Summary: We have been blessed to be a blessing. When we live in this truth we discover that God is a God of abundance.
Matthew 14:15-21 “God Provides”
We have been investigating miracles for almost two months. A complete definition of a miracle has not yet been achieved by us, but we can move in the direction of describing a miracle as God revealing himself and demonstrating his power out side of the box, or in a supernatural way.
Over the past several weeks, we have also seen that miracles come in all shapes and sizes. Some miracles are clear demonstrations of God’s power, like the casting out the legion of demons from the man, or the stilling of the storm. Others are centered on faith, like the healing of the Centurion’s servant and the woman with the hemorrhage. Still others, like the feeding of the five thousand address the issue of acting in obedience to God’s guiding.
LOVE AND HATE
A multitude of people had come out to hear Jesus and had been with him all day. It was nearing dusk and the people were growing tired and hungry. The disciples suggested to Jesus that he send them into the nearby towns in order to find something to eat and perhaps a place to sleep. Jesus would have no part of their suggestion.
The contrast between the disciples and Jesus is interesting. The disciples did not want to be bothered by the crowd and the needs of the crowd. They wanted Jesus to themselves. Jesus, however, was sensitive to the crowds needs and understood that if he had the ability to minister to them then that is exactly what he would do.
THE DISCIPLES SHARE
Jesus instructs that disciples to minister to the crowd and take it upon themselves to feed the crowd. The disciples immediately focus on the fact that they don’t have enough.
One of the lessons of this miracle is that even though we may have the equivalent of two fish and five loaves of bread, that is enough to meet the needs of the people we meet and the situations in which we find ourselves. We are challenged to use what we have been given in the service of others.
One of the key themes throughout the Scriptures is that we have been blessed to be a blessing. God gives to us so that we can give to others, and a turning point in our faith and our spiritual maturity comes when we stop asking what we can get out of religion and God and ask instead “How can we serve?”
Whenever we focus on ministry rather than on what we have or don’t have, needs are met, God’s power is demonstrated and miracles happen.
One of the greatest struggles have the People of God have is to see God’s abundance. It is easier to see what we don’t have than what we do have, and we always seem to be reminding God of what God hasn’t given us, rather than thanking God for what we have received.
Examples abound of God’s abundance. Look at the stars, dandelion seeds--these are demonstrations of abundance. There are hundreds and thousands of other examples of God’s abundance. God has blessed us richly.
Some may complain that God still hasn’t given them everything they want—or what they think they need. God does focus on the important things, and sometimes we have different priorities than God.
The bottom line is that God does provide for us abundantly.
Jesus blessed and broke the fish and the bread of the disciples and used it to meet the needs of the crowd. He took the gifts of the disciples and used them to touch lives and glorify God.
We go forward today knowing that God will provide for us abundantly and will also use us abundantly.