“Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.” – John 6:11
years, I’ve seen my share of dumb movies. And I’ve got to admit … I do have a
few favorites. One of my favorite dumb movies of all time is the Steve Martin
The year is 1916. Three bumbling silent movie stars, the Three Amigos, are called upon to rescue the people of a small Mexican town from the infamous El Guapo. This villain and his ruthless banditos have been terrorizing the people of Santo Poco. Late in the movie, El Guapo and his men mount their horses and ride toward Santo Poco to unleash their fury on the town one last time. And the Three Amigos rally the townspeople to do something they’d never done before: stand up and fight.
In a rousing speech, one of the Amigos asks the townspeople: “What is it that this town really does well?” Most of the people stand with baffled looks on their faces. But after a few seconds, one of the senoras speaks up: “We can sew.” Well, it wasn’t much to work with, but it was better than nothing. So, the people of Santo Poco begin sewing like the wind, making Three Amigos costumes for everyone in the village. And when El Guapo and his banditos roll into town, instead of fighting three amigos, it looks like they’re facing 100 amigos. El Guapo is defeated, the Three Amigos ride off into the sunset, and the people of Santo Poco live happily ever after.
Well, in John 6, Jesus demonstrates his amazing ability to multiply what we bring to Him. Jesus stands in front of a crowd of over 10,000 people who are facing their own El Guapo: Hunger. And Jesus saves the day by taking one boy’s measly lunch and multiplying it to meet the need.
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But Jesus told his 12 apostles to get the crowd ready for lunch by asking them to sit down. Then Jesus took the loaves and gave thanks (v. 11). Once Jesus had broken the bread and fish into smaller pieces, He gave the pieces to the apostles, who in turn gave them to the people in the crowd. And the sight must have been amazing. One loaf became two, two became four, and four became eight, until over 10,000 people were completely full – with twelve baskets of leftovers.
Here are three Life Lessons we can draw from these passages:
1. A Lesson from the Disciples: When God places someone in your path who needs something that Christ wants to give them through you, don’t send them away empty-handed. I don’t believe God expects us to meet the needs of every person who crosses our path. But if you are a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, you’d better believe that on a regular basis, God is going to place people in your path—people who need something that God wants you to give them. It might just be a kind word to a lady in line at the Dollar Tree. Maybe it’s your coworker who needs someone to invite him to church, or the homeless guy on the sidewalk in front of McDonald’s who just needs a burger. How do you know if the person in your path has been placed there by God to receive something from you? You pray without ceasing. Every day, go to God and pray: “Use me today, God. I don’t want everyone who crosses my path today to leave empty-handed. So, show me who You want me to bless.”
2. A Lesson from the Boy: “Whenever there is a need, give all that you have to Jesus and let Him do the rest” (Warren Wiersbe). What a loss it would have been to that crowd of 10,000—and to the hundreds of millions of people who have heard this story over the past 2,000 years—if Andrew hadn’t brought the boy to Jesus. The boy didn’t have much, but what he had, he brought to Jesus. You might not think you have much to give. That’s okay. Bring ALL that you have to Jesus, and let Him take care of the rest.
A Lesson from Jesus: Jesus says, in effect, “You do the addition. I’ll take care of the multiplication” (Chuck Swindoll). Each miraculous sign in the Book of John reveals something about Jesus: who He is and what He came to earth to do. This miraculous sign reveals that He is the Great Need-Meeter, the one the Jews had prayed to for centuries. He is the Lord our God, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth. There’s not a problem that Jesus can’t solve. There’s not a need that Jesus can’t meet. There’s not a shortage that Jesus can’t turn into a surplus. But nine times out of 10, Jesus will NOT meet our needs out of thin air. You and I must put in ALL that we have on the table and trust Him to multiply it. And this applies to all areas of your faith. You must surrender your WHOLE life to Christ – your time, your talents, your treasures – if you truly want Him to work through you and accomplish things beyond all you could ask or think.
Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church.
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