Sometimes I go on a mental journey that often leaves me in a pickle. This morning was one of those so-called trips as I took myself to Bethsaida a place along the northwest side of the sea of Galilee, a place far far away from where I reside, a place I know nothing about nor have I ever seen, but my imagination casts an idea. I see mountains surrounding the area and a lot of green grass and sheep to boot. But in my little imaginary trip, I also see, Jesus Christ, the good Shepherd standing right in the middle of a mass of a different kind of sheep. Humans!
I can only imagine Jesus and His disciples trudging along a hot dusty road going from village to village spreading the gospel. They must have fought their way against dusty hot winds and blowing sands on many occasions, but not this particular day. More than likely, they were crossing over the sea, (which by the way, isn’t a real sea, it is a freshwater lake in Israel and is referred to as a sea because of traditions), maybe returning from a fishing trip the guys were enjoying. But in my mind, a defining moment was about to be discovered and lessons learned as the miracle that was already in the making began to unfold as I see the face of Jesus in awe as he sees the mass of people awaiting Him on the shore.
Being that I don’t have a photo of this more than awesome event, I am using a modern day photo of a mass of folks just for imagery purposes.
If truth be known, Jesus knew long before he landed on shore that there would be a lot of people waiting for Him because he was used to being followed and had to fight His way through large gatherings at times or so my imagination thinks. But upon arrival, panic struck His disciples, but not Jesus, no, Jesus was cool as a cucumber and calm when His disciples wanted to send everyone away. I can just see Him now in my mind. Turning looking over the sea, smiling big thanking His Father above for such a day as this. Perhaps He was thinking, “it’s time to teach the boys a thing or two” and as He turned back toward the crowd there were the disciples congregated around Him with a dozen voices talking at once; “hey Jesus, we need to send these people home it’s going to be dark soon, they are hungry and they might want to catch a big show at the nearest amphitheater.” But Jesus had a better idea.
There was a young boy among the five thousand that day who happened to have a basket of five loaves of barley bread and two fish. When I think of this lad carrying his own lunch around it reminds me of my youth when we had bagged lunches at school that we could take outside to eat rather than eating in the cafeteria on special occasions. This kid was smart! He didn’t show up empty handed expecting to sit through a waiting period then a message before having something to eat. He brought it with him. But to his dismay, one of the disciples discovers the very small feast and tells Jesus. Can you see Jesus about to bust out a loud laugh? “Bring that boy to me!” Can you also imagine what those disciples were thinking at that very moment? Just maybe they thought Jesus was going to snatch the little boy’s lunch and have it for Himself, I highly doubt it, but it’s possible. But as reality would have it, this was a defining moment in time and a miracle status was in the making.
When Jesus took the little basket, He did not feed the crowd with it, instead He prayed over it and blessed it. He broke the bread and handed each disciple a little portion. It would become their duty to feed the crowd. This had to be a mic drop moment. I can see it now, each disciple holding a small chunk of bread slowly assessing the huge mass of people then turning to Jesus asking, “what are we suppose to do with this?” As Jesus stands there shaking His head at the naivety of his followers, I see him rolling His eyes as He says, ” feed the people! ” But once again those same dozen voices began disputing what He commanded and If Jesus had a wrist watch back then, I am almost pretty sure this is where he yawns and looks at the watch but instead He is about to shatter those pint-size suggestions being offered Him and demonstrate that “little becomes much when placed in God’s hands.”
I love the scripture from Ephesians 3:20. “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be the glory…..” this should change the way you look at your problems, the way you think and the way you trust! When you place your little in the hands of God, that little becomes much so much so, that he wants to lavish you with more than enough! After feeding five thousand people that day from the little five barley loaves and two fish, everyone felt satisfied because they ate to their hearts content, not only were they satisfied, but there was twelve baskets of leftovers. That’s huge! That’s more than they could have possibly asked for or thought to ask for as God went over and beyond what Jesus prayed over that meal that day.
This is one of my favorite miracles in the Bible. It certainly puts a fire under my faith and boosts my trust in God. It makes me feel so small when I complain because complaints are nothing more than doubts. No matter how big your problem seems to be towering over you, to God, it’s just a little fish and a barley loaf that He is ready to break open and provide for your need. Nothing is impossible with God! With God, ALL things are possible! There’s a miracle waiting for you…