And when He had taken the five loaves and two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all. – Mark 6:41 NKJV
Upon finding five loaves and two fish, the disciples witness and participate in one of the most fascinating events in New Testament history. Those loaves and fish are given to Jesus and He prays over them. Matthew, Mark and Luke all say He “blessed” the loaves but John specifically mentions He gave thanks for them. Then as all four Gospel authors state, He gave them to the disciples. Jesus gave the food to the disciples, who in turn distributed the loaves and fish to the large crowd.
We aren’t told how this was done other than the crowd was made to sit down (another fact mentioned in all four accounts) and put into “groups on the green grass” (Mark 6:39). But we do know the disciples played a part in the process. This leads me to another lesson from this passage, God wants us to participate in His work.
Jesus clearly didn’t NEED the disciples to help Him. He could very easily have placed fish and loaves right in the laps of the sitting crowd or rained fish from the heavens. But He had the disciples take the bread and fish from him and give it to the people.
God usually works with His people, to serve His people. He doesn’t need us to do anything – but He often has us participate in what He is doing. There are times when the LORD totally operates without any human participation (the creation and the act of redemption come to mind), but most of the time, He has us participate in His work. And how awesome is that fact!
Participating and seeing His work first hand strengthens us, encourages us, and builds up our faith to trust Him more. Can you imagine the stories the disciples could tell about this event? For decades they could teach about this miracle as first person eye witnesses! They knew they only had those 5 loaves and 2 fish but Jesus made it a feast for thousands – and they right there participating in the miraculous event.
Is it possible we are too lazy as Christians? We pray for God to do some great event, but we aren’t willing to participate in His work and therefore nothing happens. We’d like God to heal someone but we don’t make the point to go to them and pray in person over them. We desire God’s blessing on our finances, but we ignore His principles on giving. We pray for His wisdom yet we spend very little time in His Word. We don’t see the God moving in our life, but we haven’t been looking or expecting for Him to do anything. God wants us to participate in His work!
Jesus does the miracle work of multiplying the bread and fish, but we are to distribute it to His people. Think of it as we get to tag along and see what He does!
In His Service,