There are few greater honors than was given to the men and women who followed Jesus in Galilee and on the road to Jerusalem.
They were given the honor of working with Jesus, but they REALLY worked.
In today’s YouTube video I asked Rudy Ross how many people he has served at one time.
Rudy has served far more people than me at banquets, but neither of us can come near the 5,000 that the disciples served.
A Banquet in the Wilderness
Luke recorded a very stressful day in the lives of the disciples.
— They had returned from their first experience of healing and preaching.
— They learned that the great prophet John the Baptist had been executed by Herod.
— Instead of resting, they assisted Jesus with a crowd of people who have came to listen to him and be healed.
I imagine the disciples are exhausted from the work and the emotions of the activity swirling around them. They are ready for a break and attempt to tactfully tell Jesus that it’s “quitting time.”
They said, “Send the crowd away, so that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside, to lodge and get provisions; for we are here in a deserted place” (Luke 9.12).
Instead of giving them a break, Jesus told them, “You give them something to eat” (Luke 9.13).
They may have hoped it was “quitting time,” but the Boss had more for them to do.
Has God ever asked you to do something that you felt was completely beyond your ability or comfort zone?
If this has happened to you, then you can relate to the feeling of the disciples.
“We have no more than five loaves and two fish — unless we are to go and buy food for all these people” (Luke 9.13).
The largest banquet I have attended had approximately 1,000 guests. I can’t imagine being tasked with the job of serving 5,000 people after a long day of ministry.
The disciples didn’t have a labor-free job with Jesus, but they had the joy of helping him host a banquet in the wilderness.
— Luke 9.14-17 – For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of about fifty each.”
They did so and made them all sit down.
And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.
And all ate and were filled. What was left over was gathered up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.
God wants to work with humans.
Jesus had the power and authority to calm a raging storm on a lake. He could have cared for the hunger, thirst, and tiredness of the crowd all by himself.
His work with the disciples reveals a major principle: God wants to work with humans.
Jesus may have provided 99.9% of the power, but he required the .1% from his followers. They gave him what little they had and he turned it into abundance.
I recently came across a novel, but awesome, thought about all that Jesus borrowed during his time on earth.
— Mary loaned him her womb to be born.
— Peter loaned him his boat so he could teach the multitudes.
— Women loaned him their possessions to support his ministry.
— Someone loaned Jesus the bread and fish for the feeding of 5000.
— Every time Jesus traveled across the lake, it was in a borrowed boat.
— When he rode into Jerusalem, it was on a borrowed donkey.
— He was buried in a tomb reserved for another man.
None of this borrowing was necessary, but for one reason. God wants to involve us in his work.
He may provide 99.9% of the power, but he wants our .1%.
A Personal Response
I have applied the message of the Feeding of the 5000 to my life on many occasions.
With great frequency I have told the Lord that I don’t have what it takes, but I know that he does.
My prayer is, “Lord I bring you my little. Please make it abundant.”
Praise God for the many times he has answered this prayer.
I’d like to encourage you to pray this simple prayer when faced with any situation. It doesn’t have to be challenging. Just try it out.
I enjoy visiting with Rudy Ross about the Bible. Each week, we meet for a few hours and video our conversations.
Rudy brings Jewish heritage to his faith in Jesus. He has read and studied the Bible for years. You can see the videos on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.
Please email your prayer request to firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.