Message: When I read Mark 8 all I could think of is “groundhog day!”! Haven’t we seen this before? The first time Jesus fed 5000+ people it was the disciples who seemingly instigated things by trying to convince Jesus to send them away so they could get themselves food. Jesus flipped in on them and told them to feed the people and as they obeyed the ridiculous directive to start passing out 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread to over 5000 hungry people, Jesus performed a miracle of multiplication and they had 12 baskets of leftover pieces. This time around there are 4000+ people and it is Jesus telling the disciples that the people were hungry, and once again he commissioned them to feed the people. In my own mind I feel like I would be saying “Jesus, are you gonna do the thing again??” But instead, the story plays out much like the first time. Almost like they had never experienced this before. Once again the disciples challenged Jesus, but this time instead of bringing up how much it would cost, they asked where anyone could possibly find that much bread there “in that desolate place” to feed that many people. Jesus asked them how much bread they had and this time it was 7 loaves. Jesus gave thanks for it and began breaking it and passing the pieces of bread to his disciples to pass out and fed them all. In the middle of that they found they had a few fish too so they passed that out until everyone was fed. They collected 7 large baskets of the leftover pieces. They started with 7 loaves, and after feeding everyone until they were full they actually had 7 large basket full of pieces left. I love that we saw that not only was this not just a one time deal, but both times they had to be obedient when it looked ridiculous and rather than them seeing a sudden miracle of tons and tons of bread for them to pass out, they watched the supply from the 7 loaves just never run out and not just until it was gone so you could wonder if they really had enough, but so they could see that everyone was full and there was still a multiplied amount leftover.
Command: Obey God when it looks ridiculous and even when you’ve seen this before. We don’t need to see the provision before we move. God wants to see us move before the provision.
Promise: When God provides he doesn’t come up short.
Warning: If we wait for the provision to show up before we begin to obey, we will miss the miracle.
Application: I have seen this in my own life. I remember times that our debt to income ratio was out of sorts. We even saw a financial counselor to try to come up with a plan and the counselor looked at us and said plain and simple…”you need more income”. I’m not saying that this was not irresponsible of us, and God definitely didn’t allow us to stay that way, but as we walked out our obedience we saw everything get paid and we lacked for nothing. It was a supernatural provision that made no sense on paper but we lived it out. I love that this kind of story almost identically shows up twice- just to remind us that God can do this all day! He is just waiting for our obedience and when he has that he can help us walk out the rest. This doesn’t even have to be just money. It can be any kind of resource that we need. God is our provision and if we make him our source for everything he will take care of us every day like groundhog day!