Lessons from the Loaves & Fishes
Intro: The miracles that Jesus performed were certainly intended to help those who were in need right at that time; no doubt about that. When Jesus healed someone, they received the immediate tangible benefit of the miracle. When Jesus turned water into wine, those at the marriage feast received the immediate benefit of the miracle. When Jesus provided food for the multitude as recorded here in Jn 6, those present received the immediate benefit of physical food to eat when they were hungry.
However, the miracles of Jesus also provide instructions and lessons for us today. Even if Jesus does not physically multiply food for me at any time in my life, there are spiritual lessons for me to learn from the time when he Did multiply the loaves and fishes.
It’s interesting that this is the only miracle of the Lord that is recorded in All Four Gospels (not counting the resurrection of Jesus from the dead).
I. The Lesson of Partnership.
This is an amazing lesson to be learned from this miracle; The Lord ASKED for help!
- Jesus asked the Disciples for Help.
When they pointed out to the Lord that this crowd had been with them all day and had not been able to eat. They suggested that the Lord send them on their way so they could get home in time to eat their evening meal. Jesus then said to them, You give them food to eat. They protested that they could not begin to afford enough food to feed this crowd. Mark then records that Jesus asked them, “how many loaves have you? Go and see.” Jesus sent them on a mission to see if they had any food among them that he could use.
John records that it was Andrew who found out that there was a young boy there with 5 loaves and two fishes.
- Jesus asked the Lad for his help.
The gospels don’t record the conversation, but I think its safe to assume that Jesus asked the boy for his lunch of loaves and fishes.
Jesus asked for help! He asked his disciples and he asked this young boy.
Do you realize that God does want our Partnership and Co-operation? Paul said in 1Cor 3:9 For we are laborers together with God:
Certainly there is a part of this Miracle that only Jesus could do; the disciples could not multiply the food; the young boy could not multiply the food; only Jesus could do that. We are Dependant upon the Lord to do what only he can do, BUT he invites us to partici-pate with him in his work; to Do what WE can do. It is a great privilege to be a partner with the Lord.
A man was mopping the floor of the hospital where a famous heart surgeon practiced and he was whistling and singing joyfully. Someone asked him why he was so happy. “Oh I’m just excited because to day I and Dr. So and So are going to save some lives.”
Well, the janitor was certainly not going to be in the operating room; wearing a surgical gown and wielding a scalpel; but he Was doing his part to see that the hospital stayed in operation and maintained its distinction of quality service.
Are you thrilled about doing your part for God and his kingdom? Have you learned that the Lord often asks for your participation and co-operation in his work? Do you realize that like the young boy, and like the disciples, especially Andrew, when you do your part for the Lord you are part of the miracle!
II. The Lesson of Faith.
Both the disciples and the boy had to exercise faith in the Lord for this miracle to take place. The Disciples believed in his power and ability enough to start their search for any available food; the boy believed in his power and ability enough to give him the small lunch that he had.
We are often defeated because it is so hard to believe for a miracle or blessing when the available resources are So Small. Even the disciples asked when the boy’s lunch was located, “but what are these among so many?” You and I must believe the Lord in spite of appearances.
In Zec 4:10 God asked, “For who hath despised the day of small things?”
1 Cor. 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
Have Faith! Even when all you see is a Cloud the size of a man’s hand; for out of a small cloud God is more than able to make the heavens black with clouds and send a Great Rain.
III. The Lesson of Surrender.
If we want to know the power of God working on our behalf we must be willing to Give Him what we do Have. The Lord asked the disciples what they had available; when the boy was found with his lunch he was willing to Give it to the Lord, even though it was All he had; and it had been meant for HIM. He gave it to the Lord for His use and he got more than just a small lunch, he got All he could eat!
The devil tries to make us think that surrendering to the Lord is painful and pitiful. We are told that we will have nothing to show for our life if we give it all to the Lord. What a Lie! Even the devil knows that a life in the hand of God is of much greater value than one kept for self. For he takes our weak and feeble life and makes it strong and victorious; he makes it profitable and successful; not in the world’s definition of success but in the Eternal way.
IV. The Lesson of Abundance.
- We learn that there is No Shortage when God works. The problem was that there was Not Enough; When the Lord worked his provision, there was More than Enough.
- We learn that when the Lord works, nothing is wasted. Even the fragments were useful. Even the fragments of our life are important to the Lord. The “fragments” of our time should be used for the Lord. The fragments of our material resources should be used for the Lord. The fragments of our talents and abilities should be used for the Lord.
- We learn that there is Absolutely No Limit to God’s Mighty Power. Here in this miracle he took Something and made it More; in Creation he took NOTHING and made it something Grand!
Partnership; Faith; Surrender; Abundance.