Reading John 6 after spending so much time considering the needs and those in this condition led me to a number of thoughts. The passage demonstrates many key factors about Jesus ministry to the poor. Sometimes I’ve wondered why Jesus healed some and not others, but hopefully these thought might help you understand a little bit about Jesus ministry.
1. Meeting needs attracts more people with needs. Those with needs follow Jesus because he is able to meet those needs. They shared the information with others and more and more people came. Love INC has lots of people who come to us because we meet needs. Every time someone finds a place to have their needs met, they pass on the word and there is a great increase in those who have that need.
2. Identify what you have. Andrew brings a young boy with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish to Jesus. Bringing our gifts, talents and skills to Jesus starts a process where we can be used. This is a life changing process. God uses some of the smallest things to make the biggest changes.
3. Thank God for what you have. Jesus proceeded to give thanks for the loaves and fish. It wasn’t much. The small fish and barley loaves were a poor persons meals. The process of thanking God for his provision reminds us that we’re not in total control of our own fate. That God gives us the things we need.
4. Trust God to provide. God did a miracle with the little bit that was given and the whole community was fed. Miracles can take place when we trust God to provide. Many times at Love INC, I’ve watched and prayed for something and trusted in his provision. Many times, God has done a miracle in providing the right things at exactly the right time.
5. Offer real solutions. Sometimes people think they need food, water or shelter. Those are some of the lowest needs that human beings have, but sometimes the solution is only temporary. Sometimes long term solutions are needed. In the case of the 5,000 people, they were temporarily needing food. They didn’t need structures to get food or work, they just needed it for the day.
Helping others isn’t about the focus on the need, but the people and finding what things we bring to serve others. Keeping our gifts to ourselves leads to nothing, but sharing them with others leads to change. Also, the food didn’t save the people, but it did open the door for them to hear Jesus. The end result is a focus towards Christ, but sometimes obstacles stand in the way.