Five loaves and two fishes by monkey6

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Five loaves and two fishes
Mark 6:30-44

Preached by: Brent Russell At: Protea Valley Family Church On: 22nd November 2009 www.pvfc.org.za

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This is one of those great stories that we tell our kids at Kids Church, but I am not sure how often we as adults tell these stories In part this is because of our lack of faith that some of these miraculous stories actually happened The deal is this: Jesus has this crowd following him from place to place Like all of those who have charismatic personalities and teach things that are different to what they have been hearing for years, Jesus attracts a following Things have gotten so out of hand that Jesus cannot even get away to get some food into his system and so they try to escape to a desolate place where Jesus can recoup his energy But some people recognize him and before you can say bob’s-your-aunty there is a multitude surrounding him again We’re told 5000 men are there, so we can surmise that this crowd was 10000 strong with women and children How they all managed to hear Jesus I really don’t know Instead of being irritable like many of us would be, Jesus has deep compassion on these people He sees them as lost and he has compassion on them and so he teaches them many things about the kingdom of God Late in the afternoon the disciples come to him and they want him to send this lot away to the surrounding villages to find food And here is where things get a little interesting Jesus says you go and give them something to eat So we’re at Newlands and the game is on The stadium is packed the crowd is excited to be there And Jesus tells you to find something to eat for everyone! This is a tall order, Literally: 5000 big mac’s 4000 quarter pounders with cheese 1000 quarter pounders without cheese 8000 cokes 1500 fantas And 500 sprites 10000 medium fries And could I have 280 litres of ketchup please The disciples tell Jesus “Shall we take R25000 and buy bread for these people?” This is of course spoken, I am sure, with deep sarcasm It’s like if I asked the elders for a Ferrari and they answered would you like it in “red or black?” This is probably Peter talking and he answers like this because the task is impossible

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money is tight – they certainly don’t have 200 denarii And how could Jesus possibly tell us to do this? And whilst we may not be so sarcastic, our response is similar when the problems we face are so fundamentally huge We say to Jesus get these people food and Jesus says you feed them To our human intellect the odds are insurmountable In this country the things we face to be the people Jesus called us to be are huge: o 3.3 million adults in South Africa cannot read or write meaning that their chances of gainful employment are close to nil o Nearly 20% of people in this country are infected with HIV/AIDS and many of them will die o There are 500 000 Islamic people who do not believe in Jesus living on our doorstep in Cape Town and they need to hear about his love o 8 million children in South Africa have no access to basic sanitation like flush toilets and many will pick up serious illnesses like dysentery and cholera o There are 25.7 million poor people in South Africa who live in substandard housing without some of the basic amenities that we take for granted o The average life expectancy in South Africa is now 50 And Jesus says – feed these people! And our response – we’ll we may not be quite as sarcastic as the disciples, but somewhere in the back of our minds we’re saying “We’ll should we take 400 billion rand and solve poverty then?” I’ve often wondered why we become so paralysed in the face of insurmountable odds, when we serve a God like Jesus Why, like the 12, do we find it hard to trust Jesus? And I believe that there are three things that tie together 1. We do not believe in our own value through Jesus 2. We struggle to cling to the truth that Jesus is able to do what he says he can 3. And a lack of faith that he can take our little and make it much

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Jesus can do what he says he can • I guess at some level we can forgive the 12 because they had never seen anything like this Jesus • For us - we’ve got behind us the testimony of 2000 years of church history • Where 11 men who walked with Jesus for three years took a faith to the ends of the earth • Where the righteous have stood against the might of an empire who persecuted them and yet the faith grew • Where people like Martin Luther, William Wilberforce, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King Jr and Desmond Tutu faced the impossible mountain of injustice and evil but yet fought through to success because they had Jesus behind them • Jesus has never let his people down – there is a long history of the church to prove this • All the promises of God are “yes” in Jesus and we must live by that faith • A young Jewish girl was told that she would carry in her womb the saviour of the whole world and that her elderly relative Elizabeth will have a baby too and the angel reminds her Luke 1:37 "For nothing will be impossible with God." • • • • And perhaps that is our failing Like the 12 we look across the multitude and we think “it cannot be done” And by human strength it cannot I preached some weeks back on tithing and how the Bible promises that if we test God we will find him faithful

