Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Miracles Really Do Happen

Then Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven and gave thanks to God. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. He also divided the fish for everyone to share. (The men alone, not including the women and children, numbered 5,000.)
Jesus Feeds Five Thousand (the complete story text follows the post)

The sequence of Jesus’ actions establishes a model:
  • First Jesus asked the disciples to gather resources,
  • Then accepted what was offered,
  • Then thanked God for the woefully inadequate provisions, and
  • Then used what he had been given believing God would multiply it sufficiently.
Do we follow Jesus’ example in our lives?
  • Do we ask for help? Or do we try to do everything ourselves?
  • Do we accept the assistance offered with thanksgiving? Or do we grumble that more wasn’t offered?
  • Do we, though feeling ill equipped, proceed with the task believing God for the miracle? Or do we lose heart, complain about the workload, and anticipate failure?
I love what happens next: Jesus kept giving the disciples bread so they could distribute it to the people. Many translations simply say Jesus gave the bread to the disciples, but the original Greek uses a prolonged form of the verb.

Jesus kept giving out bread. It was a miracle.

Jesus multiplied the boy’s small lunch. He will multiply whatever we offer. (tweet this)

We need to remember that this is the only miracle recorded in all four gospels. No matter their agenda or audience, each writer thought it critical for you to know it happened. 

Offer what you’re able, thank God and believe He’ll make it grow. (tweet this)

What do you have to offer? Will you believe God can use it?

#SeedsofScripture #Feeds5000 #miracle

You can read the five previous posts about this story by clicking these links:

This version of Jesus Feeds Five Thousand combines accounts from
Matthew 14:15-21, Mark 6:35-44, Luke 9:12-17, John 6:5-15 (NLT)

Late that afternoon or evening the disciples came to him and said “…Send the crowds away so they can go to the nearby farms and villages and buy food and find lodging for themselves.”

Turning to Philip, [Jesus] asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.

Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!

But Jesus said, “That isn’t necessary – you feed them.”

“With what?” [the disciples] asked.

“How much bread do you have?” Jesus asked. “Go and find out.”

Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?

“Bring them here,” [Jesus] said. “Tell [the people] to sit down on the green, grassy slope in groups of about fifty each.” So they sat down in groups of fifty or a hundred.

Then Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven and gave thanks to God. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. He also divided the fish for everyone to share. (The men alone, not including the women and children, numbered 5,000.)

And they all ate as much as they wanted. After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.” So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves.

When the people saw him do this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, “Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!” When Jesus saw that they were ready to force him to be their king, he slipped away into the hills by himself.

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