And they all ate and were satisfied. Matthew 14:20 (ESV)
It had been a long day. The crowd of more than 5,000 men (plus women and children), had listened to Jesus all day and were undoubtedly tired and hungry. In fact, the disciples urged Jesus to send them on their way.
That is exactly what Jesus does not do, at least not yet. He tells the disciples to feed them. Feed them? Feed them! With what, pray tell? Didn't Jesus notice they didn't have the funds to feed that many people and even if they did, the area was not exactly teeming with fast food restaurants?
Then things became even more preposterous. An inquiry revealed that the only food in the crowd belonged to a boy with five loaves and two small fish. Apparently either no one had considered bringing along a snack just in case things went a bit long or if they had, it was long gone.
Now five loaves and two fish might not be enough for you or me to work with, in fact it isn't, but it was more than enough for Jesus. Before the miracle took place however, Jesus did three things.
This is what Jesus did but were the people required to do anything in order to receive what God had for them? Yes they did.
The first thing that was required of them was obedience. Although they had not as yet seen the miracle, although their need seemed impossible to meet, they had to be willing to obey Jesus. In doing so, they moved into position to receive the miracle.
The second thing required of the people was to receive it. In order to get what was offered, they had to accept it from the giver.
Finally, they needed to partake of it. It was not enough to have the bread in their hands. They had to eat it in order for it to be of any benefit to them.
All three of these things requires action on the part of the recipient in order to receive from God. This does not merely apply to physical needs or gifts, it applies to spiritual needs or gifts as well. God provides what we need, when we need it, whatever that may be but in order to "feast" upon them, we must obey, receive and "eat"!
So I have been thinking on this miracle over the past few weeks but the part of the miracle that is in my head is the 12 leftover baskets.
You see after the people were fed Jesus instructed the disciples to collect the leftovers, and they presented him with 12 baskets.
What happened those leftovers?
Can we take anything from that part of the account?
I think we can, you see there are a lot of people in this world who for one reason or another will feel like a leftover. Yet Jesus does see them and will pick them up!
nothing is discarded or worthless in Gods sight, He sees the smallest crumb.