“A Few Small Fish”
And Jesus went on from there and passed along the Sea of Galilee. And he went up into the hills, and sat down there. And great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the dumb, and many others, and they put them at his feet, and he healed them, so that the throng wondered, when they saw the dumb speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.
Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days, and have nothing to eat; and I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.” And the disciples said to him, “Where are we to get bread enough in the desert to feed so great a crowd?” And Jesus said to them, “How many loaves have you?” They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” And commanding the crowd to sit down on the ground, he took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied; and they took up seven baskets full of the broken pieces left over.
Have you ever been tested by the Lord? You may have just witnessed something awesome, maybe a miracle in someone else’s life, but then when confronted by a problem of your own, you just don’t know how to solve it or where to turn? This is how Jesus was testing his disciples in the passage above.
Jesus had already given the disciples authority over unclean spirits and the ability to cure every disease (Matt. 10:1). He also fed 5000 (Matt. 14:13-21). Now, Jesus and the disciples traveled to the land of the Gentiles and just performed miracles of healing the lame, blind, deformed, mute and other physical issues. The Gentile crowd were amazed to witness all of these miracles and listen to Jesus’ words, and they did not want to leave. These pagans were actually glorifying the God of Israel! So after three days, Jesus gathers His disciples, who have witnessed these miracles and healings, yet when Jesus asks them about feeding all the people, as before, how did the disciples respond? “Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place to satisfy such a crowd?”
The disciples had failed to think outside of the ‘human condition’ box and forgotten all they had learned. They again prove they don’t fully understand the power of faith, and don’t have any ideas on how to feed all the people. Where have you felt limited by your own faith or struggled on your own without turning to Jesus? Jesus demonstrates publicly through prayer and thanksgiving, that God will provide for all in abundance.
Lord, please help me to not doubt your power. Help me, where I have doubted you in the past and help me to believe that with you, nothing is impossible. I ask for this in your Holy Name. Amen.