You Give Them Something to Eat

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.”

5 Comments |Add a comment

  1. sean smith February 20, 2010

    this is a very strong article and and it puts your belifes to the test. i think we all need to do something and help those in need that have been affected by the food crisis.

  2. Selvin Ferril December 19, 2009

    Dear Beloved,

    It is a blessing to have such an intelligent break down of this passage of scripture, a topic hardly heard in church except when reference is made to the miracles Jesus performed during His earthly ministry.

    With your permission I would like to use a line or two maybe all on my website dedicated to tehe poor in Jamaica W.I. Haiti and other parts of the world including the USA, as we most times tend to think that hungry people are only in distance countries, forgetting those who are our closet neighbors.

    May God bless us all and please visit my website @


    Blessings on all who consider the poor.

  3. keesboer December 8, 2009

    This is a difficult topic. I always wonder where would one draw the line? In other words, how many children should I sponsor? Maybe I should sponsor every child from Bolivia…. I have always thought that it came to where I felt that I had purposed in my heart to give. But I'm always challenged by this.

  4. Prof. Sandee December 7, 2009

    When I'm traveling in ministry, I don't always know where a meal is going to come from. (I try to stay on a cash basis.) But I'd rather miss a meal or two here so my sponsored children (four of them 🙂 will be able to eat.
    To follow that first sentence, I've never gone hungry. God has always provided. It's true, we can't outgive God. 🙂

  5. Becky December 7, 2009

    This article definitely challenges one's typical perspective.

    Did Dave Kirby, who does the morning show on Reach FM, based in Christiana, DE, write this article?

Add a Comment

Read the ground rules for comments.