It was clear that Jesus was God’s Son on God’s mission, and people were drawn to Him. A huge crowd had begun to follow Him because of the miracles they had seen. When Jesus saw the great crowd that had gathered, He asked His disciples, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” Jesus was testing His disciples to see how they would respond. Would they look at the size of the problem and assume it was out of their hands or would they trust Jesus to show them the answer?
Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!”
Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”
– John 6:7-8 NLT
Unfortunately, the disciple’s answers to this oversized problem showed undersized faith! They were convinced that they could never have enough to feed all the people. They looked at the few loaves and couple of fish that one boy had and wondered, “What good is this little bit going to do?”
There they were, in the presence of the Son of God who had been performing miracles left and right, and they didn’t consider that He might have a plan. Jesus was fully aware there was no human solution, but He wanted to see some faith. He wanted His disciples to consider their resources and then give it all to Him to work wonders with. When the young boy in the crowd generously gave Jesus the little bit that he had, Jesus turned it into a feast for a crowd.
If the disciples had done things their way, they would’ve let their fear of the size of the problem get in the way of seeing Jesus work. They would’ve gone off in search of more money or food for the crowds. Or worse, they would’ve hoarded the little bit of food they had and sent the crowds away. Either way, they would’ve missed out on the miracle that Jesus had in store. When all was said and done, not only did Jesus feed more than 5,000 people with a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish – but there was still an abundance left over.
How often do we look at a problem and decide it’s just too big for us to make a difference? We decide since there is no way for us to solve it, we won’t even try. We decide not to give anything because what we have is too small to matter. But God’s word makes it clear that we are to give Him whatever we have and He will make up the difference. A little bit given in faith is an abundance in God’s hands.
When we let the fact that we don’t have much stop us from giving God what we do have, we miss out on the opportunity to participate in the kingdom work He has planned.
And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. – 2 Corinthians 9:8 NLT