how much bread do you have?

But Jesus said, “You feed them.”

“With what?” they asked. “We’d have to work for months to earn enough money to buy food for all these people!”

“How much bread do you have?” he asked. “Go and find out.”

Mark 6:37-38

The miracle of Jesus feeding the five thousand is the miracle of miracles. A retelling is included in all the gospels, each disciple recounting the experience in his own way. Its importance is infinite; it cannot and will not expire.

Recently, I was struck by this curt exchange in Mark’s gospel. The straight-forward tone of the Bible’s shortest gospel tends to either tempt us to disregard its significance, or to read it really fast.

Both are a disservice to God’s word. The simplest statements are often the most profound.

At the beginning of this exchange, the disciples had urged Jesus to send the crowds away to buy food for themselves. The people must be hungry, they reasoned. Let them go buy away to buy food. Let them take responsibility for their own need.

But Jesus said, “You feed them.”

Immediately, as we all do when we are presented with a way to serve others, we try to rationalize our way out of it.

Let’s be logical, Jesus. Come on.

Here was their train of thought:

The people need food. In order to buy them food, we need money. In order to make money to buy the food, we need to work. And in order to make enough money to buy enough food, we need to work enough hours. Hours we simply don’t have.

Don’t you see Jesus? Don’t you see how much this would cost us? Food, money, time, work. Too much!

But Jesus skipped all of that.

“How much bread do you have?” He said. “Go and find out.”

Instead of dwelling on what they don’t have, Jesus asked them about what they already do have.

Today, I challenge you:

Are you trying to rationalize your way out of serving someone?

Are you shying away from obedience because your natural eyes are set on what you don’t have, instead of thanking God for what you do have? Jesus shows us that when we thank Him for what we do have and begin passing it out to others, He will multiply it on His own.

All He asks is that we trust Him. We were never meant to be the source of provision – we are simply called to distribute what has already been given to us.

And when we take the time to recount how much bread we have…

We often find we have a lot more than we thought.