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So one family in our church struggle through what it means to tithe and they are obedient to God and the following week they win R10000 • Marisa and I decided to give a certain amount of money for thanksgiving to honour God who has done much for us and in a chance windfall one of the old members of Bellville church who died in September left me the exact amount from his estate • 1 Corinthians 2:9 "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” Lack of faith that Jesus can take our little and make it much • 5 Portuguese rolls and two bokkoms for 10000 people • I have it on good authority that Jesus failed maths at school • Because the maths of the kingdom never comes to the same answer as the maths of the world • Because Jesus takes our little and makes it much when it seems impossible • In human strength and human understanding these things are impossible • There is a very similar story in the OT • Exodus 4:1-5 " Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you.’ ” The LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” And he said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it. But the LORD said to Moses, “Put out your hand and catch it by the tail”—so he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand— “that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”" • • • • • • • God is not so much interested in your ability as he is in your availability And he asks “what have you got in your hand” Because he will take whatever you have and use it for His glory It is when you have little to offer – some kids lunch box that his mum had packed so that he could go and listen to the prophet – that Jesus accomplishes great things They have little but Jesus makes it much One of the great paralyzing forces that we face when we are confronted by these great insurmountable obstacles is that we think that God desires competence, capability, capacity, skill and proficiency before he will use us But what God wants is availability and obedience and he will take whatever me might have and use it for his glory Jesus will take our little and make it much What little have you got that God is calling you to use, but you are fearful? God does not often use the wealthy, or the clever or the capable he uses the available He’s not interested to wait for you to be whole but will take your brokenness and use it for glory He will not wait until your life is perfect, he’ll use your limitations to show his perfection He’ll not wait till you know the Bible inside and out he’ll use the little knowledge you have and make his name great He’ll not wait until you’ve grown to be a giant in the faith, he’ll take you lack of faith and accomplish great things with it He’ll not wait until you are wise but will use your foolishness to reveal his power The 12 came to him and said “hey Jesus send these okes away to get food in the villages” when Jesus was hoping they would come with a little lunchbox and say “here Jesus feed them, take our little and make it much” And too often we face issues and we want Jesus to take them away because we cannot resolve them ourselves

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And we forget that we serve Jesus When Jesus wants us to say “Here this is what I have it’s not much, but use it make it much for your glory!” Conclusion • We are taught from very little to think in ways that are fundamentally opposed to the kingdom of God • That’s the central theme of these miracle stories • Jesus comes to bring in a new kingdom – but it takes the 12 a long time to understand that the Kingdom of God does not depend on human strength – but only on our availability and God’s power • • • • • • • • • • • Sometimes subtly and sometimes directly we as parents teach our children the ways of the world not the ways of the Kingdom of God We are taught that good lies within us, that we have the ability to be better people in and of ourselves when Jesus says that blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven We avoid pain and grief because think them curses, Jesus teaches blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted We are taught that the world belongs to the self confident – Jesus says blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth We are taught that there are no absolute right and wrongs and yet Jesus says blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied We are told that it is a dog-eat-dog world, when Jesus teaches that blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy We glorify all kinds of evil in the name of progress, freedom or fun, when Jesus teaches blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God The world teaches us that birds of a feather flock together Jesus says blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God We are told that the highest ideal is our happiness, and that is what God wants us to have when Jesus says that blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven We are told that uses the good, the gifted and the grand But yet Jesus takes a child’s lunch box and the unbelief of the 12 and feeds thousands that He might be glorified My power, he says, is made perfect in your weakness When we have the resources and the means we don’t need Jesus But it’s when we have just a little and there is much need that Jesus makes himself grand I pray that you would think differently about yourself – there is no plan B – you are God’s plan to minister to the world I pray that you would think differently about what you have to offer – it may be little but with the supernatural power of the Spirit it becomes much I pray that you would trust in the power of Him who was raised from the dead 5 rolls and two bokkoms is barely a family snack – Jesus turns it into feast and even makes sure that each of the disciples has a basket for their own needs What will he do when we give him our little? He will make it much Jesus came to usher in a new kingdom that operates with different principals to this kingdom Let us live like citizens of the kingdom of God

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