the SUPERSIZED Happy Meal
Our God is a God of miracles, and nothing is impossible with Him! He can meet every need that arises. Feeding tens of thousands with a small order of fish and chips was no effort for Jesus. How did He do it? It was a McMiracle! Jesus supersized what little they had, mouths were filled, and everyone had themselves a happy meal! And He can meet your needs today, and is working miracles today in those who trust in Him!
1. The Multitude
v. 2 Multitudes today are hungry.
a. Physical hunger
1/3rd of the world is underfed, 1/3rd is starving, and the other 1/3rd are here in this room. But many even in America, and certainly many in our town, go to bed hungry, and when they awake, they are no better. I’m glad our bread ministry can make a difference.
We are bombarded w/ images of starving people on TV…we should be careful not to allow ourselves to be desensitized to the very real epidemic of hungry people. Jesus met physical needs before He met spiritual needs. And with the bread basket of Ukraine shut down famine in many nations is just months away.
What a ‘happy meal’ this was to that enormous crowd on that hillside. They couldn’t focus on their eternal needs until their temporal needs were met. Their bellies cried out so loudly that their spirits could not focus on their need. But Jesus met their physical need and included a prize inside far better. It was the bread of heaven, and a living water thru which they would never thirst again…and He supersized it for all who would accept it that day!
b. Emotional hunger
They are hungry for acceptance, understanding, and unconditional love. They are looking for meaning in life and a purpose for living. Self help books are best sellers as people search for something real. They are ‘without natural affection’ and we need to share the love of Jesus with them…He’s the one who can help them. An entire generation exists today who has not been truly loved. They grew up malnourished on something less than acceptance and unconditional love, and no wonder they don’t know how to love or be loved. Dysfunctional parents raise dysfunctional kids, and today we are several generations along that road. Emotional hunger pangs loudly.
c. Spiritual hunger
Deep in the heart of man is a void which can only be filled with God, his Creator. This is our need for forgiveness…to be cleansed of our sin. Remember the time in your life before you were saved? Remember the spiritual hunger? Remember the emptiness and the void in your soul? God filled it when you were born again!
Ill.—a man had a passion for precious stones which led him to a barren desert known for being rich in gems. But he got lost and soon ran out of water. He was dying of thirst, and got to the place where he could barely crawl…he was on death’s doorstep. Just then he saw a canteen that must have been dropped by someone else. He mustered up enough strength to crawl to the canteen, picked it up, and it was heavy, oh what a relief this will be he said as he opened it up, only to find it had been filled not with water, but with rubies. He dumped them out, threw the canteen aside and died. The very thing in life he thought he needed the most meant absolutely nothing to him in the face of death.
Rich people commit suicide at the same rate as the poor, because THINGS don’t satisfy, and nothing can fill the void properly except Jesus. They may have plenty of food, but they are starving spiritually, and their hunger can only be satisfied thru Christ!
ill.--no carb diet [unsatisfying!]
ill.--Tom Brady after first Super Bowl win, looked at his ring and asked: "Is this all there is to it?" Now he’s coming back for more.
ill.--Actor Shia LaBeouf, in speaking about his depression said: “I have no idea where this insecurity comes from, but it is like a God-sized hole. If I knew, I’d fill it, and I’d be on my way.”
People live for power and pleasure, promiscuity and prestige but they find it all empty, and we need to be waiting in the wings to bring them real sustenance for their souls in the desert of their days.
Now this multitude was not present for the right reasons. They were there simply to see a miracle. “Show us your tricks we have heard about,” they said. Time went by and they got hungry, and Jesus saw His opportunity to give them what they wanted, and it led to an opportunity to give them what they needed.
The point: this crowd didn’t deserve to be fed, but Jesus fed them anyway. And you and I don’t deserve to be saved, but Jesus saved us anyway. Our church doesn’t deserve God’s blessings, but He gives them to us anyway!
Well, v. 7 says Philip calculated that it would take 6 month’s wages to feed this crowd one meal. But he was making a critical mistake…he was looking at the multitude, when He should have been looking at the Master!
