Mark 6: 35-37
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. Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat. But he answered, ‘You give them something to eat.
2 Peter 1: 3
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
The disciples are faced with an overwhelming need. Thousands of hungry men, women and children and seemingly no possible means of feeding them. Their solution – send the people away. Sadly that has been the attitude of much of the church over the centuries. When faced with deep need and impossible situations we offer no answers or solutions. We are more aware of our inability and inadequacy than God’s ability and abundance. That is never Jesus’ response:
“But he answered, ‘You give them something to eat.’” (v. 37)
The disciples ask Jesus to do something and he replies: ‘No, you do it yourself.” That’s what I think he often says to each of his followers today: “You feed them. You give them something to eat. You meet the need.”
I wonder how often we pray for situations, asking God to do something, when He has already given us the power, authority and responsibility to do it ourselves. The Kingdom of God is within us. The Holy Spirit empowers us. The resources of Heaven are available to us.
Jesus is trying to get the disciples to go beyond the limitations of their own ability and to now see everything from a renewed mindset of what God can do through them.
From a purely human viewpoint, they’re right – they don’t have enough. But rewind a few verses in Mark 6 and remember what they’ve just been reporting to Jesus - healings, deliverances, miracles. They’re no longer living from a merely human viewpoint. They’ve already experienced supernatural power working through them and miraculous provision being made available to them.
Jesus wants them (and us) to see every problem, not through the lens of human limitation, but from Heaven’s perspective. Not to focus on earthly lack but to depend on Kingdom abundance.
God has chosen to work through His people. He longs to partner with His children to bring Heaven to earth.
There’s a story about a man who bought an old plot of waste ground, worked really hard and in five years had turned it into a magnificent garden. People came from everywhere to admire it. One day the pastor of a church came by, saw the garden and thought it was fabulous. The pastor and his wife were introduced to the gardener. Shaking his hand, the pastor remarked to the gardener, “You must be so thankful that the Lord has blessed you with this beautiful garden.”
The gardener replied with a small smile, “Yes, I am. If it wasn’t for the sunshine and the rain, and the miracle of the seeds, the soil and the seasons, there would be no garden at all.” Then he continued, “But you know, you should have seen this place a couple of years ago when God had it all to himself.”
God works through people. It’s always been the same. Just read through the Bible. Any time God wants something done He raises up men and women to do the job with Him.
We need to grasp that and get away from false humility that says: “It wasn’t me – it was all God.” I understand the sentiment behind that. However, God’s resources and provision don’t generally fall down from the sky. They are released through ordinary people who know what God has given them. They grasp who they are and what they carry – and they give it away, releasing it wherever there is need.
Think through some of your prayers today. Might you already hold the answer in your hands?