Tonight I'm pondering the feeding of my crowd...
This is a flashback. Tomorrow I'll post the fresh word piggybacked onto this.
Jesus is the Bread of Life.
He fed the 5,000 in order to demonstrate who he is.
"When the people saw this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, "Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!" John 6:14
There are so many truths to be learned from this one miracle.
Have you ever felt like there were masses of people around you all needing something, all needing too many things for you to supply at one time, things you couldn't give?
I feel this way all too often. My husband, my children and those in my sphere of influence who make up each close relationship in my life all need things from me. Sometimes just five hungry people overwhelm me. I can't imagine five thousand!
This must have been how the disciples felt when Jesus told them to feed five thousand hungry people who had come to hear Jesus teach. They must have been thinking, "No way!" Actually, they almost said it. "Philip replied, 'It would take a small fortune to feed them!'" John 6:7
So many times we figure the task God is asking us to do is impossible so we proclaim to God how hard it is and we stop. We do nothing.
When Jesus asked Philip how to feed all those people, He already knew what He was going to do. He was only asking to test Philip. Wow! He didn't really expect an answer or an argument. Jesus expected an agreement.
"Jesus soon saw a great crowd of people climbing the hill, looking for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, "Philip, where can we buy bread to feed all these people?" He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do. John 6:5-6
We should answer God more like Andrew did, "Here's a little, it's all that's around." Andrew gave the Lord all he could scrounge up.
It was a little boy's lunch of five small barley loaves and two small fish.
I believe it was amazing this boy shared at all. My boys certainly don't willingly give up food, especially when they're hungry!
But, this young boy gave all he had and God multiplied it so much that all 5,000 were fed and twelve whole baskets were leftover!
Jesus commanded the disciples to gather up the leftovers so that none would be wasted. He not only multiplied it to meet the current needs, He multiplied enough to meet needs that weren't even present at that time.
Feeding the 5000 is about taking a little bit, a small amount that is hard to give, and letting Jesus multiply it in our lives. This is my time, my energy, my knowledge, my affection, anything that others are asking me to give. In order to multiply it, I must sacrifice by giving to others.
Jesus gives me a little and requires me to give that little bit sacrificially to my multitude and somewhere in this process multiplies it around to everyone and none of us go away needy.
After performing this miracle, Jesus knowing he was being pursued withdrew to be alone.
I am struck, again, how Jesus always knew when he needed to withdraw and be alone. He certainly never got so overloaded and drained that he had to lay on the couch and watch TV for an hour to recover. He certainly wasn't prone to sleeping all day after exerting his power by performing miracles. He always withdrew from the crowd to refuel and re energize himself by being alone with God the Father. He always knew when it was time to withdraw. He withdrew that same day as he performed the miracle. He was certainly excited. He was certainly pursued by those who wanted to know more about him. Still he chose to withdraw before he was too emotionally drained and mentally exhausted to hear from the Father. He never wasted time being stressed.
I pray I would know when to withdraw. I'm talking about the times we need to seek him for refilling after a particularly exhausting event. Even the exciting, good events drain us. We have a tendency to ride it out. Talk about it with everyone for a long time and become completely dry before we turn to God for special times of refilling.
May we fill those depending on us and always have excess by knowing when to withdraw...
Only in Jesus!