Offering Thanks Works.
Gathered together in a grassy area on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, not far from the town of Bethsaida in Israel, Jesus fed 5,000 men. The wondrous deed was preformed spontaneously, accomplished on-the-spot after Jesus looked into the heavens and gave thanks. Though Jesus’ close group of Twelve were at His side, they had no idea of the miracle that was about to happen.
The large crowd of 5,000 (total doesn’t reflect women and children in attendance) was traveling on foot from nearby towns as they followed Jesus, eager to listen as He shared God’s message.
Jesus, whose name means Savior, considered the encompassing crowd as sheep without a shepherd. Because of this, the Savior had compassion on them while lovingly healing their sick and speaking about the kingdom of God.
Followers Believed Large Crowd Too Expensive To Feed.
With night approaching and everyone hungry, Jesus’ select Twelve urged Him to send the crowd away to find their own food. They themselves did not have money to purchase quantities of food for a multitude such as this.
It was one of the Twelve, Philip, who made a statement estimating the amount of money required to simply purchase bread for a crowd this size:
John 6:7 Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
But Jesus went against His disciples’ suggestion to send the crowd away in search of their own food.
Matthew 14:16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
Upon hearing their Teacher’s words, Andrew, another disciple who was a fisherman by trade, spoke up.
John 6:9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
Sadly those closest to Jesus, just as followers today, had trouble believing offering thanks first can ignite a miracle. Even after His Twelve were witness to many other miracles Jesus offered to those in need.
Jesus Offered Thanks To God.
Jesus directed all the people to sit down on the grass, specifically in groups of fifty. Once everyone was organized, Jesus offered thanks to God for the five small barley loaves and two small fish that were provided.
Matthew 134:19-20 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
Jesus–through His offering of thanks–did what many considered to be an impossibility!
Jesus offered thanks to The Father for the little food that was available to Him. Then God blessed those five small barley loaves of bread and two small fish. God increased their abundance to the point of twelve baskets of food to spare after the large crown of 5,000 men and the additional women and children had eaten and were satisfied.
Remember, as Christians we are to learn from Jesus. In this event at the Sea of Galilee, Jesus needed to feed His hungry followers. A choice of actual physical food items was limited. The idea of getting money to purchase more food items was beyond reach. So Jesus turned to God for the impossible.
When we lift up God’s name in thankfulness, blessings happen!
First, Jesus thanked God for what He already had in His possession. Then, as the people utilized what they had in their possession, the miracle happened. God multiplied the items Jesus specifically thanked God for!
Think about how you can emulate this inspiring story of Jesus in your life. What specifically do you already have that you should give thanks for? Did you thank God you woke up this morning? Did you thank God you have people who always love you? Did you thank God for drawing you closer to Jesus today? How about, did you thank God you have sight to read this post?
Like me, you have everything to be thankful to God for. Make sure you offer Him your thankfulness for all the everyday things in your life. Then wait. . . and see how God blesses your thankful heart and gives you more!
Psalm 100:1-5 A psalm. For giving grateful praise. Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.