“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 that they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.’ Jesus replied, ‘They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.’”
Matthew 14:15-16 NIVUK
There is a really interesting dynamic at work here that many of us Christians either have not yet grasped or have not really 'dared' to act upon.
The disciples had seen the obvious need, they had understood there was an issue that would need some sort of action.
They were in a remote place with a lot of people and 'the people will need something to eat' The disciples pragmatic solution was that Jesus should send the people away to buy food locally.
There was nothing wrong or unworkable about their proposed solution....except that Jesus had a different idea. Jesus said :
‘They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.’
OK guys well done for spotting the need, but I have a different solution - You do it!
Up pops the very understandable pragmatism - 'but we don't have enough food, in fact, we barely have enough to feed ourselves!'
Then, one of the most important things Jesus ever said ( in terms of how we 'do' ministry ) -
He said: 'just bring me what you have got' after which the expectation was that the disciples would simply trust Him no matter how crazy or impossible things looked or sounded.
Jesus took what they had ( blessed it) gave them back what appeared to be EXACTLY what they had just given Him - ie totally insufficient resources for the task, then said - 'Now you go and feed them all'
And they went and did it and everybody ate and was satisfied.
So, the principle was:
1. Spot the need
2. Take your meagre resources to Jesus
3. Then, when He gives you back exactly the same as you have just given Him...!!
4. Go and minister to the need
5. See God work