Friday, April 8, 2016

3 Lessons From A Mind-Boggling Miracle

What a mind-boggling miracle: 4000 hungry men and Jesus fed them all with seven loaves of bread and a few fishes (Mark 8:1-9). As I studied this passage, I realized there's a second miracle that lies beneath the surface: the response of the disciples.

Let's peek in on the disciples and discover 3 lessons that can lead to a miracle.

1. Remember! How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked. “Seven,” they replied. They had a few small fish as well. (Mark 8:5, 7)

It hadn't been that long since Jesus fed 5000+ people with five loaves of bread and two fish (Mark 6:30-44). More people, even less food! Afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of crumbs when dinner was done. Perhaps they'd forgotten that.

Miracle 1: Even though they thought the situation was impossible, they told Him what they had. 

How often do we think things are hopeless but we've forgotten how God provided for us in the past? Many years ago, we gave money to a struggling friend, with no thought that we'd be repaid. Five years later a large, unexpected bill hit us and we were stunned when a check arrived in the mail from that dear friend. The amazing thing? He didn't even know what was going on in our lives!

Now, when something blindsides us, I remember the check from our friend and I trust God's provision.

God is always at work in our lives. When we remember the ways He has blessed us in the past, it strengthens our faith in Him to meet our needs today. 

2. Give what little we have to Jesus.  When He [Jesus] had taken the seven loaves and given thanks...He gave thanks for them [a few small fish] also and told the disciples to distribute them. (Mark 8:6, 7) 

Seven loaves and a few small fish. Doesn't seem like much, does it? I wonder what the disciples thought when Jesus told them to bring the basket to Him.  Jesus took it in His hands, gave thanks, and then told the disciples to serve lunch.

Miracle 2: They thought there was too little to feed the crowd but they brought it to Him anyway.

One of my friends who has a license to drive the church van commented to me that she wished she could do something more important for our ladies group. I reminded her that the rest of us couldn't drive the van so, because of her, we were able to go to many wonderful events. She gave her "small" talent to God and we all were blessed. 

It's tempting to believe that our abilities are too small for Jesus to use. He asks us to bring what we have to Him. In His hands, it's amazing the miracles He can work. 

3. We expect a small result, Jesus can work a miracle.  The people ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.  Mark 8:8

Don't you know the disciples were stunned! All the people were stuffed and there were leftovers. What began as one small basket, placed in Jesus' hands, fed thousands.

Miracle 3: They saw God's provision because they obeyed in spite of their doubts.

Jesus works miracles when we give Him all we have, no matter how small we feel. When we teach in Sunday School or open our mouths to sing, we might feel insignificant. When we sit at home and pray, we might feel as though our prayers are to no avail.  

But when we ask Jesus to teach through us or to encourage others with our songs, the sky's the limit. When we pray heartfelt, earnest prayers, we might not see the result but God's power is released through our words.  

When we live for Him, we have no idea how many people are blessed. His power multiplies our faith and it reaches beyond what we can imagine. Don't measure your value. Trust Jesus and let Him measure the results.

In His hands, our meager faith might bless 4000 people!

Photo credits: 1.  2.  3.  4. 

Please share!


  1. Thank you for this post, Sherry. I am about to speak to a group of writers, and I want Jesus to use all that I can give Him for His purposes. Thanks for the encouragement that God is always working!

    1. I know He will bless your audience greatly through you words, Katy. Thanks for commenting!