What do you do when you face impossible circumstances?
"Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves." 16 But Jesus said, "They need not go away; you give them something to eat." 17 They said to him, "We have only five loaves here and two fish." 18 And he said, "Bring them here to me." 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children."
The Apostle John records Jesus' truthful statement, "Apart from Me you can do nothing", in John 15:5. The disciples lived out that truth with Jesus. Our text today is one of many times the disciples experienced the truth of Jesus's statement.
Jesus, the disciples, and five thousand men plus women and children were in a desolate place, in need of food and had only five loaves and two fish for everyone. Jesus told the disciples to feed the crowd with five loaves and two fish - an impossible request for the disciples, but very doable for Jesus. The disciples brought the meager food to Jesus.
Jesus ordered the people to sit down on the grass, said a blessing holding the five loaves and two fish and gave the food to the disciples to give to the crowds. All ate and were satisfied and there were twelve baskets full of broken pieces left over. The disciples, with Jesus, fed five thousand men plus all the women and children with five loaves and two fishes.
The truth restated, "With Me you can do everything I command you."
How did the disciples experience the feeding of the five thousand? They took Jesus at His word and obeyed Him. They lived by faith in the Son of God. They attempted to do what Jesus said for them to do expecting Him to fulfill their act of faith with His power - and He did!
The same truth holds true for us today. If we take Jesus at His word and by faith do what He says, then we experience Jesus doing through us what we could never do without Him.
Have you ever been in a desolate place with meager resources and were asked by Jesus to do what seemed impossible? What did you do?
If you obeyed by faith in Jesus' ability to help you do what He commanded, then you experienced what the first century disciples experienced when asked to feed five thousand plus people with meager resources and no hope of more. Jesus promised never to leave us or forsake us and promised to be with us even to the end of the age (Hebrews 13:5; Matthew 28:20). If we take Jesus at His word and obey by faith we will experience Jesus helping us do what we thought was impossible.
If we do not obey by faith, then we will experience what we can do with very limited capacity - feed twenty-five people with our meager resources instead of five thousand plus people. Let's take Jesus at His word, obey by faith and experience Jesus doing the impossible through us.
We can do everything Jesus commands when we trust Him to help us.
Three key questions to ask as we prayerfully read the scriptures: