”But He answered and said to them, ‘You give them something to eat.’ “ Mark 6:37
When I was in college a group of us piled into a car and attended church a couple of hours distance from Andrews University. On the way back to campus the car we were in picked up a nail in one of its tires and soon there we were, a group of nicely dressed college students, working to change a flat tire on the side of the road. It just so happen that the stretch of road we were on was just outside an Army National Guard training center and within a few minutes of our beginning to change the tire a hummer with four servicemen in it had pulled up along side the fence and asked if we needed any help. While we were pleased that they would offer, adolescent pride prevented us from actually accepting their assistance, so we thanked them and finished the task.
Every once in a while when I see someone changing a tire on the side of the road I remember that Sabbath and the servicemen’s offer of help. I’ve always been impressed that while those soldiers were trained to perform much more important work for the defense of the American people they were not to busy, or important, to take the time to notice and help with the simple jobs either.
In our focus text, it appears that it never occurred to the disciples that they could provide for the needs of the multitude. And when Jesus suggested that they provide the food that afternoon the best they could do was come up with excuses as to why that wasn’t possible. They didn’t even think to ask Jesus, the one who had commissioned them and given them power over demons, disease, and infirmity, if he could provide for this need as well.
Friends, God has already given us so much he’s proven that he’s both willing and able to help us in our time of need. God’s also made it abundantly clear that he wants his people to be just as loving and caring as he is. He wants us to notice the needs of others and he wants us to provide help to meet the needs we see.
I know we’re busy, time is short, and resources are limited but friends God is still calling us to see and help. Jesus only needed a sack lunch to feed that crowd of five thousand plus people he can take whatever limited resources you have and make them be enough. More than enough.
It’s time to face the fact that when we make excuses we’re just trying to find a way to disobey. No more excuses. Let’s help others like Jesus wants us to.