Mighty, Meek, Merciful, Multiplier
Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. .John 6:3-13
Have you ever faced a problem that seems to require more than you can possibly do or more resources than you have? These seemingly impossible situations can be daunting and discouraging. Yet, in this passage Jesus demonstrates His power and encourages us to look to Him. Whether this story is old and familiar or brand new to you, Jesus teaches us much more than meets the eye in his miraculous feeding of five thousand men and families with what began as five loaves of bread and two fish!
Let’s explore Jesus’ intentionality in his words and actions. Upon noticing the crowd, He mercifully and immediately engages. Despite the fact He is about to do a miracle, He draws in His disciples by presenting the problem and having them assess and strategize to help solve it. Philip calculates the cost; Andrew scans for what resources are at hand. Both see a bigger need than they can possibly fill. By assessing the human impossibility, they are drawn to see the full magnitude of the problem – and His miracle! Do your calculations add up to less than or more? In whose power?
He guides us to look beyond the limitations of what we, our family, or our teams have to offer, even toward unlikely sources. The loaves and fish came from a generous and willing child, not the disciples pooling their internal resources. Next, Jesus organizes the chaos, then provides for each in small groups. This unfolded not as a big show, but through a collection of moments and moves He used to humbly yet powerfully multiply. No one realized a miracle was happening until they picked up the leftovers—which alone exceeded what was initially offered to Jesus. He shows us that we can be the middle of a miracle without even realizing it is happening!
What about you? What mountain are you facing, and what miracle may He be working already that you do not yet see? He continues multiplying and providing every day! Can you see it? He will take our sincere offering of the best we can give, which may seem limited and minimal in our eyes, and multiply it beyond anything we can imagine! I have witnessed this through a humanitarian organization we take part in where He takes funding for daily porridge and multiplies it into two full meals per child daily these past 2+ years; where He used the offering for a basic mobile food pantry in Charlotte as a catalyst to provide fresh meat, milk, bread, fruit and vegetables for 30 families on an ongoing basis. In ministry, we have the privilege of watching Him multiply – taking an offering of a couple Spanish classes and multiply them to effectively communicate medical information to His people on mission; to multiply offerings of developed and undeveloped gifts and talents into offerings for His glory!
Gracious God, we praise you and thank you for your word that reveals your power and truth and invites us to learn from and rely on you! Thank you for loving us, teaching us and inviting us into the privilege of taking part in your moves – whether or not they are visible from where we stand or sit. Help us to trust in in You, your timing and will, and your power to bring order and multiply in our lives and the world around us. Lord, help us to look to, to see, and depend on you; to believe you can and will act in your sovereignty; and to trust that your way is mightier than our own. Help us to walk in your humility, strength, meekness, confidence, and hope, wherever and with whoever we are. In His name, amen. Patti Manalokis
Listen to Today’s Message
Download Today’s Message