The Impossible and the Miracle

There is an enemy who afflicts us by always tempting us to doubt God’s provision, and the secret to standing strong against these temptations is to know the Word of God and be secure in what it says. The Word of God is our daily bread and it gives us life. (Matthew 4:1-4)

It is vital for us to know and hear God’s Word and what He promises over our lives, for this increases our faith ( Romans 10:17)  -- even to the extent of believing the impossible. Why? Because God is the God of the impossible. 

In the Bible, we find so many stories of “impossible situations” turning into amazing miracles of provision, healing, deliverance, and even resurrection, proof that God delights in performing wonders for those who believe in Him. 

And the perfect set-up for a miracle? THE IMPOSSIBLE.


Need is Great, Supply is Small 

In John 6:32-40, we find a great example of the perfect situation for a miracle. In this story, there is a GREAT NEED but the SUPPLY is LIMITED. More than 5,000 tired and hungry people needed to be fed, and the people only had 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish! 

The disciples were quick to think logically. “How in the world are we going to feed this massive crowd with such little supply?” But for Jesus, this was the right circumstance for Him to perform a miracle. 

Jesus is always looking for the “impossible” before He performs the miracle. The problem is, we like miracles, but we don’t like the impossible situations. We don’t like being uncomfortable in such situations where we feel helpless and powerless. And because we like solving things and being in control, we tend to confine God to our own logistical restrictions -- that He will solve our problems on our own terms. But God doesn’t work that way. His ways and thoughts are always greater than ours. (Isaiah 55:8-9)  He always sees the bigger picture, and we don’t. 

God allows the impossible situations to happen so that we will realize our need for Him. Just like the disciples in John 6, we see the huge crowd and realize we can’t feed them. And this is where God comes in. 


The Question That Changed Everything

When faced with the impossible and our own logistical restrictions tend to restrict our faith, God comes in and reminds us of who He is, just like how he reminded Andrew and Phillip in this story when He asked them the question: “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” (John 6:5)

Jesus did not ask this question because He didn’t know where, but because He was testing Phillip’s faith. He was reminding Phillip to remember that He is the Source of all things. It was almost like saying: “Look! I am here! I am with you. And when you have Me, you don’t have to worry about what you will eat nor where you will get it because I will surely provide for it. If you have Me, you have everything you need.” And we know what happens next. God multiplied the bread and the fish and everyone was filled. No one went home hungry and they even had left-overs. The impossible became the miracle!  

Like the disciples, we may be faced with an impossible situation today. And as we meditate on this amazing and powerful story, may we be reminded that God is our all sufficiency. He is ENOUGH to meet all of our needs. Jesus can satisfy the deepest hunger of our souls and His provisions are always more than enough.  (Exodus 16:1-21, John 6:32-40

So come to the table of the Lord and enjoy His abundant provisions! (1 Corinthians 11:17-26).

Always look to the Source and remember that what we have is enough because Jesus is enough!           


Give Us This Day ...

Try this activity in your Household well.

“Give us this day our daily bread.”

  • Materials you’ll need: a Bible,a list of people you are praying for (your impact list) thank you cards, pens

  • Read Matthew 6:31-34 and Mattew 25:34-40. 

  • Take a tour of your home. Consider all the ways God has provided for your family. Stop and look at pictures of friends and family. Consider how God has blessed your family.

  •  Say a prayer of thanksgiving - let everyone have a turn.

  • Give each person in your family a blank thank you card. Have each person write a “thank you” note to someone on your impact list who has blessed you….in friendship, materially, or by encouraging you, etc. Considering mentioning in your note, that God has used them to bless you.

  • Spend time thanking God for each of those people by name and praying that they, too, will see their daily provisions as a gift from God.

  • Family Challenge: Schedule a time for your family to go serve at a food pantry or shelter this week. Considering baking bread and taking it to a neighbor. Write about how it went in your Penzu journal.

  • Close by saying the entire Lord’s Prayer together.


