In my last post, we saw Jesus teaching the crowds in a very remote location. Now it’s getting late and there are some needs that must be addressed.
By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”
The first thing that happens is that the disciples see and recognize the need. That’s the easy part. Ask anyone what’s wrong with the church and they’ll tell you what it needs.
Notice the response. It wasn’t the disciples’ problem. The people needed to fix it. If they were hungry, then the crowd needed to go out and find something to eat.
That’s the attitude of many people today. “If they would do what they were supposed to do, the church would be better.”
Notice how Jesus turns that whole attitude around.
But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”
That’s the response of a good leader. Turn the responsibility over to the ones who are sensitive to the need.
“Pastor, this church needs a Men’s Ministry.”
“I totally agree. When do you plan on starting it?”
I don’t think the disciples were prepared for that type of answer from the Lord. It caught them off guard.
They said to him, “That would take eight months of a man’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”
Here’s where most ministries lose sight of the true vision. The disciples immediately make it a resource problem. Their first reaction was to throw money at it to make it go away.
But first – here’s an aside for those who think ministers of the Gospel should live in poverty. The disciples DID NOT say, “We don’t have the money to feed them.” They asked if Jesus wanted them to spend that much cash on the crowd.
In our economy, think about how much it would cost to buy 5000 fast food value meals. Jesus had that much money on Him at the time. But I digress.
According to Christ, it wasn’t a money problem, but a Word problem. How did the Father want this need met? Too often we ask for money before we seek the Holy Spirit to provide a miraculous solution.
Verses 38 through 44 of Mark chapter 6 tell us of the way Jesus heard from heaven and met the needs of over 5000 hungry people. This is how we should be ministering to those around us. We must spend time in the Spirit, and then walk out what we’ve heard from the Father.
Too many times I hear, “If we don’t get the donations, then we can’t do what God has called us to do.” Personally, I serve a God who’s bigger than the donations. He can make a way with or without the money.
We need to learn to be listening for His voice. That way we keep in step with not only what the Lord is leading us to do, but how exactly He wants it accomplished.
Questions: Has God ever worked His plans through you without money? How did He bring it about?
© 2018 Nick Zaccardi