“And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place. But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people.”Luke 9:12-13
I am always amazed when I consider that God desires to use common people like you and me to do His great work. He has designed that His people do His work. When we come to the story of the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus has been teaching a large group of people, in a desert, the truths of the Gospel. The day is wearing away and the disciples begin to be concerned about food and lodging for all of the people.
The disciples request that Jesus send the multitude away so that they could spread out and go to the surrounding towns to find food and lodging. Jesus’ response was not what they expected. He said to them, “Give ye them to eat.” Jesus commanded the disciples to feed the multitude. Here was a great number of people in great need and Jesus expected his disciples to meet the need of the hungry crowd. It is at this point that we begin to see all of the excuses why they could not meet the needs of the needy crowd. The disciples remind me so much of myself. I have found that it is easier to generate excuses than it is to believe God for miracles. I think we will see some similarities in the excuses of the disciples and some of the excuses we like to offer as to why we cannot see God work through us in this needy world.
Their first excuse was, “the day began to wear away.” It was getting late and the time they needed to plan and prepare was well past. Is your excuse, I would serve the Lord, but I don’t have enough time? It is never to late to do the right thing. God can accomplish great things in short periods of time, through willing servants. The Lord wants to use your life to effect the lives of others now.
Their second excuse was, “we are in a desert place.” They let Jesus know, we would gladly feed these people but we just don’t have enough resources. Is your excuse, I would serve the Lord, but I don’t have enough resources? No man has enough to do God’s work. All the efforts, means, and abilities of men are insufficient. We must depend wholly on His enabling. The Lord wants to miraculously use your life to eternally effect the lives of others.
Their third excuse was, “We have no more but five loaves and two fishes.” All they had to offer were five little fish and two loaves of bread. They were certain that wouldn’t work. What they failed to realize is that a little bit blessed by a big God is more than enough. We often look at what we are and what we have and because of its smallness we become unwilling to offer what we do have to God’s eternal use. When Jesus took the loaves and fishes and blessed it, it multiplied and met the needs of the whole crowd. When we give what little we have to the work of Jesus Christ, He will bless it and a little bit blessed by a big God becomes more than enough to make a big difference in the lives needy people.