The Danger of "Not Enough"

We humans are never satisfied. We always hunger for MORE.  We want to have more money, more time, more energy, more blessings. It seems like we have these endless physical cravings that can’t be turned off.  We always crave for MORE of the “good stuff” in life. This has been our basic struggle in life since the time of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. 

All of their needs were supplied abundantly in the Garden. God didn’t even limit them with how much they could receive, which means they could have as much as they wanted! And yet, the serpent lured and persuaded Eve into thinking that there was something missing and that God was withholding something “good” from them. So, Eve saw that the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil was “good for food”, ate it, and gave some to her husband. (Gen. 3:6).  The rest, as we know, is the historical downfall of the human race into generations and generations of sinning against God. And it simply started with Eve’s thinking that what God had given them was “not enough.” 

And the same goes with us. We, too, can have plenty and yet, just like Adam and Eve, we can still be convinced that we don’t have enough. And are we aware of what this insatiable hunger for more does to our souls? AFFLICTION.


The Source of Our Affliction

This is the danger of wanting more. Unconsciously, we bring our souls harm and affliction with our limitless appetite. How so? The enemy afflicts us with doubt that what God gives us is not enough, or that it is not the right provision for us. This means that the enemy annoys, bothers, torments, tortures, oppresses, and agonizes us with thoughts that contradict God’s nature as our provider and the truths written in His Word.

Our appetite is the bait that the enemy uses to afflict us, just like what happened in the temptation of Jesus in Matthew 4. But Jesus knew that “man doesn’t live on bread alone, but on every Word that comes from the mouth of God.”(Matthew 4:4) In others words, Jesus knew that there is something greater than “hunger” and the temptation to eat, and that is the life that comes from the very Word of God. 

Another way we afflict ourselves is when we pick and choose the things God gives, as if we know better than Him. If you are a parent and your children only listen to you when they want to and only when they like what they hear, how would you feel? 


Finding True Satisfaction 

So how does this search for more get satisfied? How do we silence the fear of not having enough?  We need to look at what Jesus did. Jesus chose to trust His Father. Jesus chose to believe that every Word that the Father spoke to Him was a Word that He needed.

Jesus lived a life of always hearing from His Father, speaking to His Father, and letting His Father  sustain Him. And this lifestyle showed how Jesus trusted the Father with His life.

One word to describe how Jesus’ saw the Father’s Words is “essential.” Jesus knew every Word from His Father mattered. There were no throw away words. Likewise, we ought to see God’s Word and the role that it plays in our lives as essential, and not treat it as optional, trivial, or even a luxury that we can’t afford.  

When we begin to receive daily every Word that comes from the mouth of God as essential, then we begin to be satisfied. Every morsel that Jesus gives us through His Word satisfies our hunger in a way that the “things of this world” can never do.

The key to finding true satisfaction is to feast daily on God’s Word. That as you eat of His bread, every hunger and thirst that your soul has will be satisfied. After all, Jesus told us that HE is the bread of life. (John 6:35).



What Does the True Bread of Life Mean?

Our human eyes need to open up to the glorious Kingdom of God, and metaphors, as they are widely used in the Scripture, are necessary for us to see differently because the Kingdom of God requires new eyes to see. And in our desire to better understand the Word of God, we also need metaphors to get a glimpse of what Jesus sees. As such, by proclaiming Himself the Bread of Life, He wants us to recognize how bread represents His all-satisfying and perpetually nourishing love for everyone.


Insignificance Kills

Those who don’t understand their significance are slowly dying. But where do we look for our significance? This yearning leaves us starved, and over time, dead. The enemy comes to kill and destroy, as it’s written in John 10:10. One of the devil’s strategies is to make us focus on ourselves and rely on our strength to find importance—self-focus and self-importance that ultimately leave us hungry for more.


Let’s consider for a moment the Israelites, who were oppressed and overlooked. They’re seeking not only freedom from tyranny, but they’re also seeking a place of restoration, a place of honor and importance before God. Jesus sparked hope in what He did and what He said during His time with the Israelites. In John 6:14, the people even exclaimed, “Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!”