2. The Master
a. A Personal Master
It was Andrew who found a little lad w/ a little lunch.
v. 8-9 It was just a little meal…a little lad w/ a little lunch. But little is much when God is in it. Matthew records that Jesus said, “Bring them to me.”
When man tries to fix a problem you find what man can do. But when God is put in charge of our problems you find out what He can do. He is the God of the impossible!
And just a little bit that you have, when placed in Jesus’ hands, becomes a whole lot!
Ill.—a great violinist stood before royalty to play, but as he tuned his instrument a string broke, then another, and another, and he was left w/ only 1 string. The crowd gasped, especially when he proceeded to play music that seemed divine. When he finished the crowd followed the king in a standing ovation. It was a broken violin, but in the hands of a master!
You are just one…one life broken by sin, scarred by sin, marred by sin, but put that one life in the hands of the Master and watch what He can do!
b. A Practical Master
v. 10 The book of Mark clarifies that Jesus told the disciples to organize the crowd by 50s and 100s. Our God is a God of order. You can see it in the universe, and in His masterful plan for redemption. Your body has organs...called that because they are organized. So why do many churches feel it is unspiritual to be organized? Why do many Christians not want to live on a budget, or by a schedule? Why would a preacher get up to speak without studying and preparing to give God’s Word to the hungry people?
I’m all for the Holy Spirit’s leading, but I’ve been in some services where they stand up and say, “We don’t know what will happen today, we’ll just follow the Spirit’s hand.” I want you know that what I experienced in those services I wouldn’t want to blame on the Holy Spirit. The Bible says to study and God will approve. God is not the author of confusion. “Let all things be done decently and in order.” I believe we can have His leading in our studies, preparations, in our planning, and then ‘in the moment’ as well! And yes, we should be open to change up our plans in the moment as He leads from start to finish!
Even the leftovers were organized...v. 12
We're just a small organization, but "Little is much when God is in it."
Jesus is a personal and a practical Master.
3. The Miracle
v. 11 I like the fact that He used the disciples to distribute the bread. He didn’t have to do that, but He chooses to use us. We don’t manufacture the bread, but we are called to be delivery persons. I’m a bread man, and proud to be so!
What can we learn from this miracle? I see what to do in an impossible situation.
Matthew's Gospel: Jesus told the disciples, ‘You feed them.’ It was an impossibility. And many here today are facing impossible situations…maybe it’s at work, or in the home, or in your finances. “What in the world are we gonna do?”
Do this: Do what the disciples did! START WITH WHAT YOU HAVE! Don’t wait for everything to be perfect, have some faith and start with what you have. Give what you have…you can’t give what you don’t yet have, and you’ll never have it if you do nothing!
The wonderful thing about our God is that He takes us where we are and uses what we have. He sees down the road to all He desires to make of us miraculously.
Ill.—God asked Moses to deliver His people from slavery in Egypt. Moses made excuses and said, “I can’t.” God said, “What is that in thine hand?” It was just a rod. Then God showed what he could do thru a stick, when it is placed in His hand!
But then, even after seeing the rod turn into a serpent and back into a rod, Moses said, “I don’t have the inclination/desire”, or “I don’t want to!” You see, we need to obey what God has told us to do. Some people are in a bit of a pickle when God challenges them to rise to the next level, not because they don’t know what to do, but because they don’t want to do what they know God has told them to do.
ill.--Some need to pray, "Lord, I pray that you'll make me want to do what is right." [quit smoking / break that habit / start tithing / witness]
You may look in the mirror at your gifts, talents, and abilities, and it may not appear to be a full meal deal. I like the double quarter pounder. I remember when I discovered they will give you a double fish sandwich if you ask, but it doesn’t matter if I’m a Happy Meal with the tiny little ‘where’s the beef’, pickle-sized patty…all that matters is that what little I do have is placed in the hand of the Master!
For some, the problem is not knowing what to do, but doing what you know. What do you have to give? What’s in your wallet? What’s in your hand? The disciples didn’t have to obey God’s commands, but they believed and did what they could with what they had.
Let’s be God’s bread deliverymen. Meals on wheels!
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