"Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?” John 6:8-9 (NLT)
Once a little boy who was in church on Sunday was asked by his teacher what his favorite story in the Bible was. The boy replied, “I like the one where everyone loafs and fishes.” We can chuckle at the response from the boy and agree that it is a famous story, maybe it’s your favorite story, but the Bible tells us precisely what happened that day when Jesus feeds five thousand. Scripture tells us that the five thousand did not include women and children. John 6:10 says, “The men alone numbered five thousand.” The number of men is listed separately because in the Jewish culture of the day, men and women ate separately when they were in public. Therefore, the total number of people Jesus fed that day could have been 10,000 to 15,000!!!
It’s also interesting to note that this miracle performed by Jesus is the only miracle mentioned in all four of the gospels. At the time, the popularity of Jesus was spreading fast throughout the region and He was at the peak of His ministry. Huge crowds kept following Him whenever He went. People saw the miracles of Jesus healing the sick and the multitudes were anxiously following Him because they were hungry. Can you relate to being hungry? Physically, emotionally or spiritually hungry?
The Bible doesn’t tell us a lot about the young boy whom Andrew brought to Jesus, but we can learn some valuable lessons from his example. The Bible doesn’t tell us his name, but we do know that he appeared to be poor. The five loaves of barley bread that the young boy had was the cheapest of all bread. He also had two small fish. In essence, the young boy didn’t have a lot to bring to Jesus, but what that young boy gave to Jesus was enough. And this is the principle we need to personally apply.
Like the young boy, God wants us to bring what we have to Him. The size, the quantity or the quality does not matter. This boy gave his lunch, as meager as it was, to Jesus. This lunch appeared to be insufficient in proportion to the number of people and this boy appeared to be insignificant among the multitude of people. But what appeared to be insufficient and insignificant became sufficient and significant when they were placed in the hands of Jesus!!! In fact, it was more than enough. John 6:13 says, “Twelve baskets were filled with pieces of bread the people did not eat.” There is a lesson in the leftovers…God gives in abundance.
Here’s the reality…it’s not what you bring, but whom you are bringing it to. God can do so much with just a little. We often feel that our contribution to Jesus is inadequate, but He can use and multiply whatever we give Him, whether it’s our talents, our time, or our treasures.
So what will you bring to God? God will take whatever you bring; He will bless it, and then use it to touch many people. Remember, it’s not the amount of the gift, but rather whose hands the gift is given.
Posted on Mon, March 4, 2013
by Keith Knight