If you’re like me, you might experience a bit of anxiety if some unexpected guests showed up on your doorstep – especially around dinnertime. A woman named Martha did when Jesus and His 12 friends showed up on her doorstep late one afternoon. We are told she welcomed them into her home but very quickly became angry with her sister Mary because she wouldn’t help her prepare the meal. She said: “Jesus, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.” Luke 10:40
If you think that’s bad, what would you do if you were given 15 minutes notice to feed 5000 plus people? Possibly you would react the same way the disciples reacted when Jesus, in Mark chapter 6 told them to feed the very large crowd that had gathered to hear Jesus teach.
The people had been following Jesus for quite some time. They hadn’t eaten all day and were hungry. They were in a very remote and desolate area and on top of that it was getting late. Recognizing this, the disciples expressed compassion. They spoke to Jesus and said it’s getting late so we’d better wrap things up and send the people away in order for them to get something to eat. Now I can’t speak for you but that sounds like the right thing and wise thing to do. It’s a good idea. As it turns out, they learned a GOOD idea isn’t always GOD’S idea.
No, You feed them! Jesus’ responded. What went on in their mind when they heard this command? Can you hear their thoughts? If you could, maybe they would sound like this: WHAT did you say? Are you kidding me! That’s not only crazy, it’s ridiculous! Come on, you can’t be serious! Who knows, maybe they looked at each other and rolled their eyes like my son sometimes does. Did they do that back then? Whatever they thought within their mind, it’s very clear from their comments, they felt it was an impossible request.
Without the help of Jesus most of us would be prone to respond in similar fashion to the disciples – when confronted with circumstances beyond our control. Too often we make conclusions based upon our own frame of reference, our own abilities and our own limitations. Thinking outside the box is difficult but necessary.
When the Landlord says the rent is due but you don’t have a job. The Doctor informs you they can’t find a cure for your disease or your mate of 30 years says I want a divorce. You’ve got to think outside the box because you need a miracle.
Here’s what Jesus said: What do you have? They responded – not much – just a couple of fish and a few loaves of bread. “Bring them to me”… That’s the first thing you should do when you face things bigger than you. Run to Jesus! Don’t worry about how little you have – It will be enough! God made the world out of nothing so just think about what Jesus can do with a few fish and some bread. If you are facing insurmountable odds and it seems like you are facing impossible challenges, remember this: Miracles still happen!
The disciples followed his instructions and experienced life outside the box. The got more than food for the stomach – They received food for thought.