“You give them something to eat.”
The apostles were shocked when Jesus asked them to feed the surrounding mob. There were 5,000 men present, not accounting for women and children; it’s conservative to guess 15,000 people could have been there. Jesus’ request becomes even more remarkable when we consider the circumstances preceding this event. At the beginning of Mark chapter six, we find Jesus sending out the twelve in groups of two on their first mission trip-of-sorts. The story continues in verses 6-13 and picks back up again in verse 30. Here we find them reporting to Jesus all that happened on their trips. In verse 31 we read that there is so much activity, the apostles, “did not even have a chance to eat.” Jesus responds by saying, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” As the story progresses, we see they obviously did not get to eat or rest before being confronted with the large crowd mentioned in the first paragraph. It is remarkable to consider Jesus did not ask the apostles to address the need of the multitude from a place of strength, but of weakness. At the very point they felt great need, Jesus asked them to give.
What the apostles did not yet realize was Jesus was actually inviting them to participate in a miracle.
The apostles’ initial response to Jesus invitation demonstrates a perspective influenced by limited energy, resources and vision. They just could not see beyond their own ability in figuring out how to pull off this picnic miracle. The very thought of a miracle was not even on the radar as they did the math, telling Jesus 5 + 2 was not going to get it done. What Jesus asked the apostles to do in feeding this mob was humanly impossible. Many of the situations you and I face in our lives also look very much impossible. Raising millions of dollars to build a new campus may sound impossible. But perhaps “impossible” is an invitation from Jesus to participate in something that will forever change our lives.
Perhaps “impossible” is an opportunity to meet God in a miracle.
In the Kingdom, 5 loaves + 2 fish = 15,000 fed. What does this mean for you, me and Antioch Community Church today? Jesus is daily inviting us to participate in miracles. How is he inviting you to meet him in a miracle today?
By Todd Meek