Summary: Just as Jesus did the impossible in feeding the multitude with five barley loaves and two small fish, He can do the impossible in our lives when we rely completely upon Him.
When Jesus Did The Impossible
In the Sixth Chapter of his gospel, John records a unique incident in the ministry of our Saviour. This event not only confirms the deity of Christ, but also gives us a thrilling insight into the power of Jesus to do the impossible. This miracle is the only one recorded in all four gospels. It is a miracle that is performed not only in the presence of His disciples, but it involves the personal participation of thousands of other people as well. If we examine the miracle, we can only conclude that it is an absolute miracle. It does not involve the alteration of a natural phenomenon. It is not based upon the setting aside of some malignant condition. In this miracle Jesus does what only a Creator God can do. He in essence brings into existence huge quantities of food that did not exist previously. That is impossible in anyone’s book. Let us look what is involved in God doing the impossible.
Perhaps it would be good for each of us to pause here for a moment and look deeply into our own hearts and ask ourselves just what is the most impossible challenge we face in our Christian life today? As we seriously consider the matter, would it be possible to place the value of that impossibility in the equation of God’s power and possibility, and find a real and lasting solution that is pleasing to God? If we are not facing such challenges at this moment, we only need to wait awhile and we surely shall. If we are climbing a little mole hill in our Christian walk today, we can be sure we will probably be struggling up the steep incline of an impossible mountain tomorrow. Just how can we deal with such impossible challenges? Could Jesus still do that which is impossible for us today?
THE IMPOSSIBLE BECOMES POSSIBLE WHEN WE RELY UPON OUR REDEEMER. As the story begins we find a little band of tired and weary followers gathered around Jesus on a mountain side. Why have they come aside for some rest and relaxation with their Savior at this particular moment? Looking back through the gospel accounts of earlier events we find that they had been called out and sent forth into all the villages of the surrounding areas. Their mission was to reach into every little corner and crevice with the message of redemption.
They were commissioned to preach the message of repentance and of the arrival of the King and His gospel of the kingdom. They are footsore. They have been through terribly tense and trying times. Anyone who has gone from place to place and house to house with the good news could confirm they had been involved in the most physically exhausting and emotionally draining experience one might imagine.
Now a loving and compassionate Master calls them aside to spend some quality time alone with Him. As He sets His face toward Calvary, they need rest and recuperation for the coming days of challenge ahead. They have been in an intensive "people" ministry. They need to be away from the press of crowds. They desperately need healing and help for the emotional and psychological bruising that is always a part and parcel of such ministry. Only the Savior can give them what they need at this hour.
But then Jesus looks up and sees this enormous crowd of people coming toward them. If we correlate all the gospel accounts of this event, we can only conclude that there were at least eight to ten thousand people swarming up that mountain side. Imagine the energy they were emitting and the noise they were making! Just what everyone needs when they are trying to rest and recuperate! Since Jesus and His followers are always in the needs meeting business, imagine the challenge the sight of this approaching crowd brought to this small band on the mountainside.
It’s not very long before a critical need becomes all too apparent. The crowd is hungry and there is no ready source of food. Seems there’s nothing within miles of this lonely and barren place. No fast food outlets. No supermarkets. Not even a convenience store. If there are farmers or householders around with a sufficient supply, the disciples don’t know about it. It truly is an impossible situation!
His followers see the impossibility of the situation immediately. Their response could be characterized as an exercise in holy hand wringing. "Woe are we! What are we going to do now!" Is this not all too often the predictable response of those of us who are His followers today as well? Are we prone to limit the Holy One of Israel by saying, "There’s no way out of this predicament. There’s no possible answer to this dilemma."