Summary: The disciples didn’t recognize the miracle of the loaves and fishes as a miracle because they were still spiritually blind. How many times do we miss out on a blessing because we are in need of some Divine Illumination.
By Pastor Jim May
How often do we witness a miracle and don’t even see it as a miracle? How often does the Hand of God move in our lives and we don’t even see Him at work? How much do we miss because we not looking for it? God still moves in the lives of His people but how often do His people even recognize what He is doing?
This message today begins on a hillside near the town of Bethsaida. This little town was built along a river that flowed down to the Sea of Galilee. It was on that hillside that one of the great miracles of the Bible happened. That’s where Jesus blessed the fish and bread from one man’s lunch basket, and fed 5000 men plus the women and children. With 2 small fish and a few loaves of bread, under the direction of Jesus, every one ate all they wanted and then 12 baskets were left over.
What can we see in this miracle? What illumination does the Holy Spirit bring to your mind?
Does the Spirit tell you that this is a story of God’s power to provide whatever we need?
Does the Spirit tell you that God really cares and loves mankind?
Does the Spirit tell you that, if God can do that, then there is nothing that God can’t do?
Does the Spirit tell you that God didn’t stop creating after six days in the beginning but is still creating today?
Does the Spirit tell you that God was using this miracle to not only meet the needs of the people but as a test to help the disciples grow in their knowledge of Him?
Just what does the Spirit tell you and what do you see?
The fact is, that unless we are paying attention to what is happening, and unless the Holy Ghost opens our minds to see what God is doing, then we may not see anything at all.
So the question arises once again, “How much does God move in our lives, and how often does He perform miracles for us, but we don’t see it as a miracle because we are not in tune with what’s really going on?”
It appears that this is exactly what happened to the disciples as they went about breaking bread and fish and giving it to the 5000. They were so busy working to feed the people that they didn’t stop to think much about the miracle that was taking place right before their eyes.
They walked along breaking off a piece of bread, and then another, and then another; on and on they went, breaking off pieces of bread and fish, one by one, and still reaching back for more, and it was always there. Yet, in their work, they somehow didn’t see what was really going on.
I’m sure they wondered how there could be so much bread and fish from the little that they had begun with, but somehow it just didn’t click that they were witnessing a miracle.
You don’t see them start to shout for joy, or praise God for the miracle! They just kept breaking, dividing and passing it out without much thought.
Let’s read the account of this miracle in Mark 6:39-44, "And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass. And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties. 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. And they did all eat, and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes. And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men."
Did you sense an excitement in the crowd as they were all fed? Did you notice any unusual worship going on? It seems to me that the whole miracle was taken for granted. It’s as though neither the crowd, nor the disciples, even recognized that a miracle had happened right in front of their eyes!
How could that happen? How could they not see and understand that Jesus had done a miracle with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread?
The answer is this – they were too busy doing the work of God to see the miracle of God in operation, and they were too caught up in completing their task of feeding the people and missed the lesson that Jesus was trying to teach to them. They were so busy doing the work that they didn’t allow the Holy Spirit to let them see what was really going on!