It seems we, as humans, are always passing the buck, or bucking the responsibility.
Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. — Matthew 14:16-17, NIV
Jesus saw the multitude and that the multitude was hungry. His attitude was not to leave their well-being up to someone else. He took responsibility and He wanted His disciples to assume this responsibility as well.
His disciples, however, could not see past their own limitations.
“We don’t have enough food for all these people” and “we don’t have the money to buy food for all these people” were the excuses Jesus heard.
The disciples wanted to send the hungry people away to fend for themselves, passing the responsibility of feeding the hungry back onto the hungry themselves.
Jesus, however, was not deterred by the physical limitations of the situation. He had bread the disciples didn’t understand. He understood the limitless nature of God’s provision, a provision not encased in the physical reality around us, but in the supernatural reality of God.
Is our response not much the same as the disciples when we are confronted with the need of the hungry?
While we may not think of ourselves as cold and unfeeling, generally our attitude is something like that of the disciples: “I don’t have enough food to feed all these people, and I don’t have the money to buy it, so they are on their own.”
And yet the words of Jesus ring true today: “They need not go away, you give them something to eat.”
The hungry are our responsibility, and passing the buck is simply not an option in God’s eyes.
Too often our vision is limited to the physical world, and we fail to see the limitless potential of God’s provision. Had the disciples grasped that five loaves of bread and two fish could be miraculously expanded to feed the multitude, would they have tried to pass on their responsibility so quickly?
If we really understood the power of God’s provision, a provision not limited by the physical reality around us, would we so easily dismiss the cry of the hungry?
Would that our eyes would be opened, that we would see beyond our own physical limitations into the infinite potential of our Savior. Would that our first response would not be to push their needs off on someone else, but that the eyes of faith would look first to the provision of a supernatural God.
When this happens, our response to Jesus will not be “I can’t,” but instead, “Tell me how, Lord, and I will do it.”
The words of Jesus echo through today’s hungry world as well: “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat.”