Pray the Word: Jesus Working Through Us
Read Matthew 14
Matthew 14:19, when Matthew's telling us the story of Jesus feeding over 5,000 people. He says that Jesus ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to Heaven and said a blessing. Then, He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.
So amidst so much that's awesome in this passage, I think about what just happened, when Jesus asked for the Father's blessing, multiplication of this food, but then the role that Jesus had for the disciples to play in this miracle. If the point of the story was just to show us Jesus's supremacy, then Jesus could have called down bread from Heaven right into people's laps.
The people would have seen, maybe even recognized it more so as the God who provides food from Heaven, but instead, He prays, asks for the Father's blessing, and then He calls the disciples to His side. He doesn't just give out one piece of bread here or there. Instead, He gives the bread to the disciples, and they distribute it.
Now, we're not told how this miracle took place. Our imagination, at least mine does, just starts to wander as we think about how five loaves, suddenly, or slowly, however, began to multiply from His hands into their hands, but that's the picture, the hands of Christ serving the hands of His disciples, and then the hands of those disciples serving the crowds, and that is a powerful picture, Jesus showing his grace and power to this crowd, through His disciples.
These disciples were an extension of His mercy and His power at work in the lives of these men and women. So you think about that. In your life today, my life today, we are surrounded by people with needs, with deep needs, deeper than even just for a meal, people with needs for love, and people with needs for mercy, and for hope, and for joy, and for satisfaction. We're surrounded by people, and we have a God who is able to meet all of those needs, whose resources are far beyond what we could ever need, what anyone could ever need, and God desires to show His sufficiency, His supremacy, to people around us, how? Through us, through our hands at work.
And we don't need to think, "Well, I don't really have that much to offer to people around me." It's not about what we have to offer. It wasn't about what the disciples had to offer in the story. It's about the power of Jesus at work in the hands of those disciples, so the same thing is true in your life, my life today. God desires for people to know His love, His mercy, His joy, His satisfaction, the people all around us, for them to know Him, and the way He can satisfy their souls, the way He can meet their needs, and He has put us in people's lives for that purpose. So, Jesus not only is able to meet the deepest needs of our lives, but He wants to use our lives, with all of his resources at our disposal, to meet others' needs.
So God, we pray, in light of people with all kinds of needs around us right now, when we think about all the people we will interact with today, who have so many different needs, God you are sufficient to meet all those needs. You are so good. You're so loving. You have all power. You are the source of eternal joy. You alone give hope that will never fade, so God, show your sufficiency to meet people's needs through us. Today, we pray, help us to reach out to people with needs all around us, to care for them, to serve them, to point them to You. Please use us, in the same way You used these disciples in Matthew 14, to meet the needs of these hungry crowds.
We pray that You would use our lives, as followers of Christ today, to meet the needs of people around us in our homes, our neighborhoods, our workplaces. Today, God use us to make Your sufficiency and Your satisfaction known to them. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
The Pray the Word podcast is used with permission from Radical. For more from Pray the Word, visit radical.net. http://radical.net/articles/podcast_type/pray-the-word