Monday, October 13, 2014

The Journey, part 23: Making a Way

(For there were about five thousand men.) And He said to His disciples, "Have them sit down to eat in groups of about fifty each." (Luke 9:14 NASB)

If you've ever tried to deal with a huge crowd of people, you know how disorderly they can be. Even the most docile people can be slow to follow instructions, slow to move when asked, slow to obey if others are not. When that crowd is tired and hungry, it becomes more difficult. When the crowd includes tired, hungry children, tired, hungry mothers who are frazzled from dealing with the children yet trying to listen to Jesus, and tired, hungry husbands who are frazzled, too, the task of directing the crowd becomes nearly impossible. 

Jesus had instructed the disciples to feed a crowd of more than five thousand men, plus women and children. The twelve apostles were to get the group organized and food distributed. They may have looked at the crowd and thought, "Jesus, there is no way this is going to happen if you don't do something!"

Can't you just see it? Those twelve men glanced around them and, at least for a moment, were totally overwhelmed by the task Jesus had given them. Feed the crowd? How?  Where to start? They must have looked at Jesus with eyes full of questions and, seeing, He must have smiled. "Start by getting them seated in groups of fifty," He said. 

A benefit of seating the people in orderly groups is that it made it much easier for the disciples to minister to the crowd. Distributing food to a milling crowd of thousands would have been a nearly insurmountable task. Our Lord, who with the task will always make a way, instructed the twelve to organize the people in such a way that the job of ministry was changed from impossible to possible. 

A popular song from a few years back says "God will make a way where there seems to be no way," and that is exactly what Jesus did that day. He gave the disciples a starting point that made the work possible, and our Lord will do the same for us. Are you facing an impossible task? Is there a work of ministry to which He has called you that seems insurmountable? Perhaps what you need is not every step in the process; perhaps all you need is that first step that will make everything else possible. 

When you aren't sure what to do, look to Jesus. He has the answers you need. All you have to do is ask.