Joseph Prince - Unlock God's Supply For Your Every Need
Praise God. Let's go to John chapter 6. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Lord. God is healing, God is supplying, God is ministering, God is delivering, God is blessing, God is imparting. God is God in our midst, amen? He loves you. "After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee". Wherever the Bible says: "After these things," always remember that it's something significant, that is ties up with the previous chapter. In the previous chapter is a story of the healing of the impotent man at the Pool of Bethesda, all right, in John chapter 5.
So John chapter 6 ties this together. "After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased". And the word "performed" there in the Greek is continue to perform, keep on performing. That's why they kept on following him 'cause everywhere they go they see him performing miracles. "And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples". Verse 4: "Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near".
Now I'm gonna tell you something about this. This story has a profound answer in the narration of it, in the teaching of it, for all the needs in your life. It teaches you how God supplies. I don't care whether it's financial need, whether it is marital need, whether it's emotional need, whether it's a parenting need, whether it is a physical condition you have, God is gonna show you how he supplies. He's gonna teach you by showing you, first of all, the ways of the world and then his way of doing it. Are you ready for that? I'm gonna read the whole thing first. It doesn't take long because it's just a few verses here.
All right, I'm gonna read from verse 4: "Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, 'Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?' But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do. Philip answered Him, 'Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.' One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, 'There is a lad here,'" there is a youth here. There is a young boy here. Actually, the word "lad" here is referring to boys and girls, young boys and girls. "'There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?' Then Jesus said, 'Make the people sit down.' Now there was much grass in the place," because it was springtime.
We read just now, "Passover is near". About March, April, during that time. So there was much grass in that place. It's springtime and the Passover is near. "So the men sat down, in number about 5,000". Five thousand men, okay? Counting women and children, you have more than probably 15,000 or to 20,000. "And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, 'Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.' Therefore they gathered them up, and filled 12 baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those," I love the word "left over," "by those who had eaten".
Now, this happened of all the four accounts, John, I'm gonna say some things here. John says some things here that the other Gospel writers did not mention. The other Gospel writers have more details about this miracle but John puts out some things, all right, he didn't put in some things that others did and he put in some things that others did not, because each Gospel is unique. Each Gospel, you see, for example, John mentions the Passover. Go back to that again. "Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near". When this miracle happened, it was during the time of the Passover. All the other writers did not mention the Passover. The time was Passover. Why? Because in no other Gospel do you find the word "lamb". John is the one that starts off his book by referring to another John, the Baptist, pointing to Jesus saying, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world". So because of that, he starts off by saying, "It is a Gospel of the Lamb of God, the Son of God, the divine Gospel," amen.
So he mentioned the Passover was near. Why? It's a feast, a feast. When you hear a feast, he can just say, "The Passover was near," and the Jews would understand, right? But why say a feast? A feast is a celebration, people. A feast is for you to enjoy the Lamb, amen? So you've got to learn, this miracle has the secrets of us enjoying Jesus, enjoying the Lamb, and all of a sudden you find that your body is healed. All of a sudden you find that your mind comes together. Yes, you think you are in the beginning stages of dementia. I'm telling you I have seen, even in America, God restoring people from dementia, from Alzheimer. You say, "I'm getting forgetful". Don't worry. This provision will supply that as well, in Jesus's name, amen? This word is for you, praise God.
All right, "Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming towards Him, He said to Philip, 'Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?'" Do you think Jesus think the answer is in buying? No, because the next line says: "This He said to test Philip, for He Himself knew what He would do". Remember this, whenever the Lord asks you a question, it's not because, by the way, just to let you know, this is the first place, the very first place and the only place in the Bible the Lord asks anyone for advice. But yet, "He Himself knew what He would do". Okay, drop down. "Philip answered Him, 'Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.'" How can we speak these words, "a little," in the presence of the Great I Am?
We say, "a little," based on what we see, not based on who we are talking to. So Philip's problem is the vastness of the need. Are you looking at the vastness of the need of your body for healing? "Well, I know this case, this person had the same condition. That guy, you know, I don't wanna say what happened to him and I'm very worried because". You're looking at the vastness of the need, the bigness of the problem. You're not looking at Jesus, okay? That's Philip's problem. Are you listening? Many of us look at, "You know, I don't think God wants this, so little, and I don't think God wants this".
Look at the boy with the five loaves and two fish. What is this? What is this? Look at the vastness of the need. We despise what little we have. We don't think God can do much with us. God never asks for what you don't have. If you have, you know, a talent, a gift in something, give it to the Lord, amen? So, "One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him," said to Jesus, "'There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish". Two small fish, don't forget. They are two small fish. In this one verse, there are two diminutive terms. One is the lad, the other one is small. Small boy, small fish. Five loaves. "A boy here with five loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many"?
