God cares about our needs. He cares about them deeply. If he numbers the hairs of our heads, don't you think he care about your needs? Jesus taught on the lilies of the field being clothed even if they don't spin cloth, or the birds of the air being well-fed even if they don't sow and reap. He said not one sparrow falls without the Father's knowledge of it– what more us then? "O ye of little faith." I never hear Jesus say that condescendingly. I only hear him say that in a reassuring way. We are worth more than so many sparrows.
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
1 Peter 5:7 NLT
Never feel ashamed to come to God with your needs. He is your One Source and Provider. That said, I want you to see today how your need should not be the central thing in your relationship with God. The pressing thing, the front-and-center thing– should not be what you're lacking, have not done, forgot to do, need to do... "or else". The central thing is Jesus, and the thing Jesus wants to say, the thing Jesus wants to do. Let's look into the story in Matthew 16 in TPT.
5 Later, as Jesus and his disciples crossed over to the other side of Lake Galilee, the disciples realized they had forgotten to bring any loaves of bread. 6 Jesus spoke up and said, “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”
I want you to notice here that the Holy Spirit wanted to highlight how the disciples forgot to bring bread.
Have you ever left the house only realize after a minute or two that you forgot to bring something important? Then you're doing the mental calculus deciding if it is worth going back or not? And if you decide not to go back then you are trying to problem-solve how you're going to go about your day or your trip without the said thing you forgot? That is the headspace this story is in.
But it's also more than that. Bread represents food, provision, even money. That's what these disciples forgot. Aside from something they needed to do, or will need to do, they're worrying about something they just need- generally. And so it just gets bigger and is now the center of the conversation. This is how lack operates. Lack or need takes the forefront of our minds and relationships and it is very hard to dislodge once it is there. Let's continue...
7 Thinking Jesus was scolding them over not bringing bread, they whispered among themselves. 8 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to them, “You have such little faith! Why are you arguing with one another about having no bread?
Here you see confusion. Jesus had given them an instruction. An important thing he was trying to teach them and they had completely missed it. Because they were so preoccupied with the need, or the thing that was needful that they had forgotten, they couldn't receive from Jesus.
Jesus' response? "You have such little faith!".
Now that is a startling response. When there is confusion or misunderstanding, it's not an issue of faith. Someone is being slow, dense, dull. Right? Isn't it just an honest misunderstanding? A mental error? He was using metaphors but they were being literal? Surely Jesus is just being judgmental and unreasonable, right?
No. Jesus is teaching us that this is definitely a faith issue. You see faith is our ability to receive from God. Jesus was trying to give to them– teach them something important, but their ability to hear from him was blocked by the bread issue being on the forefront of their mind.
Again the bread issue is twofold–
First: "I'm so dumb I forgot it".
Second: "What then are we going to eat?".
Can you relate to that? I want you to understand that Jesus deals with both issues. He is our Grace. He is our Provision. He covers your mistakes and your needs. When you're with him, you're with him! What does that mean? Seeing their lack of faith, Jesus reminds them who he is.
9 Are you so slow to understand? Have you forgotten the miracle of feeding the five thousand families and how each of you ended up with a basket full of fragments? 10 And how seven loaves of bread fed four thousand families with baskets left over? 11 Don’t you understand? I’m not talking about bread, but I’m warning you to avoid the yeast of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”
Here is the answer to our needs taking center stage. We need to remember who Jesus is. That if you're with him, and you forget the bread, you're ok. He won't scold you for leaving it, he won't worry that you left it, he won't let you go hungry. He's the God who fed the 4,000 with 7 basketfuls left over. He's the Same who fed the 5,000 with 12 basketfuls left over.
Now that He settles that, the need is dislodged from center-stage and the disciples can receive again.
12 Then finally they realized he wasn’t talking about yeast found in bread, but the error of the teachings of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.
This is exactly how things work today.
When we are consumed by what we need and what we need to do, we can't hear what Jesus is really saying. What is needed, what is needful. These are the thorns that choke the Word.
but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth (bread), and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced.
Mark 4:19 NLT parenthesis mine
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Luke 10:42 KJV
Again the answer here is not to say our needs don't matter. The answer here is not that Jesus doesn't care about your needs or that you shouldn't ask him about it.
The answer is understanding that if you're with Jesus you're set. You're with the One who multiplies the 5 loaves and 2 fish to meet the immense need. He's got you covered. He quiets the winds and the waves. He walks on water. He has time to play with children. He will take the trip to heal someone far away, and heal others on the way, and if he arrives late he will raise the dead. Seriously, what shall we fear?
Oh, we of little faith.
Yes this is an issue of faith. Faith comes from seeing Jesus for all that he is. He is the supply that meets every demand. But what he wants is relationship. He wants to tell you something that may not have anything to do with your need. He wants to talk to you about something on his heart, something you need to learn, something else that will give you life.
His words are so much more valuable than whatever it is you need that is distracting you. He wants you to value that more than the thing you came to him for. It's a done deal. Don't worry about the bread. Can we talk about something else?
That's the simple message of this post. We tend to filter everything we hear by the need that is ever before us. What Jesus has to say matters so much more than that need. Let's remove the filter. Let's remove the thing that clouds us. We do this with Faith. Remembering who Jesus really is. Let this transform our relationship with him, and with the people around us because if Jesus is with us... He's with us!