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Through Your Hands – Part 2
In the previous post, Through Your Hands-Part 1, we looked at the story of Peter and John healing a man that was lame and could not walk in Acts 3 of the Bible. Perhaps, you would say that it was not Peter and John that healed, but rather God that healed through them. I agree with that.
I believe that many times God, who is all-powerful, still wants to work through us. Sometimes, we are waiting for God to “do something,” but He is waiting for us to “do something” to start the process. Peter did this (see Acts 3) when he reached out his hand to help the man up and then the man instantly was healed and jumped up and walked.
God didn’t have to use Peter and John. God could have healed the man right before they got there, or after they were gone. But God chose to use Peter and John. He used their obedience, boldness of faith, and compassion to heal through them. And He specifically healed the man after Peter made a move, took an action, and a risk, to extend his hand to help him up.
Let’s look at another story of how Jesus chose to work a miracle THROUGH THE HANDS of His disciples.
Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.”
(19) Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
(Matthew 14:13-21 ESV)
Many of us know this excerpt from the Bible as “the feeding of the five thousand” or “the story of the miracle of the fish and the loaves.”
I noticed something recently in this story I had not noticed before. In verse 19 it says, “Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.” Jesus had His disciples distribute the food. He specifically and intentionally used them to achieve His purpose.
Jesus could have fed the crowd by Himself, but His disciples became an intimate and hands-on part of the miracle, just like he had done with Peter and John healing the lame beggar in Acts 3 (see Through Your Hands-Part 1). Jesus used His disciples to pass out the blessing to others…the miracle literally passed THROUGH THEIR HANDS.
Now let’s read the account of another very similar miracle in the next chapter of Matthew: the feeding of the 4,000.
And directing the crowd to sit down on the ground, he took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up seven baskets full of the broken pieces left over.
(Matthew 15: 35-37 ESV)
The same thing happened in this miracle. He broke the seven loaves and fish “and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.”
Again, Jesus had His disciples distribute the food. He used them to activate and achieve His purpose. He used them to pass out the blessing to others…the miracle literally passed THROUGH THEIR HANDS again.
Want I want us to remember today are these words:
THROUGH YOUR HANDS
God can do everything by Himself: Heal, bless, forgive, restore, and draw people to Himself….but He chooses to use us. He chooses to pass His blessings THROUGH YOUR HANDS to others. These blessings can be food, forgiveness, encouragement, finances, invitations to church, acts of kindness, and more. We will be blessed and grow ourselves and increase our faith and closeness with God when He uses us to accomplish His purposes.
But we have to be obedient and bold like Peter and John demonstrated. We need to choose to be aware, look for needs, and choose to be close to Jesus like the disciples were.
After all, we are also His disciples.
Think and pray right now: Who needs you to extend your right hand and help them up today so that their “feet and ankles” [their needs] can be healed and made strong so they can jump and walk?
Who needs you to take the fish and the loaves [whatever that may be] from Jesus and give them to others?
Maybe that is just what God is waiting for in order to complete His miracle for them!