Prescription For a Miracle

Everybody needs a miracle every now and then, but not many people know where to go to get one. So let’s look at one of the many miracles Jesus performed from the Gospels of John and Matthew. Let us understand from this story that man has as much to do with a miracle occurring as does God. As a matter of fact, God can’t or won’t do anything in our behalf until we get involved in the situation with Him. That is the power of man and the limitation God has placed on Himself. The following story is a classic example of how men deal with a problem and how God wants men to deal with them. So let’s take a look at a situation in the bible where a great miracle occurred, not because of the faith of the Lord’s disciples, but because a little boy decided to get involved and many people were the beneficiary of his action. [John 6:1-14] “After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberius. Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased. And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples. Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews was near. Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him. He said to Phillip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do. Phillip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him. “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?” Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” Therefore they gathered them up. and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” In the story told by John, Jesus sees a problem concerning the multitude of people who have followed Him into this desert place. He said to Phillip, “Where shall we buy bread, (food) that these may eat?” The Apostle Matthew adds more detail to the story by telling us in [Matthew 14:15] “When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.” Jesus replied to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” Phillip answered Him according to John, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him. “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?” 

In this story we see how God views problems and how man looks at them. Jesus saw a problem and wanted His disciples to do something about it, but their response to Him is a common response by men when they don’t have a solution for a problem. They attempted to pass the problem along to some one else as noted by the words, “Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.” The second reason men do not believe they can do miracles is they look at what they don’t have, instead of who they are working with; as noted by the disciples Phillip and Andrew. Phillip answered Him, (Jesus) “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.” Then one of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him. “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?” In other words, the disciples said, we have a little food on hand, but only enough to meet the little boy’s needs, but not anyone else’s. But Jesus was not daunted by their insufficiency or their lack of faith. His purpose in this teaching scenario was to show them they could do miracles with what they had in their possession if they understood what it took for a miracle to take place.

In [Matthew 14:19] we have a better picture of what Jesus did that set the miracle into motion. “Then He (Jesus) commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples distributed (From the gospel of John) to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” Therefore they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.”

Let us understand that everything Jesus did, He did so that we might learn from Him how to operate in the kingdom of God. In the kingdom of God what we call miracles are common place and they should be in the lives of God’s children as well. And this is what Jesus is teaching His disciples in this story. The first thing they had to understand was that nothing is impossible to the child of God because nothing is impossible with God. [Luke 1:37] A miracle does not depend on where we are or how little we may have, but our understanding that God will do whatever we ask, if we follow the prescribed manner set forth in this story and give to Him whatever is necessary to perform the required miracle. For example in this story, it would not have mattered how much money they had on hand, it would not have helped them. They were in the desert and there were no stores or restuarants handy for them to buy food. So their need wasn’t money and giving money to the Lord would not have supplied the needs of the people at that time. However they were hungry and tired and Jesus said some of them would have fainted had they left in search of food on their own. So when the little boy gave his five barley loaves and two fish the stage was set for a miracle to occur.

There is another miracle in the bible where food would not have met the need of Jesus and Peter, but money would. On a particular day the temple tax was due and Jesus and Peter had no money to pay the tax. Jesus said to Peter, “Go down to the sea, cast in a hook, and remove the coin from the mouth of the fish he would catch, then go and pay their temple tax with the money. My paraphrase of  [Matthew 17:27] Notice in our food shortage story Jesus accepted the bread and fish from His disciples that had been donated by the little boy and did something with it before distributing it. He look up to heaven (I believe He was thanking God for the food donated by the little boy that was going to make possible the miracle that happened next.) He blessed, broke, and gave it back to the disciples, who in turn distributed the food to the multitudes seated on the hillside, and when they had all eaten as much as they wanted, twelve baskets of fragments were picked up and given to the little boy as a return on his donated food. If we want a miracle to occur, God must have the cooperation of a person who is willing to give Him whatever is needed to meet the needs of the person who can’t help themselves, and when there need has been met, we will receive and abundant return on our investment. Let’s say a person has money problems and needs a miracle from God to have their monetary needs met. Just as in the case of the above food shortage; it took a food donation to meet the needs of the hungry people in that desert place where there wasn’t any food; and the money problem will take a monetary donation to activate their miracle; a food donation will not meet a money need anymore than money would have met the needs of the people in the desert who were hungry. If a person gives nothing to help God perform their miracle, they will not receive the miracle they need. It isn’t that God can not manifest their miracle out of thin air, He could; but it doesn’t work that way because we have a role to play in every miracle that occurs. So when we are called upon to perform a miracle for another person or group of people, Jesus outlined the steps that we must follow for the miracle to occur. Let’s look at the steps that were involved in the above miracle. (1) The little boy gave to the disciples (2) who gave to Jesus, (3) who thanked God, (4) blessed, (5) broke, (6) and returned the donated bread and fish to the disciples (7) for distribution to the hungry; (8) and all that was left over was returned to the little boy as a blessing on what he had given. Notice, too, that Jesus did not supply enough food to last the needy in this story for a week. He met their temporary need for that day. The only person who received an abundance from this miracle was the little boy with the generous heart who had given all that he had that the needs of the hungry multitude might be met.

Do you need a miracle? One is waiting to happen in your life if you will do your part. Whatever your need might be, give whatever you have to help someone else receive their needs met, and your need will be abundantly met. The little boy gave his lunch expecting to receive something in return. Giving up his lunch was a sacrifice, don’t you think? And remember they were in a desert place and this little boy had been there just as long, and was just as tired as everyone else, but he gave his food joyfully. The disciples didn’t have to mug him or forcefully take his food from him. So whatever you do – do it joyfully. And when you pray for others, expect your needs to be met just like the little boy in this story. If you do, you, too, will receive back from the Lord an abundance of what you gave. This is the long and the short of receiving and performing a miracle. Miracles don’t just happen; they are planned for. You give, and you trust, before you receive; but when the proper procedure is followed, you will receive your miracle. DThrash

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