“Last week I introduced a series that I will be running in the next couple weeks titled “Beckoned to walk on water” covering the miracle performed by Jesus in Matthew 14 22-36 (Beckoned to walk on water!). Today, I am glad to share with you within the series blog post 1 – Before the storm!”
I will be looking at the event that happened before the disciples got into the boat.
Matthew 14 20-24
Everyone ate and had enough. Then the disciples took up twelve baskets full of what was left over. The number of men who ate was about five thousand, not counting the women and children.
Then Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people away. After sending the people away, he went up a hill by himself to pray. When evening came, Jesus was there alone; and by this time the boat was far out in the lake, tossed about by the waves, because the wind was blowing against it… (GNT)
“Then” [often used as a sentence connector] is defined as: later, next, afterwards, subsequently
Before the miracle of Jesus walking on the water [Matthew 14 22-36] is the feeding of the 5000 on five loaves of bread and two fish by Jesus [Matthew 14 13-21; Mark 6:30-44].
Reflecting on the miracle that happened at that desolate place; several instances draws my attention.
Looking at Matthew 14 13-21 and Mark 6 30-44 we see:
- The feeding of the 5000 in a desolate place. – What is a desolate place?
- The mind-set of the disciples. – As we see in Matthew 14 15, when evening came, the disciples said to Jesus; “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” (ESV)
- Immediately after gathering the left overs, He made the disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. – Matthew 14 22 ESV [Emphasis added]
As I was contemplating on the word to write about this miracle that Jesus performed by multiplying these 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish to feed 5000 men and had leftovers of 12 baskets, the Lord dropped into my spirit His word behind the message. I have read this miracle and heard sermons about it on countless times, but had always missed this revelation and was astonished when God highlighted these verses to me – the reason behind the multiplication.
35 When it was getting late, his disciples came to him and said, “It is already very late, and this is a lonely place. 36 Send the people away, and let them go to the nearby farms and villages in order to buy themselves something to eat.”
37 “You yourselves give them something to eat,” Jesus answered. They asked, “Do you want us to go and spend two hundred silver coins on bread in order to feed them?” 38 So Jesus asked them, “How much bread do you have? Go and see.” When they found out, they told him, “Five loaves and also two fish.” – Mark 6 35-38 ESV
The dictionary defines desolate as:
- (of a place) uninhabited and giving an impression of bleak emptiness.
Feeling or showing great unhappiness or loneliness.
Jesus multiplied the loaves to prove a point to His disciples. As the Word of God says; He is our provider and we are to take Him by His word. If God says He will do something, He will surely do it regardless of how much you have in your hand. He is the master of multiplication; your duty is to obey him and believe in His son, Jesus Christ that He can do it. That is all!
Jesus asked the disciples how much they had and they presented to him 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.
All He needs from you is the trust that He can do all things regardless of the state. God gives to you what you have and you give to Him what you have. The essence of the multiplication is to show you that if you give to him what you have, He will make use of it. He does not need you to give Him tons of money or have huge resources in-order to reach out to the world.
He gives to you his resources in the portion that is needed. Whatever you have in your household, God will make use of it. he does not need your ability to multiple; he just need you just as you are, in your humble state to deliver his message. If you have 2, 5, 10, or a million, He will make use it. Whatever your strength can hold, as long as you offer it to Him first, He will bless and multiply it.
All God needs from you, is to be obedient and listen to His word as He approaches you and dedicate yourself to Him. The little you have is more than what is needed to reach out to God’s people.
Do not fret yourself over resources, because it is God who provides them. Your need is in His hands. All God need you to do is to obey His command. The rest is up to Him; leave it in God’s hands.
How the church will grow is in His hands?
How you are going to reach out to the crowd, is in His hands?
How divided the church is today, is in His hands?
Leave everything in His hands, because He is God!
39 Jesus then told his disciples to make all the people divide into groups and sit down on the green grass. 40 So the people sat down in rows, in groups of a hundred and groups of fifty. 41 Then Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish, looked up to heaven, and gave thanks to God. He broke the loaves and gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. – Mark 6 39-41
- He questioned and tested his disciples faith. – “you yourselves give them something to eat!”
- How can we, when we only have 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish? How can that be possible?
- Then he showed them how to be sufficient in a need. He told them to present the little that they have to him. Present whatever you have to me and I will multiply it to be sufficient.
- He then took the loaves and fish from them, gave thanks to God, and broke the bread in pieces and made it sufficient for the disciples to share among the crowd.
How to surrender to God, is in His hands!
The lives of the people are in the hands of God, and not yours, just leave them to Him. Just give to Him what you have and He will see to it that it multiplies in His name. Judgement is not in your hands but in the hands of God, so are the lives of people. They dwell in him and him in them.
Watch over His flock and He will guide them into His storehouse!
Jesus fed the 5000 men because He wanted to show the disciples how His Kingdom would be formed. He demonstrated His will to them in the Parable of the feeding of 5000 men with 5 loaves of bread and 2 small fish.
In Mark 6:34, When Jesus got out of the boat, he saw this large crowd, and his heart was filled with pity for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began to teach them many things.
- Jesus heart went out to them because they were lost. They had no sense of belonging and no-one to direct them to the truth and show them love.
- So he began to teach them many things regarding His Kingdom i.e. sowing seed in them.
The giving of the bread and fish to Jesus is an indication of who we are in His eyes. We take from Him and then give to the crowd. He deals with the crowd, not us. He has subjected us to the crowd and not the other way round.
Give what you have to the Lord and He will multiply it for you. Serve Him with all your heart, regardless of how much you can give because it is through this giving that He will bless you with His love.
Do not try to be self-sufficient. God is the Provider!
Give to the Lord the 5 loaves of bread and the two fish you have in your hand and He will bless them and make them multiply.
The world and all that is in it belong to the Lord; the earth and all who live on it are his. – Psalms 24 1
He is the maker of the earth and all that is in it.
38 So Jesus asked them, “How much bread do you have? Go and see.”
That was a profound word; how much bread do you have? Go and see.
You do not need to spend two hundred silver coins in order to feed the crowd. Give me what you have and I will create my kingdom out of it. The feeding of the 5000 brought about the harvest in the end.
They fed the crowd [5000 men] on five loaves of bread and 2 fish and yielded 12 baskets full of leftovers [at harvest time].
In the end he will reap the 12 baskets full of leftovers.
42 Everyone ate and had enough. 43 Then the disciples took up twelve baskets full of what was left of the bread and the fish. – Mark 6 42-43
How do I apply these principles to my life now?
After breaking the bread and fish, Jehovah Jireh (The Lord who provides) offers the bread and fish to the disciples first to feed the crowd.
He did not do the feeding himself, but left you in-charge of the feeding. Strange, He did not leave you in charge of dismissing the crowds after feeding them.
He made it a point to you that He is in-charge of the crowd after you have fed them. He will handle their troubles. How they use the Word you have fed them with is up to Him, God; just feed them with His word and He will do the rest – work on their hearts.
He does not need much to reach out to his people; He just needs your dedication to Him.
God is saying to us that He does not need our wealth or anything of that sort, but our dedication to his word.
Jesus is telling his disciples to have a different mindset. Gone are the days when you do things by your own strength. You need a mind-set where your thinking is all about Grace. “Grace” has come and “Grace” is with you. Abundance is your portion! Give to God what you have and he will bless it.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. – 2 Corinthians 12 9
Now that we’ve finished talking about “Before the storm”, come back Thursday, when I’ll share with you “Tossed about by the waves” – Matthew 14 22-24.
Live by his word!