Luke 9:12 Late in the day, the Twelve approached and said to Him, “Send the crowd away, so they can go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find food and lodging, because we are in a deserted place here.”
Andy paced nervously. “What is it?” Bart asked.
“I think we’re in trouble here,” He responded. “Look at how many people there are. Thousands of them have come out. No food. No plan for the night.” He shook his head. “It’s like sheep led to a slaughter.”
James reclined, but was snapped out of his daydream by the word ‘slaughter’ and added in, “It’s their fault, Andy. They’re about to learn a hard lesson on personal responsibility.”
“Yeah,” Pete agreed. “All I know is I’m hungry and we brought food. They’re hungry and they didn’t. I think that’s their problem.”
John’s peaceful voice broke into the conversation. “Guys. He hasn’t eaten. The people haven’t eaten. We are not eating. We’ll fast with them if we must.”
“I doubt that,” Tom piped up.
“Me, too” Pete agreed.
Matt and Phil knelt together whispering about something. Matt was scratching numbers in the dirt and Phil was pointing to the setting sun with one hand and the early rising of the moon with the other. They dusted their hands off and stood up as Matt addressed his friends, “I’ve crunched the numbers. If the people leave now, they’ll make it to the nearest town before nightfall.”
“I doubt that.” Tom’s interjection was ignored.
Pete led out. “Then I move that we tell Jesus to send them home.”
“I second that,” Judas agreed. He had grown tired of listening to Jesus, anyway.
All twelve had tuned out. Jesus’ voice continued on sharing the good news to all who had come but was merely background noise to his close followers who were trying to solve a problem.
After five more minutes of discussion, they passed their motion and approached Jesus. “Send them home,” they said.
Winston Churchill, England’s leader in WWII did something he didn’t want to do. He partnered with Russia’s communist Stalin when Germany invaded Russia. Why did he do it? Because it was the lesser of two evils. Either he partnered with Russia or Germany might conquer them all. Sarcastically, Churchill encapsulated the ‘lesser of two evils’ principle;
“If Hitler invaded hell, I’d at least give honorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.”
Wow. Churchill obviously felt his lesser of two evils was still quite evil.
The disciples’ decision to approach Jesus with that solution was also based on the ‘lesser of two evils’ principle. Either the people left Jesus now or they would be in danger. It was a logical human deduction, but Jesus had a third option that was not human at all.
It’s human nature to apply human solutions to human problems. But it certainly isn’t God’s nature. Does the Spirit in us want to apply human solutions? Maybe sometimes, but certainly not always. Too often, however, our human nature prevails and we shelve the possibility of the miraculous.
The word’s root is Latin, “posse” meaning potent or powerful. I think we too often take God’s posse out of possibility.
Is it possible your marriage could be reconciled? Is it possible you could give up a decade old habit? Is it possible you could be healed when the oncologist has given up?
The disciples dismissed the unlikely as impossible. But God loves to work in the unlikely and He hasn’t given us faith to live bound in a ‘lesser of two evils’ world. We’ve been translated into a supernatural kingdom with a supernatural king who wants us to believe that nothing is impossible with Him.