Mar 6:41-42 And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. And they all ate and were satisfied.
Once order was established, with all the people sitting down, and his authority recognised, Jesus turned his attention to the Father, from whom he was expecting a miracle (v 41). Knowing the Father had heard him, but without the evidence to show it, he took action and started delegating, handing out the loaves and fish to the disciples.
It is not clear at what point the loaves were multiplied. It is possible that this happened as Jesus gave the pieces to the disciples. However, I wonder if he had the fun of watching the faces of the disciples as the pieces multiplied in their own hands! Perhaps there was an initial reluctance to be ‘first in line’ to collect the pieces of bread. Maybe Thomas was holding back. But how quickly this must have turned into excitement as the disciples suddenly realised what was happening before their eyes – and through them!
Delegation is an important part of training. It would have been possible, if time-consuming, for Jesus to have handed out the bread and fish to everyone himself i.e. to be a one-man-ministry. After all, he was the one with the faith. However, what would the disciples have learnt as mere spectators? By being involved he taught them to exercise their own faith.
No doubt this was one of the many stories they shared together after Jesus returned to heaven. The memory banks must have been full of such incidents! Another in which Jesus delegated strategically as part of their training was when he sent them to prepare for the last supper and told them how they would know where to go. That too must have stretched their faith which, if he had done the job himself, they would never have experienced.
When needing to get a job done it is worth stopping to consider whether there is someone who could benefit by being asked. Delegation is not only about getting the job off your back. It can be about releasing the potential in others.
Delegation is a training opportunity