Jesus Provides More Than We Need

by Apr 30, 2018

What needs do you have in life? Probably a few. When we’re needy, especially beyond our own skill, wisdom, or capacity, we usually turn to the most trusted thing that we know of that will meet our needs. Jesus taught his disciples that they could trust him, and that he’d meed their every and deepest need.

He Gave Them Rest
Alright Check out Mark 6:30: The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while.” For many people were coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. These guys need a break. He probably saw it on their faces right when they rolled up, exhausted from this journey they’ve been on. And here Jesus leads them into rest. He tells them to rest. Even though there are many people still coming and going and those people have needs, there’s stuff to do, he tells to get away from the needs and chaos and get some rest. Isn’t that great to know as we follow Jesus? That he cares about if we’re rested or not? Maybe you need to hear this from Jesus this morning: go get some sleep. Seriously. Take a nap. Go to bed earlier. It may be the best thing you can do spiritually. Listen to what Don Carson says: Doubt may be fostered by sleep deprivation. If you keep burning the candle at both ends, sooner or later you will indulge in more and more mean cynicism—and the line between cynicism and doubt is a very thin one. Of course, different individuals require different numbers of hours of sleep: moreover, some cope with a bit of tiredness better than others. Nevertheless, if you are among those who become nasty, cynical, or even full of doubt when you are missing your sleep, you are morally obligated to try to get the sleep you need. We are whole, complicated beings; our physical existence is tied to our spiritual well-being, to our mental outlook, to our relationships with others, including our relationship with God. Sometimes the godliest thing you can do in the universe is get a good night’s sleep. So guys for the good of your relationships, the good of our church, the good of your pursuit of God, get some sleep. Prioritizing the amount of rest you need is actually a way to bless others because it sets you up to be a blessing to others. And Jesus knew that. He provided the opportunities for his followers to rest. Maybe your life is jammed packed, you can’t imagine how you could fit more rest into your schedule, you actually feel like you need the opposite: more time to work! So maybe you need to pray that Jesus would lead you into rest, like he led his disciples. Ask him to show you how and when he wants you to rest.

He Gave Them Guidance 
Let’s keep going in verse 32: So they went away in the boat by themselves to a remote place, but many saw them leaving and recognized them, and they ran on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. When he went ashore, he saw a large crowd and had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Then he began to teach them many things. Other people’s needs followed them. The crowd saw them leaving on this boat, so they just ran ahead of them around the shore and were already there waiting when they came to shore in the next place. Can you imagine going on vacation, getting off the plane and we’re all there waiting on you? Some of you moms are like, Yeah, that’s every morning of my life. Needs follow us. They interrupt our rest. There’s always more that we could do. And Jesus, whose probably just as exhausted as his followers, looks at this large crowd bringing him all their needs and he has compassion. Jesus feels their neediness deep, deep down; they’re a group of people who are lost like sheep and need a shepherd; they need guidance. So he doesn’t get frustrated with their insatiable neediness or view them as a nuisance, he doesn’t get angry or run away, instead he begins to teach them many things. Guys here’s the second everyday need that Jesus gives: guidance. Jesus is ready to teach us and guide us. Maybe you feel like you’re a part of this crowd this morning. You’re needy, chasing Jesus around, begging him to fix the messiness and chaos that’s in your life. Guys he doesn’t get frustrated by our neediness. He’s ready and eager to guide us. 

Where do you need guidance this morning? If you knew that Jesus would give you an audible answer about some question or some part of your life, what would you run around a lake to ask him? 

Now, the crowd did have to work a bit, they had to go to where Jesus was gonna be. A lot of times you’ll hear these christianeze sayings like I’m waiting for a sign or waiting on God to open or close a door. Let’s be real guys, 99% of the time that means that we’re sitting around waiting for God to do something unavoidably clear. We’re content to wait, because we’re unsure if we really want this thing anyway. Well, the this crowd did some work here. They moved themselves physically to a place where they’d experience Jesus. And guys if we expect Jesus to guide us as we follow him, we’ll need to do the same. We need to move ourselves physically to places where we’ll experience him.

He Gave Them Opportunities To Grow
Look at what else he provides for his followers in verse 35: When it grew late, his disciples approached him and said, “This place is deserted, and it is already late. Send them away so that they can go into the surrounding countryside and villages to buy themselves something to eat.” “You give them something to eat,” he responded. The disciples want to get rid of this problem. They see people as a problem. Jesus doesn’t. He says, “you feed them.” You do it. In fact, that way it’s written, there’s an emphasis on “you.” You yourselves feed them. What’s he doing here? He’s giving them an opportunity for growth. He’s asking them to do something really radical for him, something that they can’t do on their own. Now, I know what most of you are thinking, this isn’t something I need everyday. I don’t need Jesus asking me to do the impossible every day, can we just go back to that rest part? Right? How is this good news? 

