Mark 6:35-44 (ESV)

35 And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. 36 Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” 37 But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?” 38 And he said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39 Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. 41 And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. 42 And they all ate and were satisfied. 43 And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. 44 And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.

Great crowds of people followed Jesus and his disciples, headed them off, and were there to meet them when the boat landed on shore. Although Jesus and his friends were exhausted and hungry, Jesus had compassion on the people, so he remained with them and taught them until late afternoon. The disciples began to get concerned. They told Jesus to dismiss the crowds to the neighboring villages so they could buy some food and eat. By now, everyone was pretty hungry. The disciples must have been totally caught off guard when Jesus said to them, “You give them something to eat.” Ha! Where would they get that much food? Did Jesus expect them to go the neighboring villages and buy bread and bring it back? That would cost far more money than they had. Maybe Jesus was so overtired that he was losing his mind. But Jesus continued to press his apostles, asking how much food they had with them. They let him know that they had a total of five loaves of bread and two fish. This was good enough for Jesus. And so, Jesus had everyone sit down in groups, took the five loaves and the two fish, thanked God for the food, and had the disciples pass it out. When they were done, 5,000 men, not including women and children, had eaten and were no longer hungry. And there were twelve baskets full of leftovers, one for each apostle. This was nothing short of a miracle!

The disciples must have watched in astonishment while Jesus supernaturally fed the large mass of people with the little they brought. Initially, the disciples were discouraged, as they considered what they didn’t have. There were literally thousands of people around, and they had no food or money. And everyone was hungry! Unlike the disciples, Jesus focused on what they did have. He asked them how much food they could collect. For Jesus, five loaves and two fish were plenty. In the same way, we often place too much emphasis on what we need or what we lack when it comes to serving or working for Jesus. Instead of being discouraged by our lack, let’s focus on what we do have. God can do whatever he wants with what we offer. Our job is to simply bring him all we’ve got.