How Many Loaves Do You Have? & GraceFull Tuesday Link-Up

How Many Loaves

In those days, the multitude being very great and having nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said to them, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And if I send them away hungry to their own houses, they will faint on the way; for some of them have come from afar.”

Then His disciples answered Him, “How can one satisfy these people with bread here in the wilderness?” He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven.” (Mark 8:1-5)

These days, I often relate to the disciples of Jesus.

Here we are, at the feet of the miracle of feeding the four thousand. We have traveled miles and miles with Jesus and the disciples. We have seen several miracles happen, like the feeding of the five thousand. Then, another need arises.

Jesus asks the disciples, “how many loaves do you have?” And I stop at that question. Because the disciples have been here already. They saw the fish and bread turned into a miracle that fed at least five thousand people. It all started with the offering of the little boy, who gave his lunch. The disciples were there to carry those baskets full of leftovers. And yet they seem to be lost when this need came their way.

Like I said, I can relate to the disciples of Jesus.

A friend pointed out recently the strain the disciples had to go through. When Jesus tells the disciples that the multitude has continued with Him for three days? The disciples were surely there as well. They had walked hundred of miles, met countless of needy people, worked and ministered through the night.

So often I focus on why the disciples weren’t already running to Jesus with those seven loaves of bread. Hadn’t they been here before? Hadn’t they learned already from the last time?

And yet, they were probably exhausted. Maybe they were hoping for a different answer this time. Maybe they were hoping for someone else to do the work. At least that’s what I hope for so often. I hope for a fast miracle, one that doesn’t require so much of me. Or maybe I pray for more workers and less work for me personally. But I don’t know if that’s how God works. Not because I have so much to give. But rather because when I don’t have anything to give anymore, God can use me. When all my ideas are exhausted, God can give me resources to do the task well.

And right there, I relate to the disciples. Because how many times has Jesus asked me, “How many loaves do you have?” Just when I think there is nothing to give, He gives me what I need. And I am thankful for the grace He gives to try again.

GraceFull Tuesday Link-Up


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23 Comments

  1. “Just when I think there is nothing to give, He gives me what I need. ” Beautiful to be reminded of the way in which our Lord provides in timely and miraculous ways.

  2. One of the many things that Makes Jesus’ stories so powerful is that they are so relatable. I think we all can relate to the disciples’ feeling that they have nothing more to give, and yet, through grace, there IS more, abundantly more to give.

    1. Yes, Laurie! I love reading through the Gospels because there are so many stories I relate to, no matter what season I am in. Thank you for stopping by today! God bless you

  3. SO true that I’m always hoping for the “fast miracle,” the one that doesn’t require any thought or effort on my part. Thanks for reminding me that God multiplies my efforts and my contribution to a process.

    1. Yes, I surely find myself hoping for the “fast miracle” in so many situations and circumstances. Thanks for letting me know I’m not the only one, Michele! 🙂 Thanks for visiting here today! God bless

    1. What a great reminder, Nicki! As His disciples, we surely can relate to the stories about the disciples. 🙂 Thank you for visiting here today! God bless you

  4. How like us the disciples really were! Or I should say how like them we are. Yet, we’re so prone to miss that while we’re at least mildly critical of them. Thanks for a powerful reminder.

    1. Yes, Donna! That’s what I’ve been thinking too this week. We are so often quite critical of the disciples, yet I see so much of them in myself and in my actions. Thank you for visiting here today! God bless you

  5. We’ve been told that sometimes it’s after we’ve gotten to the end of ourselves that we see God move. It must be true. Thanks for this reminder, Ronja. Blessings to you!

  6. Thanks for this encouragement. I’m all too forgetful of what God has done in the past most of the time. Even when God has performed a miracle, I can begin to doubt it or think that it was a one off fluke and don’t think that He can work it again. The disciples had already seen Jesus feeding five thousand but it hadn’t quite sunk in. I am pretty sure I would’ve reacted the same as them.

  7. I love this! I’m writing a story about Judas Iscariot, so I’ve been re-reading the Gospels and just wrote about the Feeding of the 5,000. I don’t know if I realized that the 4,000 was after but the disciples reacted in the same way. They didn’t get it; they hadn’t learned anything. That’s very convicting. We’ve been dealing with financial struggle after struggle, and I keep asking, “Lord, haven’t we already been here? Haven’t we already proved our faithfulness?” But maybe I need to ask if there’s another lesson I haven’t learned yet.

    1. Thank you so much, Lila! That really is such a wonderful attitude to have towards trying times. Maybe there is yet another lesson for us to learn. Thank you for visiting here! God bless you

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