There is no denying that these are troubling times and many are in distress, including our friends and neighbors. As Christians, we want to reach out and help, but we often feel inadequate in the face of the enormity of the problems we are seeing.
Most of us are familiar with the the miracle of the loaves and the fishes, when Jesus responded to the needs of the thousands, providing them with sustenance when it seemed impossible under the circumstances.
When my pastor recently preached on this event from Matthew 14, I noticed a small detail for the first time.
15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
18 “Bring them here to me,” he said.Matthew 14:15-18
In Matthew’s report, we see that Jesus asked the disciples to bring Him what they had. Only after they presented Him with this totally inadequate supply of food did He multiply it to meet the needs of the crowd.
The miracle didn’t depend upon the disciples’ faith in their own ability, it didn’t even depend upon their faith in Christ. All that was necessary was that they gave Him what they had.
Can we do any less?