Multiplication Problem

Background Story: Jesus has been preaching and teaching. As His fame has increased, so have the size of the crowds. At this location, 5,000+ have come to hear Him speak. This has caused some anxiety in the disciples.

Read Matthew 14:13-21

13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

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. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Big Idea: God multiplies our offering.

Do you ever get overwhelmed by a problem or circumstance and lay awake in bed trying to come up with a solution? I know I do. I am a fixer so if I see a problem, my first inclination is to try to come up with the solution. Here there were over 5,000 people that were hungry and the disciples were getting stressed trying to come up with a plan to fix the situation.

Faced with the impossible, what can we do?

1- Admit your need for God. The disciples realized pretty quickly that the few loaves and fish in their hands were not going to be enough and they said to Jesus, “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish.” It’s ok to be vulnerable to God and admit when you feel weak, inadequate, and weary. Surrender is found in those moments when we lay all our fears, insecurities, and weaknesses before God crying out for help.

2- Bring Him what you have. The disciples brought their small offering to Jesus and He blessed it. Read through all of the miracles Jesus did in the book of John and you will see something in common. Whether it is the miracle of the water into wine, the healing at the pool of Bethesda, or the healing of the blind man, Jesus involved His disciples in the miracle by asking them to take a small step of faith and obedience. Often in our situations, God will ask us to offer what we have in faith to Him and take a step of obedience in faith before we see the outcome.

3- God brings the miracle. God takes our offering, obedience, and faith and multiplies them into our miracle in ways we can’t imagine. And what’s truly amazing is this…the miracle God performs in our life doesn’t stop there. God uses the miracle in our life to become our testimony of His faithfulness to help lead others to a knowledge of Him. Your miracle will become part of someone else’s miracle!

So today if you find yourself faced with a problem too big for you… bring your problems, worries and anxiety to Him in honesty and vulnerability. Offer Him everything you have in surrender. And as you feel the urge to take back control, pray for the faith to trust Him and walk in obedience!

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