In the feeding of the 5000, Jesus takes a little boy's meal in His hands. And in His hands, that little bit becomes more than enough to feed a multitude.
The message? It’s not how much or how little we have to offer. It’s what it can become when we place it in Jesus’ hands. Jesus can take our little bit and make it more than enough.
The questions are, as they were for the disciples, will you place yourself in His hands? Will you be a bridge? Will you be salt and light? Are you willing to serve instead of being served? Are you willing to influence instead of retreat? And are you willing to engage instead of isolate? If so, then anything is possible.
One of the interesting things about the feeding of the 5000 is how many baskets of food are left over. Twelve.
Twelve baskets, by the way, is one basket for each of the faithless disciples. One basket for each person who said, “What? Feed all these people? It can’t be done!” These twelve baskets were visual reminders that it absolutely could be done.
Jesus understands the importance of the visual. It’s why He came in the flesh. Remember, John 1:14 doesn’t say “The Word became spoken.” It says, “The Word became a human being.” John makes it clear that the Word became flesh; we saw Him; we touched Him; we walked and talked with Him.”
Remember again, the world that Jesus was working to engage and influence in Bible times. He’s talking to the Jews. If ever there was a group of people with an island mentality, it was the Jews. They saw themselves as God’s chosen ones, as His elect. Everyone else, therefore, was Gentile and unwanted.
But here comes Jesus saying to these islanders, “Be salt and get involved with those lost people.”
Here comes Jesus saying to these isolators, “Be light. Put yourself on a stand and shine out to those living in darkness.”
Here comes Jesus saying to these retreaters, “What do you mean send them away? You feed them!”
Jesus comes to them and says, “No, no! You weren’t chosen to be some club. You weren’t chosen to live on an island. You were chosen to be My witnesses. You were chosen to be mirrors that would reflect My glory. You are to be salt and light. You are to love people in the world, not hide from them. You are to build bridges not burn them.”
Look at what James has to say about this in James 2:14 and 17. Dear brothers and sisters, what’s the use of saying you have faith if you don’t prove it by your actions?...Faith that doesn’t show itself by good deeds is no faith at all—it is dead and useless.
Jesus didn’t expect for us to believe in Him by words alone. He became flesh. He showed up. People saw His glory. He did miracles, signs, and wonders. He proved He was the Son of God!
Today, His followers must do the same. We must prove Jesus is who we say He is. We must prove it by our love, by our actions, and by the bridges we build as we become salt and light to the world.