It Is I – July 26, 2015

“It Is I!”

2 Samuel 11:1-15                 John 6:1-21


          Often…when I hear any story about David…I am

reminded of the story of his encounter with Goliath.  No one else ever faced a creature like

Goliath.  He was huge.  He had killed many others.  He was intimidating. 

Yet…no one ever attacked a problem

with greater vigor than David attacked Goliath.

David responded to Goliath’s threat by telling the giant that he had

come in the name of the true God.  As

David ran toward the giant he put his hand into his bag…took out a stone…and

let it fly.  The stone hit the Philistine

right between the eyes…and it was over.          Have you ever wondered?  What was David’s secret?  Where did he get his courage?  How was he able to attack this gigantic

problem with such vigor?  The answers can

be seen in today’s passage from John.  It

is the sufficiency and power that come from God…given to us through Jesus

Christ…the one who told the disciples…”It is I.

Do not be afraid.” 

The story begins with a problem that

came from the success of Jesus’ ministry.

The disciples and Jesus drew huge crowds.  They got in a boat…crossed the sea to

Bethsaida…hoping to find a time of rest.

The people saw where they were going and followed them.  In Mark’s gospel Jesus was described as

having compassion for the people because they were like sheep without a


In their anxiety to follow Jesus the

people likely didn’t think to pack a lunch.

They, too, were tired and hungry.

Jesus knew what to do…but he asked the disciples a question…in order to

test them and to expand their spiritual understanding.  Jesus wanted the disciples to learn how to

gain his power and his sufficiency. 

Philip didn’t really answer the Lord’s

question.  Instead he responded with some

statistics.  He basically said it would

take six months’ income to feed the crowd.

He acted like a bean counter.  In

fact…other references to Philip suggest that he was one who wanted

clear…verifiable…logical… evidence.  Just

about every family has a person like this…the same can probably be said for

every business and every church. 

I wonder what it would have been like

if David had needed a calculator and evidence that he could down Goliath.  Now, let’s see…”ten feet tall times a certain

number of pounds per inch.  My

goodness…he weighs at least 500 pounds….there’s no way I could do this.  God, you’ve got the wrong guy.” 

Like Philip…some of us need to toss

our calculators out and become more like David. 

Then…Andrew brought the boy with five

small barley loaves and two fishes to Jesus.  His response seems to be an improvement.  At least he had been out in the crowd looking

for resources.  But…he too…was

calculating…when he asked how far those few resources would go.  He did not look past the resources he could

actually see and touch. 

Then the others went to Jesus.  They suggested that the crowds be sent away

to fend for themselves.  They felt the

people could not possibly be fed with the five loaves and two fishes.  Anyone with common sense could see that.  But…there are times in life when common sense is very close to stupidity.   The

disciples wanted to avoid the problem…ignore it…and let it just go away. 

The disciples had greatly

under-estimated the wealth they possessed.

They had seen Jesus change water into wine…seen a nobleman’s son healed

from a distance…seen Jesus heal the paralyzed man lying by the pool of

Bethseda.  Yet…they couldn’t understand

what Jesus could do in this situation. 

The disciples had a defective view of

Jesus Christ.  That was their

problem.  Very often that is the root of our problem.


The solution for the disciples came in

a miraculous display of Jesus’ power.

This was the most public of his miracles.  It is recorded in all four Gospels. 

After they had sat down…Jesus gave

thanks.  The loaves seemed to multiply as

the disciples distributed the bread.

Thousands were fed.  There was so

much food that there were leftovers to be gathered.  God provides for those who serve him. 

This note of interest…the loaves were

made of barley…the cheapest of all breads.

In fact…it was a bread that was unpopular because it was the bread that

was called for as part of the offering from a woman who had committed the sin

of adultery.  Jesus used this food to

show his disciples…with him then…and those in the pews this morning…that no

matter what they had…even the tiniest thing…if they really gave it to him…he

could use it.  A little is a lot when God

is in it.  Jesus wanted us to see that truth.


We should admit it.  Sometimes we feel like saying, “Lord, you

don’t understand my problem.  If you knew

how I feel…I have calculated it all out…I have thought it through…I have

consulted the authorities…and there is nothing I can do.”  You see…we find it harder to give God our

weaknesses than it is to give God our strengths. 

But the Lord says…”Give me whatever

you have…including your weaknesses.”

Many people have missed the great miracles that God wanted to give us

because we have been unwilling to do that because of our pride.  If you have calculated all of the angles of

your difficult situation…just want to run away and hide…do you know what the

solution is? 

First…realize that God wants to help

you.  He wants to pour his grace upon

you.  He wanted to help the disciples on

the hillside that day…just as he did help the people on the hillside.  From Isaiah 30:18 we receive the promise…”The

Lord longs to be gracious to you….” 

Next…we have to realize that God is

big enough to help.  Nothing much will

happen if you don’t. 

The Belgian Christian author…Elisabeth

Elliott…in her book…. World Wide Challenge…beautifully tells us this truth.

She wrote… 

“If the only thing you have to offer is a

broken heart, you offer a broken heart.

So in a time of grief, the recognition that this is material for

sacrifice has been a very great strength for me.  Realizing that nothing I have, nothing I am

will be refused on the part of Christ, I simply give it to him as the little

boy gave Jesus his five loaves and two fishes—with the same feeling of the disciples

when they said, “What is the good of that for such a crowd? 

Naturally in almost anything I offer

to Christ, my reaction would be, “What is the good of that?”  The point is, the use he makes of it is none

of my business; it is his business, it is his blessing.  So this grief, this loss, this suffering,

this pain—whatever it is, which at the moment is God’s means of testing my

faith and bringing me to the recognition of who he is—that is the thing I can


What do you have to offer?


Is it more…or less…than five loaves

and two fishes? 

It doesn’t matter to the one who told

the disciples…”It is I.  Do not be