YOU GIVE THEM SOMETHING TO EAT
When it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, “This place is desolate and the hour is already late; so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat.”
There is more going on in this story than you can see at first glance. Jesus is ministering to the crowds, they have been thronging Him for three days. If that was not enough, the Lord just wanted to be alone. He had just heard that his cousin, John the Baptist had been killed by Herod, this was disturbing on two levels. First, Jesus had loved and respected the courage and preaching of John, now John was gone. But even more troubling, the Lord knew that if the authorities had killed John, in time they were coming for Him too. He needed to be alone, but that was a luxury that had to wait for another day. Jesus continued to minister to the crowds for three days when all He really wanted was to be alone.
Back in 1990, the Lord really used this miracle to speak into my life. We were going through horrible, ministry threatening, financial problems. It is hard to be effective in anything, especially in ministry, when you are in trauma yourself, especially money trouble. During our worst of times, the Lord began to challenge us to reach out to people who were in worse trouble than we were. He led us to begin a free food festival, “Feed the Multitudes”. No matter how much we whined or complained, the message was clear, “You give them something to eat.” I was surprised at what happened at that first FTM event. Of course the poor and the homeless came, they came by the thousands. In those pre-Katrina days the projects in New Orleans were full, full of desperate people looking for some kind of relief. We had food, music, water games for the kids, it was an awesome day of ministry and fun.
What happened next is what caught me by surprise. The great miracle that happened that day was not the feeding or ministry to the poor. The real miracle happened in the heart of our church. The Lord was telling us, like He had told His disciples years ago, “You give them something to eat”. As we followed His directions, we began to get it. It really was MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE. We were the ones that received a miracle that day. For all these years, Feed the Multitudes has been part of what we do at Victory Fellowship, it is a living parable to us about giving. If you are in trouble, it is time to start giving. You can eat your lunch and it will be gone or, like the little boy, you can put your lunch in the hands of Jesus and your life of miracles will begin.