LOAVES AND FISH
“Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.” (Mark 6:39-44)
The people were satisfied-which isn’t something we hear very often because we humans rarely are. Not only did Jesus turn five loaves and two fish into a meal for thousands, but there were also twelve baskets of leftovers-one for every disciple to fill up, stare at, and wonder why he never doubted Jesus in the first place. By this point they’d experienced so many miracles, they should’ve considered the problem an opportunity for Jesus to do another awesome thing. Unfortunately, the disciples were too much like us: often full of confusion, fear, and doubt.
Alas, we’re so slow to learn. In spite of the disciples’ cluelessness, the people were fed and the baskets were full-and we all get to benefit from the story, because the truth is, our lives would radically change if our perspective on God’s generous provision would change.
If only we believed the Bible when it says He pours out blessings on His children.
“Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” (Malachi 3;10)
If only we understood that, for those who follow Jesus, God’s provision is continual and bountiful and soul-satisfying.
“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)
If only we truly comprehended His grace and what it has accomplished on our behalf.
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” (Ephesians 1:7-10)
Bless the disciples’ hearts. It would take a few more years and about fourteen more chapters in the Gospel of Mark for the early followers of Jesus to really get it. To understand that no matter the circumstances, God’s faithfulness to provide would prevail. Thankfully, in the end they got it, and it enabled them to go into all the world proclaiming the truth about Jesus, even unto death (Mark 16:14-20). They’d seen and experienced too much to do anything other than lean in, offer their loaves and fish, and trust that the same One who fed the masses would generously provide all things.
And He did.
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Acknowledge that God has the power to do all things. Thank Him that He promises to satisfy the needs of His children and ask for help to believe Him. Pray for opportunities to share the good news of Jesus with those who are lost, trusting that God will provide the words, time, and resources required. Thank Him for allowing you to be part of His great work.
- Do you believe that God generously provides for those who follow Jesus? Why or why not?
- What’s the difference between having everything you want and being satisfied?
- Read 2 Corinthians 9:8. What is the natural result of God’s abundant provision?