t count the women and kids, the women were too busy trying to get the kids to sit down and we couldn’t keep track, but let’s just say…there’s ALOT of them!”
Now the food, here’s the food. Five loaves and two fish. Um Jesus, that’s not even enough for ME to eat, but here you go.
The disciples looked around. They saw the mass of people organized, waiting, anticipating what Jesus would do. The need indeed was great. Much greater than the resources they had in their hands, but then again this was Jesus.
Then Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, gazed into heaven, and gave thanks to God. He broke the bread and the two fish and distributed them to his disciples to serve the people—and the food was multiplied in front of their eyes! Everyone had plenty to eat and was fully satisfied. Then the twelve disciples picked up what remained, and each of them ended up with a basket full of leftovers! Altogether, five thousand families were fed that day! (Mark 6:41-44)
Today I am encouraged to indeed take stock of my needs and the needs of those around me, to look fully at the resources God has given me right now, then to gaze up to heaven, just like Jesus did and thank God.
The stage is indeed set for miracles.