Bring them is the simple but powerful command to any believer who desires to do kingdom work. It’s all-inclusive – we must bring people, needs, and our limited abilities. When we bring them, He responds with His miracle-releasing provision beyond all expectations.
He said, “Bring them here to Me.” (Matthew 14:18)
Weighed down as we are by our mortal bodies and the frailty that comes with being human, we easily grow weary as we do the Lord’s work. The need is enormous, not only to bring the good news of the Gospel but to reach out, as Jesus did, to those who are hurting and desperate. We live in a fallen world and the suffering around us may seem relentless at times, making demands we feel ill equipped to handle. Often, it’s a long walk before see those who need help come to a place where they can move on without constant support. The responsibility to love them all can sometimes seem draining with little apparent result. Yet Jesus turned no one away. He welcomed those who came on their own as well as those brought by others. His capacity to meet all needs was and is without limit. We simply bring them to Jesus.
Bring them and the feeding of the multitude.
The context of today’s verse is the hungry multitude whom Jesus fed miraculously with twelve baskets left over. It’s a beautiful illustration of the limitless capacity and ability of Christ to meet human need despite our limitations. We see ourselves clearly in the disciples who questioned Jesus’ instruction to feed them, pointing out the impossibility in terms of their human ability. This is a natural and understandable response. Jesus, however, simply asks what they have. When they mention loaves and fishes belonging to a small boy, He instructs them to bring them. Logically, rationally, and any other -ally we can think of, this is plain crazy. It makes no sense at all. At this point, the disciples are focused on the problem and their own inability to fix it. Christ, however, reminds them that they should look to Him who is willing and able to do the impossible.
The results contain a powerful message – both for those early disciples and for us today. The principle remains the same. Jesus first asks what we have. Then He tells us to bring them. In and of ourselves, our abilities are painfully insufficient to meet the need. But when we place the little we have in His hands, miracles happen. Of that enormous multitude, not a single person left hungry. We know this because there were leftovers. The people ate their fill and refused what was left. The provision was way greater than the need. This may seem wasteful. Surely it would have made more sense to provide enough rather than more than enough? It’s not a surprise that twelve baskets remained – one for each disciple. There was enough provision for each of them to continue to give. The miracle could continue as long as they shared what they had.
The eternal promise in bring them.
In two simple words, we see the heart of Jesus and the heart of God in Him. The principle is eternal, as is the promise it contains. When Jesus says bring them, we know that He will miraculously provide. It’s not limited by us and what we don’t have. More importantly, it’s an eternal promise that began at the beginning and found fulfilment in Jesus. He fulfilled the simple command to bring them to the Father. All those He brings find the full measure of salvation in the grace and mercy of God. We continue that eternal ministry by bringing others to Jesus, who brings them to the Father. These two little words take on enormous power when we consider that no one can come to the Father but through Christ. It isn’t something we could ever hope to do ourselves.
Like those disciples, we may look at the need and at what we have and see the impossible. But Christ was God’s plan to bring the supernatural into the natural. Jesus is the way to the Father and the miraculous provision that defies what is naturally impossible. Even today, in His eternal role as High Priest and Intercessory, Christ continually brings us to the Father. We can stand in faith for those we bring to Jesus, knowing He will act on our intercessory prayers. It’s an eternal promise and has never been cancelled or withdrawn. His love is eternal, His power is eternal, and His purpose eternal. He still tells us to bring them and let Him meet the need. We can be sure that there will always be a surfeit of grace, mercy, and love. There will always be precious ‘leftovers’ to share with those in need.
Bring them and our works.
We’re all ‘fixers’ by nature. When we see a need, we are inspired to fill it. Each of us is created for good works, and good works are created for us to walk in. These are established by God, and we must participate willingly and sacrificially in the purposes to which He has called us. But this does not mean that we do the work ourselves. We do it in Him and through Him. There’s a fine line between being a willing vessel and undertaking the responsibility. Self likes to be in control and to feel that it’s running the show and doing the work. Pride rather enjoys the sense of accomplishment. But with any real work of God, it’s always way too big for us to do ourselves. Knowing that we are to bring them rather than ‘fix’ them is the first step in seeing the impossible accomplished.
Meeting needs does demand a servant heart. It does require us to live the compassion of Christ and to reach out with all we are. The Bible is very clear that the Christian life is to lay down our lives for others. But this doesn’t mean that God expects us to accomplish the impossible. That’s His job. One thing I learned with powerful clarity was that when I felt I could do no more and was thoroughly worn out with good works, it was a sure sign I was doing it from self. God’s purpose is never to exhaust us or to demand more than we can give. That’s why He says to bring them. That’s our part, and while it does demand love and commitment beyond what is natural, the Spirit enables us to fulfil it. But the actual work is done by Him through us.
Bring them requires faith.
This is a critical factor when called to reach out to those in need. We must have absolute faith that He is who He says He is and will do what He has promised. Most of the time, those whom we reach out to don’t have real faith of their own. If we don’t have faith in the nature and power of God, we will inevitably slide into the place of doing it ourselves. While this is a problem because it drains us in every way, it also excludes God from the process. If we take the responsibility of the outcome into our hands, He will step back because it’s a sign of lack of faith. Remember, Jesus did no miracles in Nazareth because of their lack of faith. When He says bring them, it’s because He wants to work miraculously and to reveal Himself and His power and glory.
Faith is the thing that believes for the miraculous. It laughs at the impossible and looks to the God with whom all things are possible. Those we reach out to may be dependent on our faith, which is their example of what it is to love, worship, and serve the I AM. Whenever God leads us into a work, faith is always a critical expectation. We must believe that He can and will do what we cannot. Having faith in challenging times can be extremely difficult, especially when problems seem to batter us and no resolution is in sight. At times, though, when our realisation of our weakness is most clear, we need to remind us that He tells us to bring them. That’s our assurance that we can believe and expect Him to do the miraculous. It’s the foundation of our faith as we step out in obedient surrender.
Bring them is all-inclusive.
There is no limit to what is included in the simple command to bring them. First, we bring the people. God’s desire is that all should know His love and the full measure of salvation. Second, we bring the needs because He has promised to meet every need of every one of His children. Finally, we must bring what we have and surrender it for His purposes. Everything we have, from our resources to our intellect, abilities, and potential, have all been given to us for the work of His kingdom. When we truly do His work, these will always seem hopelessly inadequate. He has a purpose in that, because when we acknowledge that we cannot, we turn to Him who can. He takes our paltry human abilities and transforms them with His power to achieve the impossible. When we obey in faith, He always responds with miraculous abundance.
Loving Father, thank You for sending Jesus to show us the way and to teach us what it is to do Your work. Help us to remember always to bring them, trusting in You to accomplish exceedingly, abundantly, far more than we could ever ask or imagine. Remind us, Lord, to bring all we have to the throne of grace, that You can use us as You purpose, for Your glory and the extension of Your kingdom.