March 25, 2019
In Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 14, we read that when Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist, The Lord withdrew to a place of solitude, as He often did, to pray and most likely to weep in private over the earthly loss of His first cousin. As was the norm, the multitudes followed Him. Verse 13 informs us that The Lord departed by boat, but the crowd followed on foot—they took the long way around. When He came out to them, the Scripture tells us, as always, He had compassion on them and healed their sick.
When the evening arrived, His disciples came to Him and urged Him to send the crowd into the villages to buy food for themselves. But Jesus, about to use this as a teachable moment, told them to feed the multitude, themselves. Their response was that they only could find a lad’s lunch, consisting of five loaves and two fish, obviously insufficient for the mass of people that were there all day, perhaps 10 – 15 thousand people.
Jesus said to them, Bring them here to Me. And ordering the crowd to recline on the grass, Christ took that which is man’s insufficiency and blessed it and broke it and began the process of giving the broken pieces to the disciples to distribute to the multitude. The Scripture tells us that not only all were fed but were satisfied—there was plenty. In fact, there remained 12 baskets of unused broken pieces of miraculous provision, from the Hand of The Savior.
Of course, if this were modern-day, the headlines the following morning, would have read: Right-Wing Radicals Steal a Little Boys’ Lunch.
The truth of it all is that, Christ can use even a little boy’s lunch! The power is not in the provision—not in that which is being used, but in The One using it! It was not in the lunch, but in The Lord. We may think that we don’t have much to offer, to contribute, but God can take that which we have and use it, to His Glory, if we but bring it to Him.
That which He uses, He breaks, first.
The Lord blessed and broke the food, before giving it to His disciples, to distribute. We notice that He could have done this another way, but The Lord chose to use His disciples to get the provision to the masses. He had told them, you give them something to eat.
He supplies, we serve!
He then places the blessed and broken provision in the hands of His disciples.He chose to use the disciples in distributing the food. As they handed out that which was placed in their hands to distribute, upon returning, they found that there was more waiting in the Hands of the Master. Each time they returned, He gave them more to give out.
We must empty our hands!
The principle here is clear. They had no serving trays, but only the use of their hands, or perhaps the folds of their robes. Each time the disciples returned for more, more was waiting to be given. But they had to empty their hands before they could obtain more from His Hands. What do I have, in my possession, that God has provided for me to distribute, that I have not given out? Personally, I find that I must share that which God speaks to my heart about. I am not to let it remain unshared. I must empty my hands, before I can receive more to share with others. What has God placed into your hands that you could share with others to His Glory? We cannot go back for more until we give it away—we must empty our hands.
There was a surplus of miracle provision remaining.
They collected 12 baskets full of remaining food. This was not food-scraps. This was un-eaten food, that had been broken by the Hands of The Lord. This was to show that we cannot out-give God. He has plenty, as long as we empty our hands and return to Him for re=provision.