Chris McLean - Leave room for the miracles only God can do

Group Leaders please note

  • On Sunday we looked together at the Feeding of the five thousand. Our desire was to look at this familiar passage with fresh eyes and consider how we can grow in our confidence that God is a God of supernatural provision.
  • Use the Questions and thoughts below to aid discussion in our groups from the teaching we received
  • Please note that is not about completing all the questions but stirring faith filled dialogue among the group.

Reading: Matthew 14:13–21 Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

  1. When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns.14When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
  2. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
  3. Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
  4. “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
  5. “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Ice Breaker Question

  • Chris shared on Sunday the story of how one of his friends called this “The miracle of sharing” ...It’s so easy to explain away the miraculous works of God if we wish.
  • But, this is an account of miraculous provision. Can you give testimony of Gods miraculous provision in your own life?
  • (Give a short testimony to the group)
  • Jesus having been told of the death of John the Baptist needed to withdraw to a solitary place to grieve but the crowds followed him and we read he healed all of their sick v 13, 14.

Question 1.

  • What does this teach us about the mission and mindset of Jesus and what do we learn from the attitude of Jesus to the crowd.
 

We said that:

  • The first thing that can rob us of confidence in Jesus supernatural provision is the natural limitation of our thinking
  1. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”

Question 2

  • How does the reaction of the disciples mirror a tendency or weakness in us to limit what God is able to do?
  • Do you ever get overwhelmed by problems and find your faith challenged?

What do you do?

 

John 6:5,6 tells us...

  1. When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
  2. Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
  • My second point on Sunday was that we back off when
    • The pressure is put on us by Jesus to step out in faith...
  • Jesus puts pressure on the disciples and it’s not because He doesn’t know what to do.
  • It’s clearly to grow and teach them about faith.

Question 3

  • Do you think for the disciples or us the temptation is that if the pressure is turned up we think God doesn’t love us or we must have done something wrong?
  • What is your reaction to this statement “You really get to know what someone is made of when the pressure is on”
 

The next thing that can rob us of expectation of supernatural provision is being intimidated by how little we have

  1. “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
  • Again in John 6.V9. there is a small boy here with five small barley loaves and two small fish..(small small small)

Question 4

  • Is it possible to intimidate yourself or talk yourself out of believing for the miraculous? Is it easier to see what we don’t have , rather than see all we do have in Christ?
 

Mark 6:39 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties.

Question 5

  • Is it unspiritual to be organised?
  • Sit down and you will be fed
    • How might this reflect what we are doing here together tonight?
    • seated together to grow and bear fruit.
  • On the green grass “Sit down in a fertile group where you can grow”
    • In what ways have you found that you have grown more now you are connected to other believers in a home group?...
  • My next three points from this passage come from v19
  1. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.
  • How does thanksgiving grow our faith? How can we make more room for testimony and thanksgiving?
  • God uses the disciples to be involved in the miracle.. How does this reflect Gods grace in miracles?
  • He distributes it though the disciples. How willing are we to receive our miracle through one of Gods people? Or does it have to come from God direct for you? Remember, God chooses to get his work done through his Church (his body).
  • Big point From this passage we understood that Jesus showed compassion on the crowd but he put his disciples under pressure. He didn’t love them less but grew them from those pressurised to those who had the privilege of being used by him for a great miracle.
  • Do we want to be one of the crowd where it’s easy or disciples of Christ under pressure and what are the implications of that choice?

Question 6

  • What new thoughts have you discovered tonight and what are you going to do to stay in faith for the miraculous provision of God in the future?

Prayer time

  • Pray with faith for any needs among the group.
  • Pray for faith to grow and press on so we may see God do greater things for us and through

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