This devotional was originally published on Nov. 22, 2016.
“Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves 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 twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.”
— Mark 14:15-21
Jesus had just spent the day healing the sick, and as the evening approached, the disciples began to worry about the 5000+ people needing to eat — a valid concern for any practical thinker. However, knowing how the story ends, we can wonder why they didn’t just ask Jesus to do one more miracle.
The miracle in this story is spectacular, as it reminds us of the graciousness and faithfulness of our Father. But, honestly, the part of this story that hits me the most isn’t the incredible abilities our Father has. Nor is it the love he never ceases to show us. The part of the story that hits me the most is the fact that Jesus took what the disciples had and multiplied it to perform a miracle, to bless others — both amazing and humbling. When they offered what they had unto Jesus, he provided. Would Jesus have been able to provide without them? Absolutely. Nevertheless, Jesus chose to take what they had — even though seemingly insignificant — and bless thousands. And really not just thousands, as the Word still blesses us today.
So what do we do with this? Well, what do you have? What money, talents or wisdom do you have? What miracles would God produce through us if we brought what we have to him? For the disciples, they had a small amount of food, and many people needed food. What do you have — even if it seems insignificant — that, when placed into the hands of our loving Father, could be multiplied to bless others, bless the Church and bless you? Whatever it is, give it to God.