Now, what are they among so many? So, Philip's problem is the vastness of the need. Andrew's problem is the littleness of the supply. He look at the supply, he says, "What are they"? He says, "Five bread, pita bread, five loaves, and two small fish". He look at it and he says, "What are they among so many"? So Philip look at the people, right? Andrew look at what he had, what they had, but then he says, "What are they among so many"? So Philip's problem is the vastness of the need, Andrew's problem is the littleness of the supply. Neither of them is looking at Jesus.
Verse 10: "Then Jesus said, 'Make the people sit down.'" Before a miracle can happen, sit down, rest, rest. God says, "Sit down". The Lord says, "First of all, sit down. Make them sit down". People were walking all over the place and all that. You see, we think if there's order, God's Spirit cannot flow. No, God's Spirit still can flow when there's order, all right? So the men sat down, the Passover is near, and there's a feast I want you to enjoy. Sit down and enjoy who? The Lamb, amen? That's the basis why Jesus and his disciples were seated down.
In fact, Jesus and his... leadership, listen. Y'all got to sit down first before people can sit down. If you are nervous and you're stressed out, people cannot learn from you. Go to the beginning of John 6, the beginning. I don't know if you saw this or not just now. John 6, the very beginning. Last one, verse 3: "Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples". So he sat down first, his disciples sat down, okay? Are you with me so far? All right, now, go back to the verse, drop down. "Make the people sit down". "The men sat down, in number about 5,000. Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks".
Can you imagine the great Creator giving thanks for so little? Giving thanks for what? So little. We complain about a pain we have in another part of our body and we don't even thank God for the 98% of our body that is well. We say, "Why, God? Why, God"? when God has given us more health. There are people from top to bottom, they are flat. There are people who are in hospitals and you are not but you have pain. Hey, I know God wants that pain out of your body as well but start thanking God. Don't wait until everything is perfectly hunky-dory, everything is smooth, and then you start thanking God. You will never thank God. Jesus thanked God when he didn't look at the vastness of the need, he didn't look at the littleness of the supply. He looked to God and, "Thank God for the little," and little became much.
C'mon! The Holy Spirit reminded us again in a future account when Jesus traversed the Sea of Galilee on the other side it says here in verse 23: "However, other boats came from Tiberias, near the place where they ate bread after the Lord had given thanks". Obviously, the Father is so glad about this that the Father made the Holy Spirit write this down. The miracle happened after the Lord had given thanks. What will happen when you give thanks?
Hey, we give thanks to the Lord but why did the Lord give thanks? He is the Lord himself. He's showing us how we need to receive a miracle. Whether it's a miracle of provision, a miracle of healing, a miracle of parenting for your child, a miracle in your marriage where he turned the water into wine, amen. And a miracle for your mind. Your mind is all over the place, even when I'm speaking just now, you cannot concentrate. There is a mind under the influence of demonic powers. They're not inside you; they're targeting... if you're always distracted, remember this. It's the work of the enemy.
When Jesus came to the house, can you imagine? The guest of all guests was in their living room. Martha was busy and the Bible said she was much distracted. The word "much distracted" is there. How can you be much distracted when there's only one to look at? Why worry about food when he can multiply loaves and fish? And that's why he appreciated what her sister did, and sit at his feet and listen to his word. "Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and", so he broke it. Took the loaves, he broke it, and he gave it to the disciples.
Now, I like Mark's account, Mark 6:41. In Mark's account it says: "When He had taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed," or gave thanks, "and broke the loaves, gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all". This word, "Gave them to his disciples," "gave them to His disciples". In John's account, it is not portrayed that way but in Mark's account, it is actually in the indefinite tense, all right? Which means what? He kept on giving. He kept on giving. It multiplied in Jesus's hands because he kept on giving. Only five loaves, how can you keep on giving, right? He kept on giving, he kept on giving. So the disciples would take the basket.
By the way, there are two Greek words for baskets, two types of basket. One is a hamper basket, one is a picnic, like a picnic basket, a wicker basket, know what's that? Like, you put bananas and fruits and all that? Now, the miracle of the five loaves and two fish here, is the wicker basket, all right? The small basket, the picnic basket. Are you with me so far? So it means disciples comes to Jesus and they brought this small basket and Jesus put bread. They go down the row, distribute, and they're to come back to him again. We always come back to him.
You can't say, "Well, I did, Pastor Prince. Last week I went to pray and", you always come back to him for fresh supply. And they never come back empty. His hands are always full. I said his hands are always full. The loaves, when they were divided, they were increased in his hands, right? They were multiplied when it was subtracted from his hand, okay? Increase and division is not the economy of the world. Multiplication by subtraction. So every time you come to serve God on Sunday and you say, "Oh, Sunday is so precious," and all that, know this. You think it's subtraction. God is thinking, "Multiplication for you". God is thinking, "Addition for you".
