Today, in our last text of the series “Miracles of Jesus”, I want to talk about the multiplication of loaves and fish.
The passage in Mark 8 begins with Jesus speaking to the disciples about the great crowd that had not eaten for 3 days, asking them to have mercy on those hungry people.
The logic of the miracle
What is striking about this story is that it was described that there were about 4,000 men, without mentioning women or children. Considering one woman and one child for each man present, we can estimate about 12 thousand people present.
When Jesus asks the disciples to feed that multitude, they ask in verse 4 where, in that desert place, they could get enough bread to feed so many people, and then Christ responds with a new question: “How many loaves do you have?” They answered, “Seven” and still find some small fish.
Jesus took that little food the disciples had, gave thanks and asked them to start distributing it among the people. Would it make sense to start sharing just 7 loaves and a few small fish to feed a crowd?
The confronting gospel
Jesus has the power of heaven, He is the Son sent by God, He could bring up enough loaves and fishes to satisfy the crowd for days, but He wanted the disciples to participate.
We often focus on the part of the story where Christ multiplies the food, as that is the comfortable part, but the gospel not only comforts us, but often confronts us.
We need to remember that, before that miracle happened, there was surrender. Try to imagine this: you are in a hot desert, without food or water, walking for days, and then they come to you to ask for the only food you have. Delivering that food means, at the moment, abstaining from food and losing the security of having sustenance for the next days of travel.
But the disciples delivered and trusted, and the Word immediately says that the people ate until they were satisfied.
With the miracle of multiplication, the disciples were able to eat much more than they would have had if they had not given the food to Jesus. What do you have to deliver today?
Don’t think it’s little, don’t think it’s insufficient. Surrender and pour at His feet, for your everything may seem little to you compared to the greatness of God. But surrendering everything you have is still synonymous with renunciation and sacrifice, and that is how He works and multiplies.