The power of the gift
Matthew 14: 13-21 (NIV)
13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
The story of Jesus feeding of the five thousand — over and above all the women and children who had gathered to hear him speak — remains a mystery. How did he do it? I don’t want to dwell on the mechanics or the science or lack of science behind the miracle. Instead I want to suggest it’s more important to learn from the heart behind the miracle.
We are told that Jesus had compassion on the multitude, but he also had respect for the people and he wanted to show them something of the hospitality of the Kingdom of God. The disciples are charged to feed the people and they reply, ‘The shops are closed —where would we get food at this time of the day to feed such a multitude? The story doesn’t give us all the details of how it all happened. Instead we discover Andrew finds a young lad who is willing to share food. He gives it to Jesus and the rest is history. The boy could have said this is just for my family. He could have kept it to himself. However by putting his gift in the right hands the story of his generosity has been passed down the generations.
The next time you hear of need don’t hold back — share what you have — but make sure you put it in the right hands. If you offer it to God he will surprise you when you discover how far it will go. God often takes the small generous offering of a humble person and makes it achieve miracles. You see it’s the heart that shapes the power of the gift. Grace once more is the great reconciler even between the ‘haves and the have-nots’.
Help me remember to give
It’s so easy to have the thought
And then forget to make the transfer
But the thought doesn’t count
The thought doesn’t change lives
It’s the act of physically giving
That makes the miracle possible
So take this gift I offer today
Be it money, time or my talent
Use it as you will
Let my heart help shape
The power of the miracle
If there is change back
Could we start another miracle
Change my heart
Let me be reconciled to your miracles of grace.