In the last piece, I spoke about Christ charging His followers with the task of reaching those in need. I mentioned how it was well within His power to feed the crowd that had gathered around Him and His disciples in the account found in Mark 6, yet He is adamant that His disciples take the responsibility first. If you recall, I raised the question of why Jesus, the creator of heaven and earth would sometimes give us as His disciples a responsibility that is seemingly out of our known abilities?I believe I’ve found a few Biblical hints that reveal to us why we have been given this responsibility
For His Glory and Our Blessing
One reason He does this is to give us the opportunity to bring Him glory and simultaneously stretch our faith in God through what He is able to accomplish.
Jesus said, “Let your light so shine among men that they may see your good deeds and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).We see here that ourgoal shouldnever be about us and our glory, but instead, God’s glory.
In our obedience to what He may ask us to do, God gracefully blesses us with the opportunity to learn to trust in Him more and in turn, learn more about His character. Knowing who God is and His heart for humanity is huge blessing. When we obey Him in His command to bring the Gospel to others, God in turn reveals to us His power, further blessing us in the process.
In the Gospel of John’s accountof the same story we talked about in the first piece, it is revealed that after Jesus tells the disciples to feed the crowd, the disciples return to Jesus with food belonging to a young boy. The Bible doesn’t recount what the conversation with the boy was, but I don’t believe it to be a stretch to imagine the disciples appealing to the boy to give up His lunch with no real explanation of how or why it was needed. The disciples themselves gave no inclination they knew that Jesus would supernaturally multiply the food, so how would the boy know? It was a selfless act of obedience that this young boy did, not knowing what the outcome would be. Yet he did it because Jesus, by way of His disciples asked him to do so and because of this boy’s willingness to trust and obey, not only was the boy himself fed, but over 5000 people were fed as well, with TWELVE baskets of leftovers when everyone had eaten. It’s not hard to imagine the boy may have left with at least one of those baskets, far exceeding his initial 5 loaves and 2 fish.
The writer of John concludes by saying that many people believed in Jesus because of this miracle.
Pause for a second and consider that one boy’s obedience led to many not only being fed physically, but more importantly, being fed spiritually. And not just the boy and the crowd were blessed, but the disciples too through learning more about Jesus’ abilities. They were blessed through the strengthening of their faith, all because of their obedience to Him.
This is not an isolated incident. The Bible and all of human history is filled with other examples of how God uses our human obedience to bring His Kingdom to the lost in unexpected, earth-moving ways.
Who’s to say how God could use our decision to trust and obey?
How has God blessed you and/or others around you through an act of obedience to Him?
Written By: Cal Renner, Communications Team