May 2

Text: Matthew 14:15-17

And when it was evening, the disciples came to Him, saying, "The place is desolate, and the time is already past; so send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves."  But Jesus said to them, "They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!" And they *said to Him, "We have here only five loaves and two fish." (NASB)

“Take care of it!”  How often have you recognized a problem and had a solution, but you wanted someone else to handle the situation.  You would be very unhappy if the person did not “see” the problem as you did.  You would be insulted if the person rejected your solution.  All you wanted was for the person to “handle it.”  That was the only “need” that existed!

The 12 came to Jesus wanting him “to handle” a situation.  The problem: The people were hungry—it was late, and there was no food.  The solution: You send them to nearby villages to get their food.

Jesus replied, “You are correct about the need, but you are wrong about the solution.  I do not need to send them away—you need to feed them!”

They said “Impossible!  We cannot feed this crowd!  We only have access to 5 loaves and 2 fish!”

They were correct about the problem and seeing Jesus as the solution, but they were wrong about how Jesus was the solution.  Their solution was incorrect because it depended 100% on people and 0% on God.

We could paraphrase Jesus’ response: You do what you can, and allow God to do what He can.  That sounds fine, but it is challenging.  How do we determine our part?  How do we determine God’s part?  When do we depend on us too much?  When do requests of God become telling God what to do?

This we know: When our solutions leave God’s meaningful involvement out, our solutions are in error.  So as with the 12, we have much to learn.

Suggestion for reflection: How does God factor in your solutions?  (Read Isaiah 55:6-11.)

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 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell