Day 19: You Give Them Something to Eat

Yesterday we focused on the fact that Jesus loved the 5,000 gathered on the shore so much that He felt compelled to feed them in addition to healing and teaching them. But as He reveals this to the disciples, pay very close attention to who He assigns to do the feeding:

You give them something to eat.”

Not “I’ll.”

Not “Let’s.”

You.

The disciples were not asked to be spectators to this miracle, but active participants. If these people were going to be fed and Jesus’ desires fulfilled, the disciples had to play a critical part.

There are plenty of sheep that need to be fed today. Billions of people in this world are spiritually malnourished, and if they don’t receive sustenance, they’ll starve. So who’s responsible for feeding them?

You.

As we’ll see tomorrow, Jesus was the one who ultimately performed the miracle and fed the masses. But He didn’t act until the disciples brought Him the five loaves of bread and two fish.

Jesus doesn’t need you to witness on His behalf, just like He didn’t need the disciples to find food. He could come back to Earth, as He did some 2,000 years ago, and bring His message Himself.

But Jesus used this opportunity to prepare the disciples for a time that was coming when He wouldn’t be with them. He entrusted His important work to them, giving them ownership and responsibility for people’s souls. In doing so, He gave them purpose and empowered them to do things they weren’t capable of doing under their own power.

Think about it: what is your purpose in life? Making a lot of money? Having fun? Supporting your family? Helping others?

These are all great ambitions, but they’re not enough to build the foundation of your life upon. If these are all you have to live for, you’ll feel empty and unfulfilled.

But winning souls for Heaven? Now that is a fulfilling task. And once you experience what it’s like, you’ll want to feed the sheep again and again and again.

When you realize that Jesus directs us to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20), He’s not being bossy and issuing a command. He’s inviting us into a wonderful, life-altering process, a blessing that we don’t deserve. Yet He gives it.

And who does He give it to?

You.