Scripture Reading: Exodus 35:1-36:38 / Mark 7:31-8:13 / Psalm 25:16-22
In our economy today, it is important to make our money “stretch”. Buying sale items, using coupons or purchasing generic products are some ways that can help our food budgets go further. For example, one 16 year-old British teenager collected hundreds of coupons and purchased close to $1,000 worth of groceries for about $6 and donated the food to charity. The young man, Jordan Cox, diligently searched websites and magazines gathering 470 supermarket coupons to make the food purchase possible.
In Mark 8, we read of a crowd of people who could have used the resources of Jordan Cox but they had a better resource…Jesus! Large crowds often gathered around Jesus and they would stay, all day if needed, in order to hear and see Him. This crowd had been with Jesus for 3 days and they had no intentions of leaving. Jesus wanted to dismiss them but had compassion for them and said, “If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance.” (Mark 8:3)
The disciples answered Jesus, “But where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?” (vs.4) This was a large crowd of 4,000 men, not including women and children. They were in a rural area and finding food for thousands would be virtually impossible.
Life is filled with a lot of “not enough’s” and “too much’s”. Our resources are often not enough to meet our needs that are too much. Even when we are financially wise and prepared, the unexpected demands of life can stretch us to our limit. Panic and apathy (often a mask for fear) often leave us depressed and defeated. During those times, we need to look beyond ourselves to Jesus who has compassion for us. He is not shaken by the overwhelming needs because He is the overwhelming provider!
Jesus asked how much bread the disciples had and they told Him 7 loaves. Those 7 loaves of bread were insufficient to meet the needs of the people but when they were placed in the hands of Jesus, they were more than enough! They also found a few fish so Jesus took them as well and added them to the menu. Jesus blessed, broke and gave the bread and fish to the disciples to distribute to the people.
Jesus took the lunch and multiplied it. Those 7 loaves of bread and few fish were miraculously multiplied to feed the thousands and afterwards, the disciples picked up 7 baskets of leftovers! Man is into addition but God is into multiplication! God’s math: 1 meal (7 loaves/few fish) X Jesus = food for 4,000+… and 7 baskets of leftovers! Don’t be afraid to give God control and possession of the “little” or “much” that you have in your hands. God rewards faith and obedience; He is faithful to multiply whatever you place in His hands. God will provide for your every need…plus give you leftovers!