Building One Another

E. Stanley Ott


July 7, 2015

Dear Friend,

I love the way Dale Bruner describes the disciples when they realize Jesus has asked them to feed a huge crowd and all they have are five loaves of bread and two fish: 

“The disciples think they have ‘nothing here’ except these seven items. But they are counting only the realities that impress them, not the Reality that should impress them the most. Disciples should always count to eight [emphasis added]."1

Are you in a situation right now where whatever your “seven” are, your equivalent of five loaves and two fish are simply not enough? “Lord, I have nothing but my energy, effort, grit, gumption, mind, resources, and my team” and it’s – just – not – working. I have counted to seven but You invite me to count to eight – to trust you!” 

“They [the disciples] replied, ‘We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.' And he said, 'Bring them here to me’” Matthew 14:17-18.*   

Jesus works with what you bring to him beginning with your own life. In whatever situation you find yourself, be alert to your equivalent of the five loaves and two fish, offer them to Jesus, count to eight and trust him.

As Jehoshaphat with a small community prayed when they were facing a huge army, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” 2 Chronicles 20:12b.  Jehoshaphat counted to eight!

Joy to you - E. Stanley Ott                              
Copyright 2015 E. Stanley
*Scripture from the NRSV

1. Frederick Dale Bruner, Matthew: A Commentary - Volume 2: The Churchbook, Matthew 13-28, p. 68.