You Give Them
“He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?” Mark 6:37
“And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.” Mark 6:41
We know this passage as the feeding of the 5,000. There were likely over 20,000 in total since the Bible says there were 5,000 men, but either way, what a miracle! Jesus took the loaves and fishes, multiplied them and performed an unforgettable miracle that day. Yet amongst this great miracle, for some reason Jesus tells His disciples to give the multitude the food. Christ could’ve provided food for everyone, He didn’t need anyone’s help. Do you really think that God needed a couple of fishes and pieces of bread to feed the people when it was He who made all the animals and food? Do you really think that God needed the disciples to figure out the situation or to pass out the food when He was the one who put the universe into existence? God could’ve done it by Himself, without any human assistance, but He chose to use man’s assistance. God did not lack the power, intelligence or strength. God can do it without any help, but God does not choose to work that way. Here are a few lessons we can learn from why God told the disciples to give out the food:
- They needed to see for themselves that God was the One at work.
It is God who does the work, but sometimes we need a little reminder. I’m sure when the disciples were told to give food to the multitude the first time, they panicked, thinking it was impossible to feed so many. Once the Lord performed the miracle of multiplication with the food, I believe the disciples had big smiles as they passed out the food thinking, “Look what my Savior just did.” There was no doubt who did the miracle. It was fully accomplished by Jesus without anyone’s help. And to this day our Lord allows us to have part of His great work so that we may know all that is accomplished is because He is a great God.
- God chooses to use man to do His work.
Christ multiplied the food without man’s help and He could’ve passed it out without man’s help. He could’ve use the birds of the sky to carry the food to each individual, yet he chose to use man to do His work. First we must realize that it is His work, just like it is His church (Matthew 16:18). But we should also realize that He’ll allow us to be a part of His great work just as He did with the disciples that day. It is God who saves a soul, but He uses us to give out the Good News. It is God that sends a missionary to the field, but He uses us to raise them as children and support them with the money He has provided us. It is God who gives us influence, but He lets us use that influence to take people to church, disciple Christians to maturity and love them into serving God. You see, it’s all God, but He uses what He has given us for His great glory. We would be utterly foolish to receive from God and not use it for His Kingdom and His purpose.
So the conclusion is two folded: Do you want to be used of God? Are you using what God has given you for His purpose? The first step is the desire, then you take action. Take inventory of what God has given you (influence, abilities, finances or opportunities) and the conclusion is that everything is for His glory. So the next time God shows you the need and gives you the opportunity, remember that you (like the disciples) can be the one who can give to those in need (like the hungry multitude) and God receives the glory.