Introduction: God’s method is to use human beings to accomplish his purpose on earth and he uses willing people who have signed up to follow him and be responsible. In this passage, Jesus taught the disciples to be responsible for the people they were leading and on no account did we hear of Jesus or his disciples collecting anything from the crowd to accomplish their purpose. Jesus committed what was available to God, prayed on it, gave it to the disciples in whose hands the bread and fishes multiplied and the crowd was fed freely.
Moreover, in the book of the Acts of the Apostles, the disciples laid down what they had at the feet of the apostles and this enabled them to move forward in the work as they concentrated on the ministry of the word and prayers.
God cannot be mocked. If you are a true disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, any vision you have not sacrificed for has not received your attention or faith or commitment.
Questions for discussion
V16: At this time, giving these people food was part of their ministry activity. The disciples were meant to give the crowd something to eat. It is not the crowd that should contribute money to enrich the pockets of the disciples or even feed themselves. Do you contribute anything for the day to day activities or uplift of your church or ministry? Then you are probably a disciple. Do you just sit back, warm the chair and expect the place to be running without any significant contribution apart from your 20 or 50 offering then, you are probably part of the crowd. Believers should wake up to their responsibilities. Don’t allow men of God or ministers to beg you to contribute or pay your tithes or offerings. It is a disgrace ! A true child of God should pay worthy offerings, tithes and contribute to the success of the ministry or church they are involved in without being cajoled or begged. If you always feel inconvenienced when people talk about money in the church, check your life very well, you probably don’t contribute to God’s work sacrificially and don’t want your conscience to be pricked.
People who are involved in societies levy themselves to keep the society running. Sometimes people pay about 10 or 20 per annum. Whenever they have a special programme, they pay more to be able to pay the guest speakers and fund other activities. Everybody in such a society gets involved and contributes their quota. Why is it different in Chrisitian setting ?
Let us ask ourselves one question. Who should contribute money to fund God’s work on earth. Should God drop naira or dollars from heaven ? Should we call unbelievers to assist us?
V17: When Jesus told the disciples to give the people something to eat, they said we don’t have anything! yet they had 5 loaves and 2 fish. These same 5 loaves and 2 fish that were regarded as nothing were used to serve 5 thousand people after Jesus had blessed it.
Has God told you to do anything and you think what you have is nothing compared to what you need to achieve it ? Learn from Jesus. Remember he said greater works shall ye do. Stop thinking and saying that it is not enough. Start blessing it. notice that Jesus looked up to heaven, not at the people or the disciples or the bread and fish. Where are you looking up to for your help to come from? heaven or people or the situation? If you look up to heaven, no matter how small the resources may appear, you will be able to accomplish your aim.
V19: Jesus fulfilled his earthly mission using his disciples. (this passage also described the role of John’s disciples, one must be concerned about raising disciples.) He delegated responsibility to them and empowered them to do the work.