By Lisa Crum
“The day was drawing to a close, and the twelve came to him and said, ‘Send the crowd away, so that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside, to lodge and get provisions; for we are here in a deserted place.’ But he said to them, ‘You give them something to eat’ They said, ‘We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.’ For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, ‘Make them sit down in groups of about fifty each.’ They did so and made them all sit down. And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And all ate and were filled. What was left over was gathered up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.” (Luke 9:12-17 NRSV)
When Jesus fed the five thousand plus, His action was pretty simple. He didn’t hand-deliver lunch to each and every person individually; yet each piece that multiplied was as sanctified and miraculous as the original loaf or fish from which it was broken. He blessed it, broke it, and gave to His disciples. His involvement was needed no more after He spoke the blessing, put His hands on the work, and assigned the roles; and yet His fingerprints and DNA were on every piece that went forth.
It’s not likely that even the disciples had the responsibility of hand-feeding each person; moreover, it probably had to have been an efficient, quick-moving chain reaction of them sharing to a group, and then folks passing down the line more and more and more only to find there was still more than enough.
What could be any cooler than a miracle where everyone gets to be involved in what God is doing?
Imagine being in that crowd, holding a piece of that food, saying to your neighbor, “Check this out…I’m breaking it apart and sharing it with you, and look! My piece is still as big as it was before!”
Our Lord has already equipped us for the supernatural in the 21st Century, too! Now we are the ones with an opportunity to pass His blessings on to others as we partake of what He has freely given…and we find ourselves actually wanting to take part in perpetuating the process.
The miraculous has that effect. When we have tasted His goodness firsthand, we no longer wish to be mere spectators or recipients-only; we want to feel a miracle multiplying as it passes through our fingers. We want someone else to get as big a kick out of watching God at work as we ourselves are.
I wonder…did trust issues keep some from breaking their piece apart and sharing; or instead of passing a portion to the next person while they waited their turn, did they interrupt the flow and hold on to what was meant to keep moving down the line, others having to reach around them to keep the process in motion? Would they get up or scoot away from the seated crowd, eating their portion with their backs turned, fearing lack, instead of receiving with grateful hearts and being willing to bless someone else, too?
Faith may not have come easily for some; but yet the mercy of God had still worked to provide for them, too — the reluctant ones would miss out, however, on the thrill of watching God’s multiplication at work in response to the demonstration of their own faith. And I have to wonder if part of the reason there were twelve baskets of leftovers (aside from the fact that Jesus Christ never underdoes a thing), is that a few who really grasped the enormity of this moment were so excited to participate in His miraculous provision, that they kept breaking and breaking and sharing!
Don’t live on autopilot today. God has enabled you to partner with Him in blessing those around you and demonstrating His goodness. Take what you’ve been given and set a chain reaction in motion by sharing it with the rest of the world. When you feed one, whether in the natural or in the supernatural, whether in the physical or in the spiritual, you are actually part of feeding the five thousand!
Lisa Crum is the author of CALL THOSE THINGS: BIBLE-BASED HEALING CONFESSIONS. She serves on the administrative staff of Regional Church of God in Delbarton, West Virginia; she is also a part of the worship band and praise team and ministers weekly through singing, playing the keyboards, and saxophones.
She has had a keen love for and gifting in writing since she was very young. In recent years, she began sharing her devotionals and teaching articles through social media, blogging, and printed publications.
Lisa is a lifelong resident of southern West Virginia, specifically the coalfields of Mingo County; and she loves the rural life she’s been blessed to share with her husband, Dana. The great love of her life is the Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom she gave her heart at the age of seven.
Lisa is also an Ordained Minister with the Church of God, Cleveland TN.