“… But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. He said, Bring them hither to me. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full…” Matthew 14: 16 – 20 is a miracle, that many witnessed. There were thousands of people, and Jesus fed them all with just two fishes and five loaves of bread. I’ve seen this miracle. We had a Daddy/Daughter dinner and dance. We were running out of green beans. We were tasked with filling the plates while others were taking the plates out those in attendance. My job was a spoonful of green beans on each plate. We could tell the beans were waning, but there were still several tables that had not received plates. I prayed in a whisper, “fishes and loaves, Heavenly Father, fishes and loaves.” My partner that was passing the plates down the line said, “We are going to run out of green beans.” I said, “Fishes and loaves.” She then said, “Fishes and loaves.” Each time I dipped into the green tinted water I pulled up a spoonful of beans, many of them were pieces now, but it was still a spoonful. We asked, how many more, and we’d get the reply. As I was handed a plate, one of the Young Women leaders stepped inside the kitchen, “All done! Everyone has a plate!” I pulled up the spoon, it was empty. I looked at my partner, we both smiled, “fishes and loaves.” I will never forget that experience, it is so etched in my mind that I can see the spoon coming up out of the pot liquor as if it were yesterday.
Let’s delve more into the chapter, “But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, sand said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” Matthew 14: 27 – 31 provides us with another miracle that involved just one person, however, others saw it. One person desires to walk on water to meet Jesus as he was walking to the ship, and then the wind blew and he remembered where he was…his faith then gave way to fear as the Natural Man jumped in to remind Peter that water is not a solid substance, therefore, it cannot be walked on. That fear led Peter to begin to sink into the sea, a vast darkness at that time of day. Can you imagine stepping off of a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean, at night when you can’t see the horizon? Without the knowledge of a life boat being under me, that I can see, I’m not so sure I could take that first step!
Why do we doubt what the Lord can do for us? Why do we not put our full faith in those things that we need? We reach out to Him daily, many times. We feels His presence, daily. Yet, we let the winds of the world blow and remind us that we are just an everyday person, and miracles no longer happen. Until, we dip our spoon in the empty pan and lift up another spoonful of green beans.
“…And when the men of that place had knowledge of him, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto him all that were diseased; And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment; and as many as touched were made perfectly whole.” Matthew 14: 35-36, shows yet another level of faith. Many had heard of Him by now, and word reached the neighboring areas that Jesus was no in their midst. They didn’t even feel they needed to be formally healed by the Savior, if they could only touch his garment they knew he would be healed. So, they did so; and were healed.
We see three different examples of faith, and all three have action before the miracle happens. We must have faith that the miracle will happen. Faith of the disciples as they gathered the loaves and fishes, and then distributed the loaves and fishes…the pot luck tables were not full before they fed the thousands, they started with the five loaves and two fish. Peter’s faith started before he stepped off of the ship and onto the water, he didn’t wait for a bridge to appear…and his long as he focused on the Savior all was well, it wasn’t until he allowed outside forces blowing against him that his faith waned; and, yet, Jesus still put his hand out to lift Peter. Those who were in need of healing came as soon as they heard that Jesus was near, their faith started the moment they heard he was close and they went to see him. Their faith was so strong that all they wanted was to touch the hem of his garment. Now let’s take this into the spiritual, Jesus is the source of our spiritual food and no matter how much knowledge we have when we begin the journey with him, he is going to increase it beyond our own comprehension. As long we keep our focus on the Savior and not allow outside elements pull our attention away, we will stay firm. And, if by chance we fall, he will be there for us and reach out and lift us up. No matter what our temporal shortcomings, Jesus is there to heal our wounds, all of our wounds. All we need is to ask, or just reach out to touch the hem of his garment, he is there for us.
This week’s goal is to develop faith. Take that first step, and reach up; He will take your hand.