Jesus said something that struck me as a bit odd during the account of the first feeding of the 5,000. When the disciples asked how they were to feed all the multitudes who had followed Jesus, Jesus said to them, “You feed them.”
On the surface, it seems strange that Jesus should ask such a monumental task of 12 men to feed what probably amounted to 20,000 people (counting women and children). Why would Jesus ask that?
I think what Jesus wanted was their willingness to sacrifice whatever they held in their hands for the work of Jesus. In this case, it was two fishes and five loaves given to them by a small boy. It was at the same time a sacrifice and a confession of woeful inadequacy.
That was what Jesus blessed and multiplied to minister to the many.
In this day and age, many of us are praying for peace. We ask that Jesus step in and make peace by bringing unity to the racial tensions and strife.
Jesus says to us in turn, “You go and make peace.”
“How?” we ask.
“What do you have in your hand?” Jesus asks us.
“Not much. Not nearly enough to accomplish reconciliation. But whatever I have is Yours. I give it to You.”
What Jesus is looking for in us isn’t extraordinary ability but unconditional availability. What He asks from us isn’t great acts or passionate speeches. What He asks for from us is our very selves.
That’s where the miracle begins.