No one truly knew what Jesus was going to do when faced with the crowd of five thousand which had come out into the “wilderness” to hear Him speak, and to be healed of various diseases. This lack of understanding did not matter. What did matter was that there was to be a whole-hearted trust in Him, and this, proved by an unobjectionable response to His instructions. This was to be the lesson that His disciples must understand, and live by.
In John’s gospel, chapter 6, we read the narrative of the feeding of the five thousand. Jesus would use this circumstance, this NEED, to put his disciples to the test, so that they would see the folly of leaning to their own understanding, but wholly trusting Jesus according to His word. Let’s look at Jesus’ method in dealing with the disciples. First, he brings them face to face with a “mountain” of need, five thousand men who need to eat. Then he brings them face to face to the meagreness of the resources at hand, “…five loaves and two fishes.” It is at this point that the disciples honestly do not know what to do, for they see the absolute impossibility, from a human standpoint, of this meager resource meeting the all-encompassing need at hand. Christ brings them to the impossibility, in order to show them the way to that which is possible, BY the intervention of God.
Again, what is His method at this point? It is to give thanks to God the Father who has provided it. Though Jesus’ prayer seems to be short, it most certainly is not revealed to us in its entirety, for out of that prayer is born an intervention from Heaven, one where the impossible becomes possible, even actual, tangible. Five thousand men are fed. And though there must have been great rejoicing, and amazement by the crowd, yet Heaven’s intervention, and provision, was utterly quiet…but sure.
So, let us not “despise the day of small things.” And let us not look at ourselves in the mirror and say as Jeremiah told the Lord, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.” (Jer. 1:7) The call of God for things great and small is always addressed to the possibility of what Christ can do BY HIS SPIRIT in us, and through us. The question is: Can the Lord Jesus find in us a willing and believing heart, one that will trustingly go forward, even in the face of difficulty and “impossibility?” This is why He simply declares: “FOLLOW ME.”