From not Enough to Running Over
“Where could we get enough bread to feed such a multitude?” – Matthew 15:33
As a longtime pastor in Dallas, I have a history of serving alongside a number of wonderful, well directed compassion ministries. How they satisfy so many needs is a miraculous story in itself. This is despite the fact that they never, ever seem to have enough funds to do what they do. They personify the adage: “We have done so much for so long with so little that we can now do anything with nothing.”
When they feed and clothe one hungry person, they see him go out and bring back seven other desperate companions. Their need grows exponentially! And somehow, through prayer, these faith-based works thrive.
This happened to Jesus and His disciples. Matthew’s gospel includes two examples of Jesus feeding a multitude. In doing so, Matthew reveals a miracle we should not miss:
When Jesus twice was faced with a hungry mass of men, women, and children, His disciples informed Him it would be best to send them away. They faced an impossibility of supply and demand. “Where could we get enough bread to fill such a multitude?” they asked with perplexity. “You’re going to feed them,” Jesus replied. Their inventory was meager. In one instance it was a lad’s donated sack lunch. About as meager as you can get. Yet “they all ate and were filled.”
Here is what the Holy Spirit wants us to learn: Jesus can do more with less. Inverse proportion is the mathematical term.
With the Lord’s blessing of the food, breaking, and distributing it, over 5000 hungry souls were fed with just five loaves and two fish. Twelve baskets full were left over. Again, Jesus utilized only seven loaves and a few fish to feed a smaller crowd of 4000. Seven baskets full of leftovers were picked up.
So do the math. Jesus could have fed 6000 plus with only three loaves and one fish! Each time he dished out food to more people with less basic supply. He could have then gathered up 17 baskets full of leftovers. Amazing how God works. Such a testimony could only have happened in the test of “never enough.”
In the same way, all those big hearted compassion ministries in my town daily see the Lord’s miracles. No rich Texas oilman could ever give enough money to replace this process. Although I wish them all a wealthy benefactor, my experience tells me it rarely happens. They live in miracle land. That is the up side to their financial “never enough” predicament.
Ultimately, the Lord must be the source of every faith based ministry. He is more than enough!
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