Fish and Loaves Night
Last Saturday evening, three of our grandsons came to the house for their first overnight with us. This has been something that they have done since they were very little kids, but this is the initial experience for them at our new home. Janet and I were bracing ourselves for the inevitable fight about who wanted what bedroom to sleep in, but we were pleasantly surprised that they didn’t fight at all. In fact, they all wanted to sleep together in the same room! Who would have thought?
One of the things that is different about our new home is that we are on a small lake. And so this past Saturday evening the boys all wanted to go fishing. You can’t believe the memories that flashed through my mind as I got the rods ready. And then, we walked to the edge of the water and started our time fishing. We used small hooks and bread – the same thing my cousins, Lynn and Laurel, taught me to fish with when we used to stay at their home, on Murphy Lake, in northwest suburban Chicago. My bother Doug and I used to catch more fish than we could count and we never got tired of fishing.
And since that time, back before we were even teenagers, I have never caught more fish than we did on those wonderful days on Murphy Lake. It’s only in the last several months that we have ever had a situation that even care close to that remarkable place. So back to our story – the boys were very skeptical that bread would work for catching fish. I just let them go ahead thinking that we weren’t going to catch anything. But I knew better – I have had way too much experience knowing how well bread works for catching blue gills and sunfish.
Sure enough – the boys couldn’t believe it when they started catching fish. We were only out there long enough for each of them to catch at least one – but there were a total of seven that we caught and released by the time our first fishing time was over. It was quite a night… And the boys are already talking about the next time we can all be together. In fact, it reminds me of a similar event in the Bible. That was the time when Jesus fed the 5000 with just two fish and five loaves of bread. That was a miracle that Jesus performed to feed the multitudes who had come to hear Him speak as He was reaching the pinnacle of His ministry.
It’s important to note that Mark, in his Gospel, highlights more of Jesus did than what He said – and Mark always highlights the compassion of Jesus as He performed miracles throughout the land. The feeding of the 5000 was one of Mark’s examples. The disciples thought that it would be too expensive to feed everyone and they were prepared to send the crowd away. Jesus commanded them to feed the people – although we know that Jesus only commanded them because He was the one who would have to do the work of creating the miracle to feed the crowds.
The verse for tonight highlights the fact that Jesus commanded the disciples to do something that was beyond their capability. That means that Jesus was prepared to do the miracle Himself – in full view of the apostles and the multitudes. We are told, in Mark 6:35-37, “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.” But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”
My encouragement this evening is that Jesus never asks us to do something that He isn’t prepared to do in our absence. When He makes the big ask, He is prepared to make it happen. My prayer is that God will use you in mighty and miraculous ways – delivering things that are far beyond your human capacity. Have a great day in the Lord – grace and peace…