“1 Give thanks to Yahweh, call on His name;
proclaim His deeds among the peoples.
2 Sing to Him, sing praise to Him;
tell about all His wonderful works!
3 Honor His holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek Yahweh rejoice.
4 Search for the Lord and for His strength;
seek His face always.
5 Remember the wonderful works He has done,
His wonders, and the judgments He has pronounced,
6 you offspring of Abraham His servant,
Jacobs descendants — His chosen ones.
7 He is the Lord our God;
His judgments govern the whole earth.
8 He remembers His covenant forever,
the promise He ordained
for a thousand generations —
9 the covenant He made with Abraham,
swore to Isaac,
10 and confirmed to Jacob as a decree
and to Israel as an everlasting covenant:
11 I will give the land of Canaan to you
as your inherited portion.
12 When they were few in number,
very few indeed,
and temporary residents in Canaan,
13 wandering from nation to nation
and from one kingdom to another,
14 He allowed no one to oppress them;
He rebuked kings on their behalf:
15 “Do not touch My anointed ones,
or harm My prophets.”
16 He called down famine against the land
and destroyed the entire food supply.
17 He had sent a man ahead of them —
Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
18 They hurt his feet with shackles;
his neck was put in an iron collar.
19 Until the time his prediction came true,
the word of the Lord tested him.
20 The king sent for him and released him;
the ruler of peoples set him free.
21 He made him master of his household,
ruler over all his possessions —
22 binding his officials at will
and instructing his elders.
23 Then Israel went to Egypt;
Jacob lived as a foreigner in the land of Ham.
24 The Lord made His people very fruitful;
He made them more numerous than their foes,
25 whose hearts He turned to hate His people
and to deal deceptively with His servants.
26 He sent Moses His servant,
and Aaron, whom He had chosen.
27 They performed His miraculous signs among them,
and wonders in the land of Ham.
28 He sent darkness, and it became dark —
for did they not defy His commands?
29 He turned their water into blood
and caused their fish to die.
30 Their land was overrun with frogs,
even in their royal chambers.
31 He spoke, and insects came —
gnats throughout their country.
32 He gave them hail for rain,
and lightning throughout their land.
33 He struck their vines and fig trees
and shattered the trees of their territory.
34 He spoke, and locusts came —
young locusts without number.
35 They devoured all the vegetation in their land
and consumed the produce of their land.
36 He struck all the firstborn in their land,
all their first progeny.
37 Then He brought Israel out with silver and gold,
and no one among His tribes stumbled.
38 Egypt was glad when they left,
for the dread of Israel had fallen on them.
39 He spread a cloud as a covering
and gave a fire to light up the night.
40 They asked, and He brought quail
and satisfied them with bread from heaven.
41 He opened a rock, and water gushed out;
it flowed like a stream in the desert.
42 For He remembered His holy promise
to Abraham His servant.
43 He brought His people out with rejoicing,
His chosen ones with shouts of joy.
44 He gave them the lands of the nations,
and they inherited
what other peoples had worked for.
45 All this happened
so that they might keep His statutes
and obey His instructions.
“35 When it was already late, His disciples approached Him and said, “This place is a wilderness, and it is already late! 36 Send them away, so they can go into the surrounding countryside and villages to buy themselves something to eat.”
37 “You give them something to eat,” He responded.
They said to Him, “Should we go and buy 200 denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?”
38 And He asked them, “How many loaves do you have? Go look.”
When they found out they said, “Five, and two fish.”
39 Then He instructed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in ranks of hundreds and fifties. 41 Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke the loaves. He kept giving them to His disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 Everyone ate and was filled. 43 Then they picked up 12 baskets full of pieces of bread and fish. 44 Now those who ate the loaves were 5,000 men.”
Part of discipling, according to the way of Christ, is to challenge someone to do something that they cannot possibly do on their own so that their lack & weakness draws them to understanding. That understanding being that they cannot operate for the sake of God under their own power, they must rely on Him from the onset. From the moment the disciples looked at the situation Jesus presented, their very first thoughts were on their own weakness, their lack of resources and the enormity of the crowd overtook them and doubt trumped their faith.
As we walk with Christ, looking at Him and His example, we learn that we must approach every situation, not looking at what we think we can do in it, but recognizing what God can do with it from the beginning. When we look at issues, difficulties and problems with the understanding that they are never to be done from our strength or ability, but form whatever resources God has at our disposal. There is a miracle in that moment, because in the moment we cease relying on what we can see and hear, we are crossing over into the supply of the supernatural. We are operating on faith.
Here in Mark 6, faith took the disciples and had them do something they said was impossible just moments before. They took a limited resource, blessed by Jesus, multiplied by the Father, and distributed five loaves and two fish to around 20,000 people. They moved from the rational to the seemingly irrational, from sight into faith, and a barrier of ‘reality’ was crossed over as supply for thousands was made from the supply of one. Jesus’ lordship over creation was shown, also a miracle, and people were shown the provision of God and the heart of God for those who seek Him, also a miracle in my book. The disciples went from doubt to belief and the crowd was provided with sustenance for life. Miracle. Miracle.
Now, you may think I am being a little loose with the word ‘miracle’ but in my estimation, if God is choosing to glorify Himself in a way that breaks us from what is ‘normal’ and ‘natural’ and He shows Himself to us in the process, then He has done something miraculous. Jesus’ actions, the Father’s provision and the strengthening of faith that takes place here creates a multifold miracle. And God can continue to do whatever He wants to do today to glorify Himself that is not contrary to His character. And as we GoLove others in the Name of Christ, we must look at every day, every moment, every opportunity as a place and moment for God to be glorified and for God to work as He sees fit.
If we try to do it on our own, we are bringing a lunchbox to feed a multitude. If we do it God’s provision in mind, we find that the caterer has already been called, He has set up and is ready to go on our arrival.