They said to Jesus, “We only have five loaves of bread and two fish…” But he said, “Bring them here to me.”
After a full day of ministering to the sick and needy, Jesus’ disciples came to him with what must’ve seemed to them to represent a perfectly reasonable request: “We’re out here in the middle of nowhere, and it’s starting to get late in the evening. Send these poor people away, so that they can go to the villages and markets to buy something to eat” (Matt. 14:15). From the disciples’ perspective, they had already done everything they could possibly do in this situation. They were convinced that they had exhausted all of their available resources for these five thousand people. Imagine how stunned they must’ve been, therefore, to hear Jesus’ response: “These people don’t need to go away. You give them something to eat” (14:16). Huh?
As we strive to become more faithful stewards of what God has entrusted to us today, we might also wonder whether or not our humble offerings can really make any difference. To be sure, the challenges and the problems that need to be addressed are beyond the capacity of our resources. None of us could ever possess enough time, energy, conviction, knowledge, or money to fix what is wrong in the world. But that’s not what Jesus expected of his disciples and that’s not what Jesus expects of us now. Jesus said, “Bring them here to me.” Jesus calls us to bring whatever we have—and we all have something!—and place it in his omnipotent hands. When we take that step of faith, we can be assured that our offerings will never be wasted. How so?
After Jesus received the loaves and fish, he demonstrated the almighty power of God to multiply our limited resources (14:19a). On our own we will never have enough, but God always provides more than enough. Our part is to trust the Lord to do more with what we bring than we could ever imagine.
Yet our role doesn’t stop with giving our humble gifts to Christ; Christ also equips us to share in distributing what He has multiplied (14:19b). We participate in establishing God’s Kingdom on earth. We’re called to receive His blessing with gratitude, as well as look for opportunities to bless others.
When we trust in Christ to provide for us and for others, there will always be enough— “They all ate and were satisfied” (14:20). Even when we don’t have everything we might have wanted, God promises us sufficiency.
Jesus knows what to do with whatever we bring to Him. I encourage us all to prayerfully consider what we can place in His strong and loving hands.