You go, "Pastor Prince, I'm so tired, you know, but I will still serve the Lord". You tell the Lord that, he's gonna renew your strength, renew your youth like the eagles. Don't be found sitting down there one day and saying, "God told me years ago to do this," and someone else is doing that in front of and you're longing for, "Oh man, look at what God has done for that person. God has increased that person". It was meant to be you but then God chose another person because that person's willing to say, "Yes".
Whenever you serve the Lord, whether it's strength, giving money, whatever it is, God will always return back. Even the fishermen's boat, the whole night, the same lake, the same place, found nothing, caught nothing. They were washing their net to pass the time, to maximize the time, whatever. Jesus stepped into the boat. They allowed Jesus to have the boat, and after that Jesus gave them a net-breaking, boat-sinking load of fish in the same lake. When you give to Jesus things become different. Give your mind, give yourself, give your body. Once you realize that, you'll give him everything. And whatever he asks of you to do, even money to sow, to give, your tithes, your offerings, it's never subtraction. It's multiplication by subtraction. It is increase by division. Can I have a good "Amen," church? Hallelujah.
Oh man, I preached myself happy, hallelujah. Let's bring this to the end. "As much as they wanted". Don't forget that: "As much as they wanted". The problem is not so much of the Lord. It is you.
"Lord, I believe for so little when you are so great. And so, Lord, enlarge my capacity. I have dishonored you. I have prayed for a job when actually you want me to pray for a position. But in my mind, how can I have a position? The littleness of my education, the littleness of my experience, the littleness of Singapore, and the vastness of the demand of the boss, the vastness of the qualifications needed. Lord, what do I do, Lord"? "Give me thanks for what you have and rest, for the men will not sit until he has finished the work this day," amen? "As much as they wanted".
All right, I love it. Drop down, verse 12. We'll bring this to a close. Last two verses. "So when they were filled," I love this. Not when they ate until they say, "Okay, this is enough to keep me. I know I'm a bit hungry," and all that. They ate until they were filled. "He said to His disciples, 'Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.'" This is the Gospel where nothing is lost, nothing is lost. "Gather up the fragments that remain". Yes, with God there is no lack, but there's also no waste. This is the beauty. No lack and no waste, okay? "Therefore they gathered them up, and filled 12 baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten".
Now I wonder the disciples, for example, Thomas. Thomas, you know, he is the doubting Thomas, right? So he brought how many rounds, he went back to Jesus, "Shall I go back to Jesus? Maybe this time he doesn't have any more". And he goes back to Jesus and he find that his hands are always full, always giving. Have you found that out? Every time you go to Jesus, his hands are always full? Or do you have a past tense experience? "I used to go to Jesus. I remember when I went to", do you have a now experience? They kept on coming back to him, always finding his hands full, okay?
And then maybe Thomas also start thinking, "Wah, all these people are eating first. When do I get a chance to eat"? Peter start thinking, "Yeah, man. When do I get a chance to eat"? And right at the end, Jesus says, "Gather up the fragments". Don't forget, these are picnic baskets, wicker baskets, and there were 12 basket full. Do you see the word "full"? Twelve. One basket full for one man is a lot, all right? Twelve basket full with fishes for each of the 12 disciples.
I wanna tell you one thing. The Lord does not forget what you give to him. The Bible says: "He that waters shall be watered also himself". "The generous soul shall be made fat". Another translation says: "Shall be prosperous". In God's economy when you give, it comes back to you much more, amen? Are you blessed? You learn some things here? Are you looking at the vastness of the need, whether it's your body, your family, your marital situation. Whether it is your, even your emotional state. Are you addicted to some prescription drugs? No one knows about this but you know you are addicted. And one way out whether it's alcohol, whatever it is, is to acknowledge the need is beyond you. When you look at the vastness of the need, it can overwhelm you.
As leaders and pastors, we are so easily overwhelmed by the vastness of the need, but, hey, stop looking at the vastness of the need, stop looking at the littleness of what we have, and start looking to him, our inexhaustible supply, amen. The King of kings, the Lord of lords, our Lord Jesus. And don't forget, the reason all these things can flow, John tells us, is because the Passover is near. The righteous outlet for a holy God, a thrice holy God, to bless us with more than enough, is because his Son will pay for all our sins. So today, if anyone tells you your sin is holding the blessing back, all right, you know it's a doctrine that's not from God. It's not from God because he has just put Jesus and the cross out of the picture, amen.
Now, it's one thing to say that to a unbeliever. It's another thing to say that to a child of God. Your sins are forgiven because someone died. We feast on the roasted Lamb. Roasted means he was under the fires of God's judgment and we feast on him. That's food for us. I say that's food for us. And not only food for us, it's also supply. The supply is based on the Passover was near. It's like the Holy Spirit remind them that God will supply all their needs, amen, church? Have you been blessed?