Summary: Our little offerings/gifts become mighty tools when offered to Jesus in obedient service

¡§They do not need to go away. YOU give them something to eat¡¨ Mt 14:16


As you get to know your Bibles better you¡¦ll find there are all kinds of echoes of OT things¡K stories¡K in the NT

- often with a sense of ¡¥fulfilment¡¦

This resonates with 2 OT stories

1- about 1400 BC. Moses and the moaners in the desert. ¡¥what about food, Moses¡K God!¡¦

And God provides: manna and Quail. Moses says this:

8 Moses also said, "You will know that it was the LORD when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the LORD."

2- A prophet called Elisha 8C BC.

2 Ki 4:42. Hungry crowds gather round him during a time of famine

- man gives them 20 small loaves

2KI 4:43 "How can I set this before a hundred men?" his servant asked.

But Elisha answered, "Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the LORD says: `They will eat and have some left over.

But in the OT there¡¦s the hint of greater things to come.

- Moses (Deut 18:15) prophesies that God is going to raise up a further prophet like him. (Jews believed: Messiah)

- Jews were waiting for one like Moses (law) and David (king) and Elijah and Elisha (prophets)

Can understand what Jesus¡¦ appearance on mt of transfiguration means in a few chapters (Mt17)

- but He¡¦s showing it already in this passage.

o Jesus echoes these OT miracles

„X But fulfils them- because ¡¥one greater than Moses and Elijah¡¦ is here

This time

- it¡¦s God. ¡§You will know it is the LORD when He gives you all the bread you want¡¨

- it¡¦s not 20 loaves for 100. It¡¦s 5 loaves for 5000+

o with an abundance left over

And there¡¦s one other big difference, too.

- in the OT miracles were occasional, specific & special. Moses & Elisha did them. Special people did them sporadically.

- This is a NT kind of miracle

o The mantle is passed on to all His followers. To ¡¥anyone who believes in me will do these things¡¦ (Jn 14:12)

o They do not need to go away- YOU give them something

„X All 12 of you! YOU do it.

Even before Pentecost & the pouring out of the HS on ALL believers- Jesus is laying down the NT principle of the anointing & priesthood of ALL believers

1PE 2:4 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

1PE 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

YOU give them something. YOU can do it. Through me

- because one greater than Moses & Elijah is with you (and now- IN you)

Individual involvement.


But, man, can we relate to how the 12 feel about it.

It¡¦s not that they aren¡¦t compassionate. They ARE compassionate- it¡¦s just they have crisis of confidence that THEY can do anything to help

- so best that the folks go to Tescos

o after all- it is late, dark¡K and they¡¦re ravenous

They are being realists. But there¡¦s a feeling of inadequacy there, too

- ¡§I can¡¦t do anything¡¨

- actually: this might help you understand some folks better. I have thought on numerous occasions when someone has said ¡¥THAT person doesn¡¦t care¡¦.

o They DO care. They just don¡¦t know how to help you, that¡¦s all. (maybe because you need to help yourself)

It has nothing to do with compassion-rather a crisis of confidence

- can you relate to that?

But you know something- this situation is not a crisis. It¡¦s a test, from Jesus

- MANY things in life are a test. It is helpful to see them as that

- And God doesn¡¦t test us ¡¥for testings sake¡¦¡K to make matters difficult¡K to make us squirm

- Jn 6:6 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

- He tests us so that

o He can provide

o We will be proven obedient

o HE can be proven faithful

And so our confidence in Him¡K and self (through him) grows

- for (Phil 4:13) 3 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

That¡¦s fascinating, eh? Jesus set this up as a test- to grow them

- they may not have passed!

- What are you facing that you need to see as a test?

o Brings purpose to it. Makes you determined to pass it.

Life has its tests. Face them Jesus¡¦ way and He will be proven faithful

- death is the ultimate test. Similarly- face it Jesus¡¦ way and He will be proven faithful

Jesus knows they can do it. Through Him. He has brought them to this point

- Jesus knows YOU can do it. He has brought you to this point

o NOT chance.

- Illustr: finished ¡¥bill Bryson: A short history of nearly everything¡¦

- Scientists are baffled by the priority of life. It¡¦s like everything since things began has conspired to make life on earth¡K and continue it, NOW. By law of statistics- shouldn¡¦t exist. Should now evanesce, by entropy cease to exist. But doesn¡¦t (therefore have to cogitate that there are billions of other parallel universes that DO cease to exist to make ours statistically probable- which to me highlights even more the uniqueness of our existence). And the uniqueness of YOUR existence. Go back just 8 generations and YOU existing like you do necessitates 16,384 ancestors combining in the way they did to produce YOU. One variation- and you would not be you. (p352)

- No- GOD has brought you to this point. Working through the permutations & combinations of statistic, genetics and life process

o He has engineered you for this.

o YOU give them something to eat.

