A God Who Provides
Text: Luke 9:1-6, 10-17 | Listen to Message
Your Hands, His Power
Who would you serve – and how would you serve them – if you really believed Jesus would work through you, in real time, to give you everything you needed to help them (even in supernatural ways, if that’s what the situation required)? Let’s work our way back to this question.
When Jesus first sent his disciples out on a Gospel mission of their own, this is what we read: “And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority…” – his power and authority. Then he forbade them to take with them any means of providing for themselves – no backpacks, no money, not even a loaf of bread. No one would ever say this ragtag band of misfits succeeded because they were a well-capitalized bunch. They were being sent, quite literally, empty handed!
Essentially, the disciples went out with little more than Jesus’ promise, “If you invest your life in my mission, I will provide everything you need when you need it.” And Jesus did provide … for the disciples soon returned and recounted to him all the things they had done in his power and name!
But lessons like this usually need to be learned more than once. And that’s the point of the story that follows – a story commonly referred to as “the feeding of the 5,000.”
After a long day of preaching and healing, the disciples approach Jesus and talk into his ear, “Uh, Master, this would be a good time for you to send the crowds away, seeing we’re in a desolate place and everyone’s hungry.” Without skipping a beat, Jesus says to the twelve, “You give them something to eat.”
We’re quick to sympathize with the disciples here. Their first reaction was to survey their resources, panic, and report back to Jesus that they had only five loaves of bread and two fish on hand. How could they possibly feed so many with so little?
How quickly they’d forgotten the secret of success in serving Jesus – that it’s not about what resources you have, it’s about what power and authority he has! So in his kind and patient way, Jesus reminds them that he will provide what they need when they need it. For hours, the disciples took bread and meat from Jesus’ hands and kept giving and giving until all those thousands of people were satisfied – and there were still twelve baskets of broken pieces left over.
The same Gospel mission is extended to all Christians: “Go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel in the power and authority of Jesus Christ.” It’s natural for us to think, “I could do that – I could do lots of things – if only I knew this or had that. But I don’t, so I can’t.”
Hear Jesus’ admonition: Stop focusing on your lack of resources and start trusting in your Savior’s inexhaustible supply of everything you need! Quit living an average life constrained by your own limitations. Step out in faith and throw yourself into Jesus’ work. And watch God show up and do things in you and through you that are beyond anything you could’ve ever imagined.