After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberius. And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. John 6:1-4
Crowds were following Jesus by now. They saw him heal and they wanted more. Jesus went up in the mountains. Those of us from Colorado understand the joy of this moment. On the mountain is where you get the big picture! In the mountains is a place to clear your head, refresh and renew your heart. On the mountain Jesus was about to throw down a teaching that would be talked about for 2000 years and counting.
* When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Matt. 14:14
Look what happens first, don't miss it, look back at the verse and reread it. Jesus saw the large crowd. Matthew expands on the John teaching, this is the only miracle talked about in the four gospels, Jesus saw their needs and met them. Often times we look at people, but do we really see them?
The motivation was simple, yet compelling. Jesus had compassion for the crowds and their needs. Compassion begins in the heart. You see "The Miracle" must begin in your heart. We must see those around us, really see! We cannot simple look, we must see the need! Our corresponding prayer must be, "Lord break my heart with the things that break your heart!"
When you see like Jesus, compassion will flood your heart!
Jesus said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?" He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. John 6:5b,6
The test is quite simple, Jesus is asking you what will you do once you see the need. So let me ask you, "what will you do?"
Philip answered him, "Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little." John 6:7
The answer may not be quite what you think. The first thing to do is to admit, "Lord, I don't have enough, I can not do this alone." In doing so, you really are in much better position. Your miracle has now gone from your heart cry - "Lord we need to take care of this need" to the head, "Lord, I can not do it - I need you!"
One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?" John 6:8,9
God's miracle came through a very unexpected resource. Seriously, what would you have done? Calculate the need, raise the funds, call in a few Big Macs? Not God, he chose a little boy.
God was not caught by surprise. Jesus was not in a panic. We need to realize God was at work setting up this miracle ahead of time. God knew that the crowd would be following his son. God could of sent the manna again.... (notice the similarities between this and Moses.)
But God chose a small boy to bring a little lunch. A few bread wafers and a few sardine-like fish. Hardly enough to feed 5000 men. I know when we have 5 of my son's friends over I hardly have enough to feed their teenage bellies much less 5000 men plus women and children... 10,000 people.... are you kidding me.... but God was at work!
The miracle was in the boys hand! God had worked, the boy was available and ready. When Jesus asked the boy, he surrendered what was in his hand to Jesus. The same is true of you today. "The Miracle is in Your Hand!" It may be a hammer, it may be cooking or sewing skills, it may be the ability to write, it may be computer tech, it may be communication, marketing, it may be the gift of mercy or of service, it may be financial. "It" is however God has uniquely equipped you.
"The Miracle is in Your Hand." So, what is in your hand?
Somewhere there’s a boy, a girl, a man, a woman who will shake up this world. He’s been sitting idly by, but God has been getting him ready. Somewhere this morning is someone God has been preparing to do great things. Somewhere this morning is a man or woman who God has been stirring and saying I’ve already planted a miracle in your hand…. Are you ready?… Are you willing?
If you have asked the Lord to break your heart then ask him to reveal what is in your hand.
What is in your hand is not enough. That's true... that's key. But you must start!
Start with what you have and surrender it to God. Honestly, I love to see where I'm going, what is my destination. But God often doesn't show us the end, he just says "start"! It was true for Abraham.
Abraham had a promise but he did not know where he was headed. You may not either, but START!
Start with the compassion that breaks your heart. Start with admitting you can't. Start with surrendering whatever is in your hand. Start NOW!
What you have may seem insignificant, but it's not about us, it's about Jesus and what he will do with what you give to Him.
Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. John 6:10,11
Transferred to Transformed: Jesus took the transferred fish and loaves and transformed them into a miracle. You see what you have in your hands when transferred to Jesus becomes the miracle of transformation. This is where it gets really exciting. You couldn't do it by yourself! But now in a transfer to transform partnership with Jesus what you have in your hand is multiplied and the overwhelming need is met.
Note, "The Miracle is in Your Hand".
And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, "Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost." So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. John 6:12,13
Ever feel unnoticed? I doubt very much the boy thought he would be noticed that morning when his mom said, "Son, you are not leaving this house without your lunch bag." Seems insignificant, right?
The boy might have been even a bit ashamed. Can you hear his response, "Oh shucks mom, no one else is bringing anything. Do I have to? I will feel like a dork!"
Yet that seemingly insignificant, unnoticed boy, becomes the one God uses to feed thousands. And by the way, the only story retold throughout all 4 gospels!! Why? I imagine the disciples sat around a campfire and said which one was your favorite? They all loved this one. They all identified with this one. They didn't have enough to change their world. They were seemingly insignificant compared to the call to go into the whole world.
I surely can relate. There are times when I feel unnoticed & especially insignificant. But like the disciples, this story encourages me. It's not about what I have, it's about giving what's in my hand. It's not about if I can, it's about knowing God can. It is about joining God in his big picture to reach humanity with His love!
Your little becomes His miracle. What a grand thought. What a release to feel others pain, to have your heart break, to pray, to move, to do, to surrender and to watch. It's His miracle - it's in your hand.
Surrender! You get to team up with Jesus.
When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, "This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!" Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself. John 6:1-15
One final thought. The miracle will always draw people to Jesus, not to you. It is God's faithfulness we celebrate and when God gets the glory.... he's found a faithful person to funnel more miracles through, so be ready.... "The Miracle is in Your Hand"!