Summary: Do you have problems that are almost impossible to fix, your Father in Heaven can help. This sermon shows that even the Apsotles were reluctant to ask for His help.
PROBLEM SOLVING 101
(All my sermons use illustrations found at www.sermoncentral.com and all scripture is NIV unless otherwise noted) (Small portions of Max Lucado’s “Every Day Deserves a Chance” are used in this sermon.)
Ever had a problem and just thought to yourself, “what in blazing hills am I going to do about this?” I know I have, most of you have been there, and if not, you probably will be before your life on earth is over. Rest assured you are not the only one that runs into problems and has no clue what to do. I think the disciples ran into problems as they followed Jesus during His ministry. If you have your Bible with you this morning, please turn with me to Mark chapter 6, we will look at a story almost everyone is familiar with. The feeding of the 5,000 and let us look at this story from a different perspective today. See this story through the eyes of the Apostles and the problem they are presented with. Mark 6:30-37 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." 32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. 33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. 35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. "This is a remote place," they said, "and it's already very late. 36 Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat." 37 But he answered, "You give them something to eat." They said to him, "That would take eight months of a man's wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?"
WOW, a problem is seen and a problem is solved, but let us gleam from this story how unsolvable problems are solved. The Apostles, God’s chosen men, come back to Jesus after He had sent them out, 2 by 2. They were excited about the results of their first mission trip. The reported ALL they had done and taught, but when they returned to Jesus He was a little busy. The scripture tells us that it was like Grand Central Station, “so many people coming and going” and the Apostles had not even had a chance to eat yet. I know the first time I did a mission trip was into Mexico, although we ate 3 meals a day, it was usually beans, rice and tortillas. SO the first thing I wanted when we returned to America was a fat, juicy, cheeseburger. The Apostles were hungry and tired and Jesus says, “Let’s jump in the boat and find somewhere we can grab a bite and get some rest.” BUT, by now, they have the celebrity status of rock stars, and the people recognize them, and like girls at a Beetle’s concert, the crowd runs up ahead and gets to the place of rest, before Jesus and His Apostles do.
Now the scripture tells us that when Jesus saw these people, He did not get upset, but rather, He had compassion on them for they were like sheep without someone to guide and direct them. NOW, remember we are looking at this from the perspective of the Apostles, they had just spent a good deal of time working, spreading the Gospel message, they were tired and hungry. Jesus was taking them out for supper, and ALL these people were creating a problem. SO the Apostles start looking at the situation and they say, We are in the middle of NO WHERE. It is getting late, and they think the best course of action to deal with this problem is, “SEND THEM AWAY.” The Apostles are thinking, “look Lord, these people are starting to become a problem here, they are pushing in on our time, they followed us to a remote place and they have not been fed, send them away and tell them to go buy themselves some food.” Then Jesus throw a monkey wrench in the operation by saying in verse 37 “You give them something to eat.” WHOA!! We just got done working, we are tired, we are hungry, we have no money, we are in the middle of NO WHERE, and you want us to feed this crowd of 5,000 men? I think the Apostles get their first lesson in Stress Management here. Look at how they answer Jesus, “That would take 8 months of pay to do that!” “Are you saying we should spend that much money to get this done?” Have you ever felt like the Apostles did here? Have you paid all your bills only to have your vehicle break down and had no money to fix it? Have you ever given your tithe and then had no money left for food? Have you ever bent over backwards for your children only to get that dreaded phone call, “Mr. Jones we have your son here at the police station.?” We have all encountered these kind of problems, but the solution is right in front of us. God does not expect us to solve the problem on our own. If our computer broke down and your father was Bill Gates, would you ask, “What do I do now?” If our car broke down and your father was Richard Petty would you ask, I wonder what I should do? If we were hungry and didn’t know how to cook, and our father was Bobby Flay would we ask, I wonder if there are some Ramen Noodles nearby?