The books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John include accounts of 35 miracles performed by Jesus in His ministry. What I have always been fascinated by is that only one of them appears in each of these four books. I don’t claim to know why this one has this distinction, but I figure there is a reason. I look forward to asking that question when I’m in heaven.
Jesus had been traveling the countryside ministering and preaching. As His ministry grew, so did the crowd that followed Him. At this one particular point, the crowd had grown to 5,000 men. This wasn’t a Man Cave event or anything, so there were also women and children there. So needless to say, it was a significant crowd. These people were amazed by what Jesus had been doing, and were willing to drop everything to follow Him.
The disciples were very concerned because they had no way to facilitate such a crowd. They had suggested they simply dismiss everyone to go find a Subway sandwich shop or In ‘n Out, but Jesus had compassion on them. He asked the disciples what their resources were. They reported to him they had five loaves of bread and a couple fish.
Jesus took what they had, looked to heaven, gave thanks, then gave it over to the disciples to begin distributing to the folks. Not only was there enough food to go around so everyone could eat “as much as they wanted”, but there were leftovers!
First, Jesus had compassion on the people. It would have been easy to just let everyone take off, get food and return later. But Jesus already had a bigger plan which He knew would leave an impression on the authors of the four gospels, not to mention the thousands in attendance. Compassion is inspiring. When your heart is touched in a profound way, you can’t sleep. You are consumed and compelled into action.
Next, Jesus looked to heaven. In this context, the word looked means gaining sight. As if one were blind, but now had received sight. Jesus’ perspective changed from human to heavenly. From natural to supernatural. From limited to limitless.
Thirdly, Jesus gave thanks. He knew God would provide for them the abundance which would come from the meager. God can take what little we have to offer, and expand it’s potential to overflowing.
Finally, Jesus gave it to the disciples to feed the people. When God intervenes, He chooses us to touch the lives of those upon whom His compassion falls.
You already know the situations which touch your heart. That burning sense of compassion you have is God’s love for His children that won’t let you sleep. Follow these steps as Jesus did. Take what little you have, get a heavenly perspective, thank God for what He is doing and will do, and get out there and “feed”. Bring your friends. Even if they don’t get it, even if they don’t share your passion…they will once they see what is happening before them.
God wants to use you!