I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. -Psalm 119:11
By Mary Southerland
‘We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,’ they answered. ‘Bring them here to me,’ He (Jesus) said. And He directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children (Matthew 14:17-21).
The feeding of the 5,000 is one of my favorite Bible stories. Aside from the resurrection, it is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospels ... and what a miracle it was!
Jesus borrowed a little boy’s lunch. Feeding 5,000 people with just five loaves and two fish was extraordinary in itself, but the Greek word used inMatthew 14:21 refers to males. The women and children present were not included in that number. Many Bible scholars believe the actual number fed that day could have been between 15,000 and 20,000 people. Absolutely amazing!
The setting for this miracle is important. Jesus and the disciples had been ministering to the crowds all day. It was getting late, and they were in a remote place. Knowing the people needed food and places to stay for the night, the disciples wanted to send them home.
But Jesus had a different plan – a plan that was based on what most people would consider absurd – five loaves of bread and two fish. Can’t you just see the faces of the disciples when Jesus explained His plan to them? Oh, they had seen Jesus perform miracles and work wonders, but feeding thousands of people with five measly loaves of bread and two fish was just ... well, unbelievable in human terms. But Jesus was not operating in human terms.
Jesus asked the disciples to bring Him the bread and fish. He then gave thanks, broke the bread, and gave it to His disciples to hand out to the people. The entire crowd was fed with the lunch of a young boy ... and there were leftovers!
When will we learn the truth that God will shatter our meager expectations when we place ourselves ... everything we are and everything we have ... in His hands?
And even our mistakes and our pain
God can and will take it all and transform it into a trophy of His grace and power. As the old gospel song says, “Little is much when God is in it.”
A basketball in my hands is worth about $19. A basketball in Michael Jordan’s hands is worth about $33 million. It depends on whose hands it’s in.
A baseball in my hands is worth about $6. A baseball in Mark McGuire’s hands is worth $19 million. It depends on whose hands it’s in.
A tennis racket is useless in my hands. A tennis racket in the hands of Venus Williams is a championship win. It depends on whose hands it’s in.
A rod in my hands might keep away a wild animal. A rod in the hands of Moses will part the mighty sea. It depends on whose hands it’s in.
A slingshot in my hands is a kid’s toy. A slingshot in David’s hand is a mighty weapon. It depends on whose hands it’s in.
Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in my hands is a couple of fish sandwiches. Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in God’s hands will feed thousands. It depends on whose hands it’s in.
God loves to use the ordinary to create the extraordinary. He loves to use the seemingly insignificant and humble person to fashion a life of beauty and strength that can only be explained by Him. God wants to do just that in your life today. Ready? Place yourself in His hands.
Father, I surrender my life to You today – everything I am and everything I have. I know it’s not much, Lord, but I also know it is all You need to make my life a trophy of Your grace. I place myself in Your hands. Please transform me into the image of Your Son, Jesus Christ.
In His Name I pray,