But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people. ~Luke 9:13
In the Christian life, God will frequently test us with challenges that are intended to stretch our dependence, faith, praying, and trust in Him. Most of us tend to think in terms of what we have and not of what He is able to do. As a result, we can become easily frustrated and perturbed about what we do not have. We have an example of this kind of testing in our devotion this morning. The disciples told Jesus “We have no more....”
We see the request.
"But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat.” It had been a very long and tiring day of ministry. There were thousands of people who came to Jesus in a very large, desert area outside of Bethsaida. As evening had come, the disciples approached our Lord and told Him to send the multitude away to the neighboring towns to get their own food. They did not say this so much because they were concerned for the people, but, more likely, because they were tired and wanted the day to end. Jesus responded to them, “Give ye them to eat.” Jesus, in effect, commanded His disciples to make it their responsibility to feed them. His request was firm and was expected to be fulfilled.
We see the reaction.
“And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people.” They reacted by telling Jesus, “We have no more....” “You’re telling us to feed all these people, but all we have are five loaves and two fishes.” We see their shortsightedness. They considered the Lord’s request from what they didn’t have. “We have no more....” We miss out on many opportunities when we tell the Lord, “We have no more.” We see their shortcoming. This was an opportunity for the disciples to let the Lord show them how, but, instead, they considered what they did not have. We see their shame. It was a shame that they did not see the faith opportunity in the Lord’s request. Be careful that, when the Lord calls on us to do something bigger than us, we do not say, “We have no more.”
We see the reason.
They reacted the way they did because of a lack of concern and a lack of faith. They told the Lord, “Send the multitude away.” They were tired of serving the people. They were tired of having to trust in the Lord. They reasoned that the only way the multitude could be fed would be by going to town and buying meat for all the people. They were trying to solve the matter the way many of us do. Hudson Taylor wisely said, “God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply." The “except we buy” should have been “except the Lord.”
We see the responsibility.
The Lord took over after their response that they had no more than five loaves and two fishes. When God places a challenge before us that is substantially larger than our resources, it is for the purpose of teaching us how to get God to work though us. First, we must pray and surrender whatever we have into His hands. Second, we must have faith that God has the power, the resources, and the ability to multiply our little for His glory. Third, we must be available to be distributors of His grace and resources. Fourth, after we have prayed and placed everything into God’s hands, we must let Him work. Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes, fed the multitude, and, thereafter, took up twelve baskets of the leftover fragments. Our “no more” is the opportunity for the Lord to show us that He has much more.
Have a faith-dependent God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 1 Chronicles 3-5