TEAMS for Medical Missions

PO Box 215 ~ Macungie, PA 18062

Doing Our Part

Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:29-44, Luke 9:10-17, John 6:1-13
Jesus had just received news of his cousin, John the Baptist’s death, and decided to sail across the Sea of Galilee with his disciples to a secluded place to rest. But the people saw where they were headed and ran around the Sea of Galilee to meet them. When Jesus and his disciples landed on shore, Jesus saw the crowd as sheep without a shepherd and did four things: felt compassion, welcomed them, taught them, and met their physical needs. Jesus’ ministry was holistic in nature and cooperative in its implementation. Why did Jesus choose to meet their physical needs instead of just teaching them? He felt compassion. How did He meet their physical needs? He did the supernatural part in conjunction with His disciples doing the natural part.

How did this cooperative effort actually work? The disciples identified the need: crowd of about 12,000 people needed to eat. The disciples determined it was too big of need to meet and asked Jesus to send the crowd away. Jesus’ response: “YOU feed them.” So, the disciples assessed what resources they had available: 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish – and they presented them to Jesus. John 6:6 tells us that Jesus was testing them because He already had a plan on how to meet this obvious need and that plan was a cooperative one. Jesus took the meager resources the disciples had to offer and told them to seat the crowd in groups of 50 and 100. The disciples obeyed Jesus’ clear command, without being privy to the whole plan. Jesus then blessed the food, broke the bread, and began giving it and the fish to the disciples to distribute. Mark 6:41 says Jesus kept giving them to the disciples to set before the people. This was not a 10 second miracle, the food kept coming until all were fed – and there were leftovers. God never does anything half way. The lesson the disciples learned that day was two-fold: Jesus never asks us to do something that He does not provide what is necessary to complete the task and He never requires us to have all we need to succeed – He requires us to step up and trust Him for all we need to succeed. Often the reason our prayers are not being answered is because God is waiting for us to do our part. This is what faith looks like. This is what God requires. This is how God provides. We do our part, He does His part, and supernatural things get done.