Luke 9:12 Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.” He replied, “You give them something to eat.” They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish–unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” (About five thousand men were there.) But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” The disciples did so, and everybody sat down. 16 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people. 17 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
Church had been going on all day and the people were getting tired and hungry. The disciples went to Jesus and asked him to dismiss service. Only Jesus had an illustrated sermon still planned so he told the disciples, “You give them something to eat.”
So today’s question is what are you serving those people around you? The disciples were freaked out at the proposition. I would be too! Talk about not having enough food. So the disciples let Jesus know that they only have 5 loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus doesn’t seem perturbed by this because with God there is no lack, but the disciples aren’t there yet mentally, and honestly are we? Jesus answers for them to group the people in 50’s. That doesn’t even seem like any sort of answer to the problem at hand.
At this point if I were one of the disciples I would have been expecting Jesus to just multiply the loaves and fishes. I mean he could have. Like an abracadrabra sort of things 5 loaves becomes thousands and 2 fish become many and the people are served. Only Jesus doesn’t do that. He takes the food, looks to heaven, gives thanks and breaks them. Okay, now if you are a disciple you now have 10 half loaves and 4 half fishes. Can you imagine? Then he hands the food back to them!
Jesus believes we can use what we have in our hands.
Two things here have to stick out at you. One, he says, YOU give them something to eat. YOU not ME. YOU! Then Jesus returns to the disciples what seems like exactly what they gave him. Only it wasn’t exactly as they gave it to them, it’s now blessed.
See if we are truly sold out to Christ, then we hand him everything in our lives. If we hand him everything in our lives, he takes it, looks up to heaven, give thanks and breaks it and gives it back to us. What do we do with those things then? How do we serve God with them? His commandment says we love God with all of our heart, mind and soul and we love each other. We serve others.
One of two things could have happened. I mean, let’s face it, the disciples were in church all day too and just as tired and hungry. They could have just said forget it, there’s no way we are going to be able to feed these people, so let’s just eat it ourselves or they could have served the people. One act, is just selfish like the wicked, evil servant in the talents story and the other is about faith in the midst of the impossibility.
Which would you have done?