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greater deeds

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“Then he instructed the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and two fish, and looking up to heaven he gave thanks and broke the loaves. He gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds” (Matthew 14:19, New English Translation).

Matthew 14:13-21 relates the familiar story of Jesus feeding the five thousand with five small loaves of bread and two little fish. We may even consider this a “kid’s story” because we learned it as a child in Sunday school. While it teaches a great lesson for children, it also holds some important truths for us big kids.

This new teacher spoke words like nothing they had heard before. Stories of miracles He performed spread from one to another.  No wonder crowds followed Him across the countryside. On this particular day, the crowd was large—5000 men plus women and children—and the people lingered, even as the day grew late. There were no options for them to get a quick meal—no fast-food hamburger, deli sandwich, or even a gas station hot dog. The disciples said, “Look, Jesus. It’s late, everyone’s hungry, and we’re in an isolated place here. We’d better send everyone away so they can go buy something to eat.”

In Their Hands

The disciples did not expect Jesus’ response. “They don’t need to leave. You can give them something to eat.” What? They had already looked for alternatives, but all they’d found was a little bread and a couple small fish. That wasn’t enough for this crowd. But it was when blessed by the Lord. The bread and fish went from His hand to theirs, and from theirs to the multitude. The disciples became part of the miracle when Jesus placed the food in their hands to distribute.

When I look at everything happening that day—the multitudes, the barren surroundings, the need, the sacrifice of one—there’s one thing that stands out. Jesus involved the disciples in making the miracle happen. At first, they didn’t see the possibilities. They only saw the impossibility of the situation. Then Jesus put the bread and the fish in their hands and used them to feed the masses.

What Do You See?

There may be times when we only see impossibilities. The work God has called us to do seems so great, and the resources we have seem so small. Yet, it’s not what our eyes can see; it’s what He has blessed and placed in our hands. We become part of the miracle when we allow God to use us. Every believer is empowered to do the miraculous.

“I tell you the solemn truth, the person who believes in me will perform the miraculous deeds that I am doing, and will perform greater deeds than these, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12, New English Translation).

Hold out your hand. God wants to use you to fulfill His work on earth. If He calls you, He will also equip you to do greater deeds than you can even imagine.

Prayer: Lord, help me to look beyond what seems an impossibility and grasp hold of Your promises for the miraculous. I realize that all power comes from You, but with Your blessing upon my life, I can do great things for Your kingdom.