Monday, October 29, 2012



Jesus sets them up with training and empowerment and now for the test. When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.  
Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, "Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here." He replied, "You give them something to eat." They answered, "We have only five loaves of bread and two fish-unless we go and buy food for all this crowd." (About five thousand men were there.)
But he said to his disciples, "Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each." The disciples did so, and everyone sat down. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.

Picture this! The disciples have just returned from the most amazing experience they could have ever imagined-a mission trip where they were able to see people healed and where they were proclaiming the good news of the kingdom. NOW, Jesus puts them in a laboratory setting. He turns to them to feed the 5000+ who were gathered there listening.

He asked them! Why do you think He asked them to pull this off? Why did Jesus take them through this lab and give them this pop quiz? I can see, at least, 3 good reasons:

FIRST-He wanted them to feel their inadequacy without Him. Throughout the Scriptures there is recorded a continuous theme of people receiving great blessings from God and then taking credit for it. Here the disciples just experienced an amazing opportunity to actually be used to heal others from all kinds of diseases. It could be very easy for them to forget where they got the power. This pop quiz sets the record straight.

SECOND-He wanted to demonstrate to them how He is interested in the little things, like feeding people who had come to hear Him. Jesus was known for His dramatic miracles that either saved a person's life or relieved a person from the clutches of an illness or deformity. Here Jesus is performing a miracle of hospitality. His guests are hungry. Sure, there are many more guests than the average person might host. He even turned this normal act of feeding a person lunch or early dinner into a supernatural feat that has been talked about ever since.

THIRD-He wanted them to know that when He is involved in the process, He will produce more than enough to meet their needs. It's better, because Jesus handles problem situations in such a way that it turns out so much better than if you were to do it on your own. NOTE what happens. Jesus has the disciples experience how large the overflow was in having them pick up the leftovers-12 baskets full.

SO, what is it that you are trying to do on your own without trusting in Jesus to empower you? Whatever it is, Jesus will make it so much better. So, why don't you let Him?