Reaching the Multitudes
We see the need everywhere around us. Our heart is stirred. Where are the miracles of old that can reach the multitudes? we ask. Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes by the shores of Galilee, so why not today? I believe in His power to change lives to feed the spiritually hungry! I will dedicate myself to this great work, for why can He not use me as He has other mighty gospel workers before?
Why not? O aspiring soul, you know the miracles indeed, but have you learned the secret of how those multitudes were fed? It wasn’t the disciples that launched the plan, but the Master. Look upon the scene with me, as His compassion reaches out to the needy folks that have followed them to this desert place. As desperate as ever, they are indeed “sheep having no shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36) Evening approaches and the disciples are concerned. How often we, too, begin to share in our Master’s concern for souls—in our limiting human view. Oh, we can see the need alright. We can see that this multitude is unprepared, without food in this barren place. They need more understanding… to face up to their problems… to feel secure…. Yes, we think we have the answers. “Send them to the villages where they can buy victuals,” we say.
Then the Savior turns to us. “Give them bread.” Me? This can’t be our chance—we aren’t prepared! How little indeed we see of our “great opportunities” at the time. Instead we cry, With a few loaves and fish, what can I do for a multitude? This is not impressive. This is not even reasonable. And the Master, the One we have left all to follow, the One that we have seen do many miracles before, says “Bring them to Me.” The bread and fish? It is simple, common food. It is all I have to offer. I put it in the Master’s hands. What will He do with it?
It is time to sit down. It is time to trust. Am I getting the point? Miracles are not accomplished with lots of fanfare and worked up emotion. Miracles do not proceed from my high ambition to do great work for Jesus. He took the little they had to offer and blessed it and broke it. Blessed and broken. How simple and humble are God’s ways of working! And how easily overlooked by the pride and prestige of our flesh.
The disciples were handed back their loaves and fishes—in pieces. A fragment of bread, a piece of fish? Here is a little something that the Master wanted me to give you. They were reduced in Jesus’ hands, were they not? Yes, it will look foolish… poor… despised. There was no room to glory in the flesh. No display of tables and fine foods. How simple indeed are the feasts the Lord spreads! I trust the hungry did not refuse it. Where was the miracle? It was in the results. A multitude fed, with more left over besides.
May we consider well the miracle of the loaves, that our hearts be not hardened. Our calling for this great work is to be put into the Master’s hands. Else our glorying will be in our own efforts, and not in God!