I wonder if we ever thought about the fact that Jesus didn’t interview the people before He fed them?
Yet, as His followers today, we are prone to ask questions like, “Why are you in this condition?” “What did you do wrong?” “Where’s your faith?”
The account of Jesus feeding the multitudes is one of the few stories that are actually written in all four Gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all tell the same thing: Jesus was moved with compassion when He saw the people and wanted to do something for them.
He didn’t tell His disciples to sit them down and ask why they were there with no food. The only question He asked was of His disciples to test their faith. “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” (John 6:5). The Bible says He already knew how He would feed them, but wanted to locate the disciple’s level of faith.
Andrew was the first to show compassion. He answered Jesus in faith, and then at hearing himself, he immediately doubted what he said. “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish…” [FAITH] “…but what are they among so many?” [DOUBT].
I’m always amazed at how relevant God’s Word is despite the centuries. All these years later, we are still like the original disciples.
We have faith.
Then we doubt.
We want to help people. Then we want to know why they aren’t in better condition.
Think about your situation:
Aren’t you glad God didn’t interview you first before determining if you were a good candidate for a miracle?
As a person who has been in ministry for many years and seen many things, I understand the philosophy of giving a man a fish versus teaching him to fish. But I think we all need to be reminded that Jesus gave the fish first, and then taught the people how to be fishermen themselves. In other words, let’s help people first AND THEN remind them there are keys to living a blessed life (through a relationship with Jesus, fellowship in prayer, study of God’s Word, faithful attendance to a church where we can grow and mature, etc).
One of the things that makes us love God is the fact that He loved us first! So the next time you’re tempted to ask questions before helping, try reversing that approach. It may just make a believer out of someone.