All four of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) tell the story of the miraculous feeding of the 5,000. The Lord definitely wanted to be sure we do not miss this story. Like all the miracles, this one also demonstrated what the Kingdom of God was like. However, the disciples did not get it. In Mark 6:52, however, we read a sad summary that the disciples “had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.”
How can you have just come back from an exciting ministry journey, be so close to Jesus, see miracles happening all around, and still be hard-hearted? If it could happen to them it could happen to us.
God uses your smallness
Jesus sought to show His trainees deep things about the Kingdom. First, if they had been watching, they would have learned that God uses our inabilities to do impossible and crazy stuff. The disciples brought a lad to Jesus with a 7-piece fish dinner. That became the basis for the miracle that fed thousands.
What would a soft heart see in this? Perhaps that you only bring the Lord what little bit you have.
You don’t have to have huge talent.
You don’t have to bring him a huge education.
You don’t need a huge bank account.
You don’t have to have a huge circle of friends.
You can do this because of the God-multiplier. He makes your little bit scale to epic proportions!
Even what is broken matters
Jesus did something I could not even imagine doing. He had his 12 trainees go around and gather up all the leftovers. If I was feeding a crowd tuna fish sandwiches, I know I would not want to collect what they did not eat.
Jesus was teaching by this. At the end, there was a basket for each disciple-in-training. Perhaps this signified their roles in the Kingdom. We are to be fragment gatherers.
If you go into ministry to have mountaintop experiences and be followed by crowds of 5,000, you missed it. Jesus cares about restoration. He wants to pick up what is broken.
Gather what might be lost
Jesus told them, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.”
This summarizes what He has called you to do.
1. Gather. We are on a mission to bring others into the Kingdom.
2. Fragments. Are you moved with compassion like Jesus on the hurting and broken people in life?
3. Nothing lost. That is what drives you every day. Kingdom work is not about having a hobby. It is not about making a name for yourself. What keeps you going even when you get weary? The fact that they need it. You are driven to do what you do because you want none to be lost.
Is your heart getting hard? Check that you are still in the fragment gathering business. If not, grab a basket and get on the team.