It’s good news because God wants to put us in situations where we’ll trust him. Situations that will grow and deepen and strengthen our faith so that we’ll be people who look like Jesus. And it’s good news that Jesus provides these opportunities, because we’d all naturally run away from these kinds of things. We typically value ease and comfort, so we run hard from situations that seem like too much for us to handle. And, really, these guys could have dug out. What kind of life is this? In a dessert, being asked to feed thousands of people. This is worse than being on the party planning committee at your work alright. But Jesus is using it to grow these guys. He’s putting them in this impossible scenario, where the need is way too big, to show them how much he’ll provide for them. 

You have those same opportunities, especially if Harbor West is your home church.

He Gave Them Resources
Now look at verse 37: “They said to him, “Should we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat? ” That’s got to be a snarky, sarcastic question. They don’t have that money, that’s actually 8 months salary, and there’s no place for them to go to buy that kind of bread. It’d be like me saying, “let me take my thousands of dollars and run to Chic-Fil-A after church” It’s just not going to happen. They know that they have no resources here. So look, 

He asked them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” When they found out they said, “Five, and two fish.” Then he instructed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed and broke the loaves. He kept giving them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. Here’s what I love about this. Jesus tells his disciples, “you feed these people.” You go and be a blessing to others… And then Jesus gives them the resources to do it. There were probably up to 10,000 people that needed to eat. With 12 disciples going to Jesus to get food to bring to these groups, each disciple probably had to walk back to Jesus over 30 times when a completely empty basket. Each time, I bet they wondered, “Ok Jesus has to run out soon, right? Jesus is going to run out of what we need. Eventually I’ll go to Jesus and my needs won’t be met. He can’t just  keep providing.”

But he meets their needs every. single. time. These disciples become a conduit of God’s blessing to this broken, needy crowd. It’s a great picture of the church. We’re blessed to be a conduit of God’s blessing to our broken, needy community. 

You see guys, if you give your life to Jesus, he may ask you for far more than you originally planned to give him. He may ask you to do what you think is impossible. But he can give you infinitely more than you ever imagined. In the trade off of giving our lives to Jesus and receiving his unending grace, we lose nothing. We get everything that we need. 

Is there anything in your life that you’re committed to doing that KNOW you can’t do on your own? 

The disciples couldn’t feed this crowd on their own, their capacity was very small: 5 barley loaves, which were like glorified granola bars, and some fish. But Jesus wasn’t limited by what they had. He wasn’t limited by their capacity. He wasn’t limited by their resources. He wants them to do something that they can’t do unless he provides. 

I mean, that’s what he told these guys in John 15: “I am the vine, you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me.  So he was basically calling them into situations in their lives where, if Jesus doesn’t show up, they’re going to fail. One pastor said this: “If you’re not in a situation where if Jesus doesn’t show up it’s going to fail, then you probably aren’t doing many things of eternal significance.” Jesus has told us as his followers that we are going to need to depend on him for everything. But yet we structure our lives so that we don’t need to depend on him for anything because we value comfort so much. Let me try to prove it; ask yourself this question: If Jesus were to remove his empowerment and provision from your life, what would change? If you have a hard time answering, then you’ve probably set your life up in a way where you don’t need Jesus’ provision very much. 

Jesus’ disciples would have said: we couldn’t feed these people, we couldn’t heal the sick, we couldn’t preach the good news, they were swimming in situations that went beyond their skill, wisdom, and capacity. 

What could Jesus be calling you to that’s beyond your skill, wisdom, and capacity? 

He’s given our church a heart for foster care and adoption. Maybe he’s calling you into that. 

We’re a growing church with a thousand ways to serve. Maybe he’s calling you to serve in ways that you don’t feel adequate or able. 

Maybe he’s calling you to move somewhere, love someone, give up something, start doing something. 

Maybe he’s simply calling you to put the structure into your life that allows for him to meet your needs. It’s interesting to see the structure he puts this crowd into. He has them sit down, in specific groups with specific numbers, and he meets their needs in those groups. There’s a specific order to it, a structure, that allows for provision. 

At our church, we have our Sunday gathering, community groups, and journey groups. Maybe Jesus is calling you to sit down, plant, rest, invest, and watch him meet needs within that group.

Look what Jesus did in verse 42: Everyone ate and was satisfied. They picked up twelve baskets full of pieces of bread and fish. Now those who had eaten the loaves were five thousand men. What Jesus provided turned into abundance, and everyone was satisfied. Provision turns into abundance turns into satisfaction. 

He provided their satisfaction. 

You see guys Jesus doesn’t call is into the impossible to abandon us and wreck us. He calls into things that are beyond our capacity so that we trust him and we’ll end up being totally satisfied with the abundance he provides.