In recent studies of the New Testament I was struck with a deep and profound truth that everything in me wants to believe more: God asks us to bring to him whatever faith and trust we can muster up and then let him multiply it. It is a simple truth to understand yet so foreign to the way our culture functions.
This truth was illuminated in my mind while studying the miracle of the fish and the loaves. It is important to note the context of this day in the life of the Savior. He had found out that his cousin, John the Baptist had just been murdered. When Jesus had heard the horrible news, “he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart” to be alone so that he could “pray” and be “alone” with the Father (Matthew 14:13,23). However, he was followed by a multitude of people who needed healing. Jesus, while struggling inward over the loss of his cousin and friend, turned outward and spent his day healing the sick (Matthew 14:14).
After this miracle Jesus then performed another miracle. The apostles ask Jesus at the end of the day if they should send the multitude of people home for dinner; and probably wanted to make sure Jesus got his needed alone time with God. But Jesus wasn’t done with the miracles. He told the apostles he wanted to feed the multitude for dinner. The apostles, doubting, stated they only had five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus replied, “Bring them hither to me” (Matthew 14:18).
I can only imagine the thoughts of inquiry running through the apostle’s mind. But Jesus was ready to perform another miracle. He wanted them to simply bring what they had to him and with that meager offering he would multiply the few loaves and fish and feed about 5,000 people.
Tim Keller stated this about the Miracles of Christ, “Miracles lead not simply to cognitive belief, but to worship, to awe and wonder. Jesus’ miracles in particular were never magic tricks, designed only to impress and coerce… Instead, He used miraculous power to heal the sick, feed the hungry, and raise the dead. Why? We modern people think of miracles as the suspension of the natural order, but Jesus meant them to be the restoration of the natural order” (Tim Keller, The Reason for God, p.p. 95-96)
That is the truth that struck me while studying this important story. The Lord wants us to participate in his miracles by bringing what we to contribute. But it is his “natural order” to provide the miracles. Perhaps our society has forgotten this as so many put their nose to the grind and try to get everything done on their own. The Lord wants us to do our part but our part is simple. It is acceptable to him that we simply bring what faith, hope, and effort we can and then let him multiply our little offering into baskets full of miraculous blessings.
Insight and Inspiration
Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people.
Are you willing to accept the Lord’s invitation to perform miracles in your life? Bring whatever simple acts of faith you can to contribute to the miracle. There will be some days when all you can bring is a “few loaves and fishes”. Let the Savior take those little efforts and magnify them into great things.