Monday, May 22, 2017

"The Five Thousand"

The Five Thousand

    "And when it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. And they say unto Him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.  He said, Bring them hither to Me. And He commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, He blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to His disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children" (Matthew 14:15-21).

   There was not enough food.  But there was enough Christ.

    More than enough, actually, even as the Apostle Paul later affirmed, "Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages, world with end, Amen" (Ephesians 3:20-21).  Yes, there is always enough Lord Jesus Christ for born again believers.  Whatever the need or challenge that must be faced and overcome, our Savior fulfills and more than fulfills the promise of His Word: "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).  Do we believe this?  In principle and doctrine, we likely do.  However, in practice and specific episodes when more than five thousand must be fed, as it were, and when we have but five loaves and two fish, may find daunting the challenge of faith.  

   Consider, for example, the present challenge(s) we face.  Whether internal or external, multitudes must eat, while we seem to possess only a bit of bread and the tiniest morsel of fish.  We do not have enough motivation.  Our dedication to God seems to wane.  Or we must love some fellow human being who tempts us to feel particularly unloving.  We may also seem to lack wisdom regarding perplexing paths of life that lie before us.  Perhaps outward needs of the physical or financial seem to overwhelm us with the temptation to uncertainty and fear.  How will we cope with the challenges?  There is simply not enough bread, nor are there adequate supplies of fish.  In outward, earthly terms, this is the fact and reality of the situation.  We do not have enough food to feed more than five thousand.

   However, as the disciples and the multitudes discovered on the that blessed day of need and provision so long ago, there is enough Lord Jesus Christ.  There is always more than enough Savior and supply for those who will see need as opportunity to realize our Lord's "exceeding, abundantly above all we ask or think" provision.  "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24).  Let us apply this truth to the aforementioned challenges we presently face, of whatever nature, measure, and extent.  As He did on that day long ago, our Lord would have us bring our too little to Him.  He would tell us to sit down.  He would call us to see by faith His blessing of our crumbs and morsels.  And then, He will amaze us as He does what He always does when we trust Him.  "This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles" (Psalm 34:6).  Indeed, no one has ever trusted in the Lord Jesus and been disappointed for doing so.  And no one ever will.  There is always more than enough of Him, and He always acts in God's perfect wisdom regarding the application of His abundant supply.  "The grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus" (I Timothy 1:14).

   I often wonder how many women and children added to the five thousand men mentioned by Matthew.  One would suppose quite a few.  But it doesn't really matter, does it?  The salient factor was not the number of people, or the quantity of loaves and fish.  That which mattered was the Savior.  There was enough Lord Jesus Christ.  And there is enough Lord Jesus for the challenge we face in this day, and for the rest of our lives.  More than enough actually, again, to the degree and measure of "exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask or think."  So let us present our loaves and fish, rest our hearts in the Lord, see Him bless, and then discover yet again that no one has ever trusted in the God and Father of our Lord Jesus and been disappointed for doing so.  And no one ever will.  Because more than 5,000 must be fed, and there is not enough food.  But there is more than enough Lord Jesus Christ.

"God is faithful… Thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds…  And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True."
(I Corinthians 1:9; Psalm 36:5; Revelation 19:11)

Weekly Memory Verse
    And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True.
(Revelation 19:11)

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