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  • 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


Lest We Forget

His disciples answered, “But where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?” “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked. “Seven,” they replied. He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. When he had taken the seven loaves and given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people, and they did so. (Mark 8:4-6, NIV)

How quickly we forget the Lord’s past miracles. Weeks, perhaps months, have gone by since the feeding of the 5,000 (Mark 6:30-44). The disciples do not connect the Lord’s past acts with the present need.

In dealing with the hunger of the 5,000, He asked the disciples the same precise question as He asks now, “How many loaves do you have?” (Mark 6:38; 8:5). You would think they would say among themselves, “Remember when He asked us that last time? He’s repeating the question as a test to see if we learned the lesson — that He can meet a great need even if we have tiny resources. If He did it then, He is able to do it now.”

But their question to Him focuses instead upon the impossibility of the situation: “Where in this remote place can anyONE [including Jesus himself] get enough bread to feed them” (8:4, emphasis added). They have no more faith here than they did during the storm at sea (4:40).

Their failure to connect God’s past provision with their present need is one we face continually in our own lives. We run up against situations that perplex us, where solutions are not even on the horizon. And we ask in bewilderment, “What can be done here? We don’t have any answers.”

The real problem is that our need always appears to be greater than our resources or ability to deal with it. Fortunately, when we are out of options, He is not!

The crowd had run out of food, but the disciples still had some bread stashed — seven loaves in all. The cupboard was nearly bare.

The Lord instructs them to give out all the loaves, to hold nothing back. There is to be no hoarding in His kingdom. The seven loaves cannot be kept for a later day. They must be disposed of now. Jesus, the Creator, could make food out of nothing. But He chooses to start with something — our something.

What do you have to give to the Lord today to meet the need you face? Do you also have some loaves, something stashed away that you don’t want to let go of? Are you willing to let Jesus do with them what He wants?

Jesus has the crowd sit down — there will be no crushing stampede for the food or gawking to see what He is doing when He multiplies the loaves.

In both the feeding of the 5,000 and here, Jesus gives thanks (6:41; 8:6) before He breaks the loaves. He also gives thanks at the Last Supper. I can assume therefore that these feedings of the 5,000 and 4,000 foreshadow the Passover meal in which Jesus’ body and blood become food and drink for all who will believe. He gives thanks before the bread is broken, and He gives thanks before the cup is drunk.

The disciples distribute the bread. After Pentecost they will set the Living Bread before the world. And today, all who minister in His name are still giving the Bread of Life to all who are hungry.

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, help me to remember what You have done for me in the past so that I may trust You with all my present and future needs.

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

On Your Mark

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2013 On Your Mark

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2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark

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