Wednesday, March 9, 2011

In The Hands of Jesus

I have been meditating this week on a very familiar passage from John 6:4-14. This passage was featured in the devotional booklet, "Our Daily Bread." It is John's telling of the story where Jesus feeds the five thousand and it is the one miracle, apart from the resurrection, found in all four Gospels. My interest follows on the heels of an e-mail forward from a woman in my former church. The forward was entitled "Hands" and it spoke of how different things can be accomplished depending on whose hands its in. The forward ends by challenging us to place all our hopes, fears, dreams, family, and relationships in God's hands because it depends whose hands it's in. This brings me to the story in John's gospel. What captured my attention was the difference in response between Philip and Andrew when Jesus asked the disciples to buy bread for the multitude that he had just finished teaching. Philip chose to focus on what he didn't have, not enough food nor enough money to feed the people. On the other hand, Andrew knowing the same circumstances as Philip, decides to focus on the possibilities. He could have easily dismissed the boy with the five small barley loaves (which by the way was considered cheap bread, the food of the poor) and two small fish. Instead Andrew took his concern to the right place---to Jesus. On some level Andrew had the faith enough to know that in Jesus' hands something miraculous could happen. The "food for thought" regarding this passage at the end of the "Our Daily Bread" devotional story stated, "God uses small things to accomplish great things for His glory."(italics mine) I at times struggle with feelings of inadequacy and wonder am I really able to make a difference for God? The passage from John reminds me how in Jesus' hands something small and seemingly inadequate became a blessing to so many. All believers in Jesus are in His hands. Jesus Himself tells us this in John chapter 10, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one." (John 10:27-30) italics mine. In some early manuscripts verse 29 translates, "What my Father has given me is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand." I have to use the gifts and talents God has given me because what He has given me is enough. It is enough because I am in the hands of Jesus and He can work through me just like He worked through those loaves and fish. What I consider inadequate about myself, God can use to accomplish great things for His glory because it really does depend on whose hands it's in. My prayer is that God help us not to dismiss the small things that He works in our lives to show how great He truly is.
For His glory!
Pastor Sheree

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