This passage clearly states that Jesus took the bread, blessed it and then gave it to His disciples to distribute to the rest of the crowd. On another occasion in Mark 8:1-10 we see Jesus doing something similar. He took the bread, blessed it and gave it to his disciples to pass out to others. What was Jesus doing in these instances? He was showing that how He does things is through us…with us as an extension of Himself.
The disciples enjoyed being close followers of Jesus. They loved getting the nitty-gritty teaching up close and personal. What Jesus was teaching them here, albeit subtly was that serving is as important as teaching. He was teaching through serving. Far too many people simply want information, “teaching” but Paul holds nothing back when he says that knowledge just “puffs up.” Service keeps us humble.
Precepts without practice results in pride.
Jesus taught a great deal of Truth but He also embodied that Truth. He did more than teach…He lived it out among them. He served and He expected His disciples to serve. And with a crowd like this there was no better time to serve! It is ridiculous how many people just want to talk about Jesus stuff and never do what Jesus did!
John 13:13-17 shows us Jesus heart for His disciples modeling His example:
13You call me your teacher and Lord, and you should, because that is who I am. 14And if your Lord and teacher has washed your feet, you should do the same for each other.15I have set the example, and you should do for each other exactly what I have done for you. 16I tell you for certain that servants are not greater than their master, and messengers are not greater than the one who sent them. 17You know these things, and God will bless you, if you do them.
Jesus disciples His Disciples to make a difference.
Yes, the miracle is from the Lord! He broke the bread and blessed it. But then He bequeathed it to His disciples to serve. It is no different today. Jesus is constantly putting things back into our hands to serve others with. He is not holding back…But are we? Are we keeping blessings to ourselves? Are we spiritual hoarders? Are we not making a difference because we don’t want to serve others? Perhaps the real miracle is not that Jesus could produce food to feed over 8,000? Maybe the real miracle is that we are the ones He’s using!
The method is the miracle!
In this case and throughout His entire life Jesus was handing off ministry to others. Sure there were times when only He could do something miraculous. However, there are plenty of times in the scripture when Jesus passes the torch on to His disciples and encourages them in being like Him (Luke 9:1-6, Luke 10:1-20, Matthew 28: 18-20, Acts 1:8). What is important for all disciples of Christ to remember is that we cannot mishandle what the Lord has willingly and graciously placed in our hands! He has entrusted us with the Bread of Life! How is the Lord asking you to pass something on? How has He given you something to give away to another?7But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 2 Corinthians 4:7 George Lockhart is a missionary with Vision 2 Hear and serves as the Youth Pastor at New Vision Church in Fayetteville, GA