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.”
Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
“Bring them here to me,” he said.Matthew 14:15-18
This encounter between Jesus, the disciples, and the crowd is so important for every follower of Jesus to understand. The crowds had a legitimate need. The disciples did what we would do. They asked Jesus to do something about it. They even suggested what Jesus should do (send the crowds away so they could get food).
What do we call this today, when we go to Jesus with a request on behalf of other people? We call it prayer. Specifically, we call it petitioning prayer.
Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do? Yes, but we are also supposed to listen in prayer for His response. And we shouldn’t be surprised when the response Jesus gives us is, “You do it.”
Jesus tells His disciples to give the crowd something to eat, and their response is often our response. They felt inadequate. They reasoned with Jesus that they didn’t have enough to accomplish the task. They didn’t have what it takes. Don’t we do the same?
“But Jesus, that’s impossible for me to do!” “But Jesus, I don’t have enough money, talent, gifting, resources, people, help,…..etc.”
Jesus didn’t agree with His disciples. And when we give this kind of response He doesn’t agree with us either.
Jesus then says, “Bring them here to me“(Matthew 14:18).
Whatever it is that you have, bring it to Jesus. Hand it to Him. Does it feel too small, too weak, too insignificant? That’s okay. Give it to Jesus. Put it in His hands and watch what happens.
He’ll give it right back to you and say to you again, “You do it.” And as you are obedient, everything that didn’t feel like it was enough will multiply in your own hands as you give it away.
“Jesus, heal this person!” … “You do it.”
“Jesus, change this situation!” … “You do it.”
“Jesus, help those people!” … “You do it.”
“Jesus, they need freedom!” … “You do it.”
You give them something to eat. But first things first, hand it to Jesus. Put everything you have in His hands. Give it all to Him and watch what happens.