When Jesus Did the Impossible: Part 2 of 3
by John Lowe
The apostle Paul, recognizing his own puniness and powerlessness, would later say about God’s ability to solve the impossible situation, "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us," (Eph. 3:20)
I believe that JESUS CAN DO THE IMPOSSIBLE WHEN WE MAKE THE RIGHT RESPONSE.
The test continues. Andrew comes upon the scene. He approaches the Lord with this proposition, "One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him, There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: . . " This seems to place Andrew and Phillip at opposite ends of the optimist-pessimist scale. Someone has said that a pessimist sees an obstacle in every opportunity and an optimist sees an opportunity in every obstacle.
At first Andrew does not focus upon the size of the problem and the scale of the situation. He seems to think that perhaps Jesus can solve this problem. Otherwise why would he have gone to the trouble of looking all through the crowd to locate a little boy with a lunch that the Savior could use to feed the thousands? He should have stopped while he was ahead. But he goes on to say, " . . .but what are they among so many?"
He is also answering a question he hasn’t been asked and giving information that is irrelevant to the situation if God is the God of the impossible. But don’t we do the same at times? Instead of accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative, don’t we often say in effect, "Ninety-five percent of the people out there aren’t interested in the gospel at all, who are we among so many?"
Don’t some say, "I am so busy. I don’t have a lot of time. How can I be faithful to all the services and go out and share with others?" Or "With my busy schedule, how can I spend time in the Word of God and in prayer?" Or, "I have such a tight budget, how can I tithe and give generously to the work of the Lord?"
On a personal level, don’t many say, "But no one really knows the difficulties of my relationships." Or, "How can I ever make a spiritual impact in the ungodly work place where I work everyday?" Or, "I’m about the only one I know who seems to be trying to live a godly and separated life - how can I keep on swimming upstream alone against the tide?" In essence such are saying, "What are these among so many?" They are discounting that the impossible can become possible with the right response to the God of the impossible.
It’s significant that our Lord did not even respond to Andrew’s small thinking. He did not validate his paltry estimate of the possibilities of the situation. Sure, the little lad didn’t have a lot to give. But he gave all he had. That’s all Andrew could find. That’s all God asks of us. That’s all God needs, to do the impossible in our lives as well.
Friends, JESUS CAN DO THE IMPOSSIBLE WHEN WE RELAX AND RELY SOLEY UPON HIM.
He has the people sit down. He goes about the miracle in the simplest and most relaxed fashion imaginable. He doesn’t need any help. Contrary to what many may think, the purpose of the miracle is not to feed a lot of hungry people. They would not have starved without the miracle. After this one meal, most of them left and went on their way to find their own food. Although the miracle does confirm His claim to deity, it is primarily for the benefit of His followers, not the multitudes.
So He uses His disciples as ushers. He wants them to be involved in the impossible as well. The same holds true in the greatest miracle of our day; the salvation of a lost soul. He has chosen us as His spiritual fishermen, witnesses, ambassadors and living love letters. Why? Because He
wants us to be involved. He wants to bless us with the greatest of all blessings. We are privileged to be participants in the humanly impossible phenomenon of the regeneration and eternal salvation of a lost soul!
Just look at Jesus performing this great miracle. I understand the word for fish implies a minnow or sardine sized fish. Brittle barley loaves were ordinarily the shape and size of pancakes. Jesus takes these insignificant bits of fish and bread in His hands and does the impossible. As the multitudes sit along the side of the mount, His disciples pass among them and feed dozens, then hundreds and then thousands.
Is Phillip’s concern about the amount needed to give a minimum mouthful justified? No! "When they were filled,” the most ravenous appetite was satisfied. They had all they wanted.I’m sure those who wished had seconds and then thirds and fourths if they wanted it. Twelve large baskets were left over.
THE GOD OF THE IMPOSSIBLE does things in a large way.
Haven’t we been well fed at the Lord’s spiritual banqueting table? Has our spiritual appetite not been amply satisfied by the very Bread of Life? Has our spiritual thirst not been completely quenched by the cool water of eternal life?
When I think of this I often think of the story of the four lepers in the gate of Samaria who, after having been miraculously saved from starvation by God’s powerful hand, uttered these immortal words, "Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent” (II Kings 7:9). Our part in the miracle is to share the Bread and Water to a spiritually starved world around us.
Now, the final point I want to make is, JESUS CAN DO THE IMPOSSIBLE WHEN WE RELEASE OURSELVES TO HIM.
When we face the impossible we must let go and let God. We must relax our grip and place our impossibility into the hands of the strong One. Our Savior said we should take no thought of the impossible things we may face tomorrow. We should refuse to worry about it or even encourage others to be overly concerned.
We tend to trust our own feeble and frail frame. We have the propensity to hold onto our problems; fearing God cannot really solve them. We often have difficulty releasing our hold upon the one thing that is the most impossible for us to deal with alone. We all too often seem to adopt the DIY philosophy of life. As long as we will not release ourselves and our impossibilities into His Omnipotent care, we are doomed to stagger about and struggle along under a load of worry and care. All this calls for absolute faith and trust in Jesus.
Do you recall the story of the concerned father who brought his son to Jesus for healing? The boy had been having seizures and fits all his life. They were so bad he would fall into the water and nearly drown and then into a fire and be badly burned. What did our Savior say in response to the father’s desperate plea for a solution to an impossible situation? "Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are
possible to him that believeth." (Mark 9:23)
The key was to believe and see the impossible coming to pass through the eye of faith. The impossible becomes possible when we release ourselves and our impossibilities to the great God of the impossible. We must trust His greatness.
Just what greatness did Joshua’s eye of faith envision when he, in the face of impossible odds and possible ridicule and resistance, fearlessly and faithfully marched the children of Israel around the walls of Jericho and shouted for the walls to come tumbling down?
Just what greatness did Nehemiah imagine when he, surrounded by fearsome and formidable enemies, rode around the walls of the fallen city of Jerusalem and saw in his spiritual mind’s eye the walls standing strong and solid again to the glory of God?