- Message: In Mark 8 Jesus was about to feed another crowd of people. The disciples didn’t understand how they were going to feed the crowd even though they had already seen Jesus feed 5000 people with a little boy’s lunch of two fish and five loaves of bread. They saw it not only feed everyone until they were satisfied, but they themselves collected 12 baskets of leftovers when they were finished. This time around they he fed 4000 people with seven loaves of bread and had seven baskets leftover. Right after this Jesus and his disciples got in a boat and the disciples realized they forgot to take bread with them. They were obviously pretty upset about it and probably blaming each other because it consumed their focus so much that when Jesus started warning them about the leaven of the Pharisees and religious leaders they thought Jesus was scolding them for forgetting the bread.
- Command: Give God all we have, even if and especially when it doesn’t appear to be enough to get it done.
- Promise: God will go all in when he sees us go all in.
- Warning: The temptation will be to hold back when we see what we have to offer won’t cut it.
- Application: What I really got out of this was how hyper-focused I can get on immediate situations when I have watched God do impossible things just like them before. Why were they so upset that they forgot the bread? I can’t help but speculate that this was bigger than them worrying about being hungry. I wonder if they weren’t ashamed that they dropped the ball by forgetting the bread. In both of the previous crowd feeding situations Jesus told them to feed the people. He didn’t just create bread and fish out of nothing. He told his disciples to get it and it seemed completely impossible. They wanted Jesus to send the crowds away because they understood the cost it would take to feed them. They even calculated the annual salary amount and said “we don’t have what it takes”. Jesus directed them to find out what they did have. In both cases it was a very small amount but Jesus made them go get it. The miracle didn’t happen until they presented to Jesus the tiny bits they had collected and put it in his hands. Now they were in a boat with nothing to hand Jesus and they were so hyper-focused on what they didn’t have that when Jesus was talking to them about spiritual matters all they could perceive was BREAD!!! I feel this one so much!! Not just in financial situations, but in impossible situations that looked hopeless and all I could offer was a tiny bit of effort. A conversation or an act of obedience and suddenly God took that tiny insignificant thing I gave and turned it into something else. Today I remind myself that nothing great is going to be accomplished with my measly efforts alone, but my measly efforts are required (no matter how insignificant they may seem) before God will finish it. God is going to take that effort or that obedience and multiply it into something way beyond me. I love that he won’t just do it for us. He requires us to take the first step and go all in with what we have. There are things in my life that I have dreamed about doing but gave up on making any moves toward it because I assessed and obsessed with the fact that I don’t have what it takes. We’re in a self-empowering culture that says that it’s up to us and we just have to work hard. Although this it’s true we have to do things with all of our effort, we have to remember that the rest will be done by God.