1 After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias.2 And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick.11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted.12 And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.”13 So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten.14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!”15 Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.3 Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples.4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand.5 Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?”6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do.7 Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.”8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him9 “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?”10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number.
It is springtime just before the passover. Jesus has been healing people, and he is drawing a crowd. Jesus decides to cross over to the north side of the Sea of Galilee, and according to Matthew’s account, people ran on foot around the top of the lake, crossing the Jordan River and got there first even before Jesus arrived. Jesus had compassion for the people, so he taught and healed them until it was becoming late in the day. John records Jesus asking Philip where they would buy bread for all these people. We also know from John’s account that Jesus asked Philip on purpose to see what he would say, because Jesus had already decided what he would do.
Philip has no idea where the food would come from. Philip’s brother Andrew announces that there is a boy with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, but quickly adds that it is basically pointless for the number of people that are there. Jesus gives instructions, blesses the food the boy had, the disciples begin to pass it out, and everyone eats until they are full. He then instructs the disciples to pick up all the leftovers, which end up filling twelve baskets. The people see what kind of benefit Jesus would be and attempt to take him by force and make him king. He leaves, as have the disciples, and he meets them in the middle of the Sea of Galilee, walking on the water.
1. There will be more than one time in your life when you need more than you have.
God always provides but never promises it will start out looking like enough.
Elijah and the widow at Zarephath
1 Kings 17:12. “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any food; only a handful of flour in a jar and a bit of oil in a bottle. Look at me. I’m collecting two sticks so that I can make some food for myself and my son. We’ll eat the last of the food and then die.”
Elisha and the widow with the jar of oil
2 Kings 4:2 Elisha asked her, “What can I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” She said, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.”
Jesus sending out the twelve
Mark 6:8-9 8 He told them to take nothing along with them but a walking stick. They were not to take a bag or food or money in their belts. 9 They were to wear shoes. They were not to take two coats.
God is never pushing us to do without; He is pushing us to trust in Him.
2. Stretching comes before multiplication.
If you stretch it, he will multiply it.
Stretching something is an act of faith. I cannot multiply, but I can stretch. Resourcefulness is taking what God has already given you and stretching it by faith. If I do what He told me with what I have…
11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks,
The key to stretching is taking what you have and giving thanks. We are so consumed with what we don’t have that we neglect to give thanks for what we do. Giving thanks for not enough looks crazy until it becomes enough.
A heart of resourcefulness never is distraught about the amount we start with but gives thanks for the opportunity to start.
1. What stood out to you most from this week’s message?
2. When is a time our need was bigger than your resources?
3. Have you ever been at a point where your need was so great that your well-being was at risk? What happened, how did it work out, and what did you learn?
4. We know everything we have is a blessing from God. Why is it hard to remember this and be thankful when it looks like it isn’t enough?
5. When is a time you took what you already had and found out it was enough to meet your need? How did you feel?
6. When God gives us what we need in a situation, is it easier to trust him the next time, or is it just as difficult every time? Either way, why is that?
7. How can we remember that however God answers is a gift from him, even when it doesn’t come in the form we expected?
8. How can we grow in our faith to the point that our needs automatically point us toward God instead of making us anxious?
9. How can we improve our stewardship of what we already have so that we get the mots benefit out of what God provided?
10. What do you plan to do differently because of this week’s message?