They were hungry physically because they’ve been following Him, listening to Him, and hoping to get close to Him. But we can see here that it’s more than just physical hunger. In John 6:26-27, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you.


The True Bread of Life

Jesus says His bread is doing the work the Father sent Him to do. By using the metaphor of bread, He tells us that we should open our eyes to the way of the Kingdom of God because the Son of Man gives us this bread for our nourishment.


Jesus will never leave us hungry, and He will always satisfy us.


In John 6:28-29, as people gather and ask God how to be a part of the work of the Kingdom, Jesus replied, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” God the Father offers us the true bread from heaven, the One who gives life to the world. Jesus is basically saying, “I am the Bread. I give life so no one will be hungry again.” And reading how the crowd responded—“give us that bread every day.”—we can learn that this is what they are hungering for, the true bread of life.


All other sources of significance and power would only make us continue to look and seek. But Jesus provides us reasons to stop looking for by giving us a confirmation of our place in God. That’s why we no longer hunger for all other sources of significance.


What an amazing proclamation when He said in verse 35, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”


Jesus worked so hard during His time here on earth to ensure that not one person will be left on their own searching for significance. Jesus already secured our place of importance. That is the food that sustains us.


Give us this day our daily bread

We pray the Lord’s Prayer every Sunday in worship together, and perhaps you pray that prayer as a family or personally at other times in your week. You know it well, you have it memorized.  It is also good to be reminded and pause to reflect on what those words mean that you are praying. Lent is an important season for us to slow down and reflect on all Jesus did for us as he journeyed to the cross to be broken for us.  Take time out of your normal routine and make space to be with Jesus, the Bread of Life. 


            “Give us this day our daily bread.”


In Luther’s small catechism he helps explain this part of the prayer. If you are anything like me, it may have been awhile since you read your catechism so I thought this review would be really helpful. 


What does this mean?


    God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayers, even to all evil people, but we pray in this petition that God would lead us to realize this and receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.


What is meant by daily bread?


    Daily bread includes everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, land, animals, money, goods, a devout husband or wife, devout children, devout workers, devout and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, self-control, good reputation, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.


Luther asks some more meaningful questions.  


Take away our “daily bread” - namely, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the homes that shelter us, the government that protects us - and we die.  Since these things are so important, why do we take them for granted and not express gratitude for them?  What habits and practices can help me to better recognize how God sustains my life each day?”


What do we mean by “daily bread’?


“Bread” is a biblical way of summarizing all that we need to sustain our lives on earth. 


Isaiah 55:2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.”  


Why do we specify “daily” bread in this petition?


“Daily” highlights how every moment and every day of our lives depend upon God’s provision.  


For what, then, do we pray in this petition?


We pray that, in humility, 

we would look to God for what we need each day so that we do not worry about the future;

we would receive all our physical blessings with thanksgiving;

we would find contentment with what we have received.

(Luther’s Small Catechism  pages 258-261)


Jesus says, I am the Bread of Life.  He is the one who ultimately sustains us and gives us life. We are asking for Jesus to be our everything.  We need Him each and every day.  Like the song by Matt Maher says:      

Lord, I need you oh I need you.

    Every hour I need you, 

    Your my one defense

    My righteousness, 

    Oh, God how I need you. 


    Where sins runs deep,

    Your grace is more,

    Where grace is found,

    Is where you are.

    And where you are

    Lord I am free

    Holiness is Christ in me


    So teach my song to rise to you

    When temptation comes my way

    When I cannot stand I’ll fall on you

    Jesus your my hope and stay


    Lord, I need you Oh I need you

    Every hour I need you

    My one defense

    My righteousness

    Oh, God how I need you.

Holiness is Christ in me.  We take the bread that is given us and we eat it.  Jesus was broken for us, and he gives us his very body to take and eat.  He is our everything.  And our response is THANKSGIVING each and every day.