¡§But I can¡¦t do it!¡¨ you cry

- so did Moses.

o When he winged, similarly, to God- God said

EX 4:2 Then the LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?"

"A staff," he replied.

EX 4:3 The LORD said, "Throw it on the ground."

Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake

God took what Moses had in His hand and made it a supernatural tool for Him. God didn¡¦t so much uses Moses- as His obedience

- and Moses confidence grew¡K and he lost his stutter


And that¡¦s what happens here. God takes the obedient offering of a little boy, and 12 disciples

- and feeds 5000 + by it

Listen- I¡¦m not just ¡¥sermonising¡¦. These are principles of scripture

- God takes Gideon and makes his offering mighty

- God takes Saul, anoints him, and uses him

- 1 Sam 10:6 The Spirit of the LORD will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. 7 Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.

Little fish become whales in God¡¦s hands¡K mustard seeds of faith giant trees sheltering birds¡K seed scattered on the ground becomes a harvest

- because of God¡¦s power and faithfulness

- (Illustr: Alan door knocking ¡¥you don¡¦t HAVE to sign up now!¡¦)

57 Cents: A sobbing little girl stood near a small church from which she had been turned away because it "was too crowded."

"I can¡¦t go to Sunday School," she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by. Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the reason

Taking her by the hand, he took her inside and found a place for her in the Sunday School class.

The child was so touched that she went to bed that night thinking of the children who have no place to worship Jesus.

Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings and the parents called for the kind-hearted pastor, who had befriended their daughter, to handle the final arrangements. As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled purse was found which seemed to have been rummaged from some trash dump.

Inside was found 57 cents and a note scribbled in childish handwriting. It read, "This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday school."

For two years she had saved for this offering of love. When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would

Carrying this note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion. He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building

But the story does not end there! A newspaper learned of the story and published it.

It was read by a property developer who offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands. When told that the church could not pay so much, he offered it for a selling price of 57 cents.

Church members made large subscriptions. Checks came from far and wide. Within five years the little girl¡¦s gift had increased to $250,000.00 - a huge sum for that time (near the turn of the century).

Her unselfish love had paid large dividends.

When you are in the city of Philadelphia, look up Temple Baptist Church, with a seating capacity of 3,300, and Temple University, where hundreds of students are trained.

Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital, and at a Sunday School building which houses hundreds of Sunday scholars, so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday school time.

In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of the sweet face of the little girl whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history.

Alongside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor, Dr. Russell H. Conwell, author of the book Acres of Diamonds.

From "There Was More Than Enough" by Scott Sharpes

Little becomes large when offered to God

¡§They don¡¦t have to go away- YOU give them something to eat ¡§

I dunno- maybe you think you can¡¦t teach kids in Fresh or COGS. Not up to it

- ¡¥what do you have in your hand?¡¦. Give what you can. God will do the rest. In time¡K after perseverance you¡¦ll see fruit

feel inadequate about this Alpha (or your HG starting one in future)?

- listen! THIS is what the HS came for ¡¥you will receive power¡K and you will be my witnesses!¡¨

o don¡¦t worry about a thing. Be obedient. Seek God. And don¡¦t worry about the words you¡¦ll be given

o have dropped a few clangers and God¡¦s grace has overcome it!

„X He Works in spite of us!

Your job. Can¡¦t cope? ¡§Send me away¡K put me out to grass¡¨

- God knows about your circumstances. It¡¦s not chance.

- You CAN do all things through him who strengthens you

Feel you can¡¦t help someone who¡¦s broken?

- You give them something to eat! People want compassion, community and communication- not always answers

- As longs as you¡¦re not doing it from YOUR need (must cause people to find strength in God)¡K ¡§You give them a cup of tea and cuddle¡¨

Actually- how we serve is often an issue of feet, hands, heart & head

- feet- where ARE you now. What are your circumstances. What are the needs?

- Hands- what are your gifts. Technical, practical, spiritual

o Then YOU can serve in those areas

- Heart- if there¡¦s an area you have a big heart for- maybe you should offer your ¡¥bread¡¦ there? We can always train you

- Head- does your head tell you there¡¦s a need?

o YOU give them something to eat

Any or all of these things might lead you to offer bread in that area.