“How are we supposed to find enough food for them here in the wilderness?” His disciples asked.
“How many loaves of bread do you have?” He asked. (Emphasis mine)
Mark 8:4-5 (NLT)
I’m struck by how the disciples responded to Jesus’ compassion for the crowds. Instead of sharing His compassion for them, they scoff and mockingly ask what obviously is a rhetorical question. Jesus responds by asking them what they have.
How often have I done the same thing. How often have I mocked and scoffed when I’ve seen the suffering of people all around me, even while I’ve been so abundantly blessed by God with so much? How often I forget that everything I have is a gift that has “come down from the Father of Lights” (James 1:17)?
Jesus’ challenge to me is the same as it was to His disciples: have the same compassion that He has for others and consider first how I could provide for their needs from my own abundance.
Obviously, my resources are not sufficient to meet the demand – any more than the disciples could have fed 4000 men and their families with only seven loaves. It was Jesus who took their meager offering and used it to miraculously accomplish His purposes. He is more than able to do the same with our own small offerings.
The disciples caught on quickly. When they saw how Jesus multiplied the loaves, they managed to find a few small fish and brought them to Jesus also. I pray that I too learn to trust in Him fully with my resources based on his perfect record of always faithfully providing for my needs.