Assemblies of God SearchSite GuideStoreContact Us

Daily Boost

  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood


What Is in Your Hands?

“How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.” When they found out, they said, “Five — and two fish.” Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. (Mark 6:38-40, NIV)

The disciples want to send the people away. Like the disciples, our priority often is to think of our own comfort. Jesus wants us to focus on helping others.

The impetus for locating food came from Jesus himself. When He asked, “How many loaves do you have?” they did not know. They evidently had no provision with them — perhaps as they walked that day they had already consumed whatever food they had.

It could be that they didn’t search very hard when Jesus asked. After all, there were 5,000 men plus some women and children. The disciples wouldn’t have wanted to stand up and make an announcement: “Anyone got food? Come up to the front!” That would only have been a signal for the crowd to stay, and the disciples wanted to send them away.

Only John’s Gospel reports that Andrew found the source — a little boy with five loaves and two fish. But even Andrew reflects the futility of his find when he tells Jesus, “But how far will they go among so many?” (John 6:8,9).

In presenting Jesus with the boy’s small resources, I suspect the disciples hoped this would be all the evidence Jesus needed to send the crowd away as they earlier had suggested.

We’re not very different from them. When the Lord asks us to do something over our heads, our first reaction is, “Lord, I don’t have enough to work with.” We don’t understand that He works miracles with whatever resources we already have in our hands. Our solutions are often not His solutions.

The fact that Jesus directed the crowd to sit down on green grass tells us it’s spring. John’s Gospel corroborates the dates more exactly by telling us the Passover was near (John 6:4). So this incident occurs one year before Jesus’ death and resurrection at the next Passover. Two-thirds of His three-year ministry is complete at this point.

Luke’s Gospel adds a detail that, in addition to teaching the multitude, Jesus had also “healed those who needed healing” (Luke 9:11). This would account for why people had been standing — perhaps waiting in line for Him to touch them, or observing Jesus as He healed. Thus, Jesus now directs the crowd to sit in groups that cluster in arrangements of 50 and 100.

In our own Fellowship, one-third of our churches have 50 or fewer in attendance, and another third have between 100 and 650. Twenty centuries later many followers of Jesus still gather in groups of 50 and 100. Even the megachurches have to break the large congregation into smaller units in order to provide community.

Thus, when the Twelve begin distributing food, they are not serving everyone all at once — they are moving from person to person, one group at a time. Jesus does not rain down bread, as happened with the manna in the wilderness. His pattern is that we use whatever is multiplying in our hands as we go from person to person, need to need, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute.

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, I too do not have much in my hands. What can You do with that? If I trust You and obey what You tell me to do, I’ll find out indeed what You can do!

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

On Your Mark

Previous Years

2013 On Your Mark

2012 On Your Mark

2011 On Your Mark

2010 On Your Mark

2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark

Podcasts of On Your Mark are available in video and audio.
Email your comments to