But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.
Let’s not send others away to self-sufficiency, but instead invite them to Jesus, who can and will provide all of our needs. There is no need to wander back through the wilderness and risk fainting from hunger along the way when the one who can do the impossible is near. There is no need to send people away and tell them to figure it out on their own or solve their deepest need in some other way when Jesus is the way, the truth, the life, and He wants to be the Lord of their lives, too. They need not depart and go anywhere else or to anyone else to be filled and satisfied.
But not only was Jesus going to meet the needs of a multitude in a miraculous way, but He used the disciples to do it. Jesus prayed and broke the bread, but He gave it to the disciples to give to the other people who had gathered there. The disciples were the channel for His blessing to flow, and oftentimes He wants to use us to be a blessing to other people, to be the link between God’s hand and the hungry people reaching out. He’s provided, He’s prayed, He’s enabled, and then He gives it to us to pass along to everyone around us.
Jesus will never send us away empty when He can meet our needs. Not only is that an encouragement for us that we can turn to Him no matter what we need, knowing that He will give it to us freely, but it is an example for us to meet every need that we can for whoever comes our way. It may seem like we can offer very little, and it may seem like what we have couldn’t possibly be enough. But often it is our willingness to be used that is more important than what we have to offer. Often, we just need to obey and respond to what the Lord asks us to do.
We can help meet people’s greatest need, the need to know Christ as personal Savior, not by sending them away, but inviting them to come to Him. We can share with them the Bread of Life and help them understand sin and salvation. We can be a channel for God’s love to reach a hardened heart or a broken heart or a confused heart. We can be used by God to minister to the lost and wandering multitude around us. Let’s listen for His voice when He asks us to get involved in someone’s life and seek out opportunities to minister to others on Jesus’ behalf.