I have read the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 many times, but while driving the car the other day, and thinking of this story, I began wondering for the first time why there was so little food available to distribute in the first place. By the time you include women and children the number of people present with Jesus was more like 20,000, so surely the small boy we read about in John 6 (who gave five barley loaves and two fish) wasn’t the only one to bring some lunch with him?
It’s hard to imagine that the mums didn’t bring food for their kids and surely there would be plenty of people who had at least brought a snack with them – I know I would have done! So, what happened to them when the disciples were doing their analysis of the food situation? Did they consider their offering too small? Were they just being selfish and deciding that their supply was needed to meet their personal needs – that to share would just leave them hungry? And weren’t these the people who had just received so much from the Lord anyway?
What we do know is that one little boy was willing to give it all. He had, no doubt, been watching Jesus at work all day and had seen that Jesus could do anything! Blind people were able to see, the deaf could hear, the lame could walk and those oppressed by the enemy were free! He had realized that to give everything to Jesus was the best thing he could do – that once Jesus was in control of what he had given, anything was possible!
What a challenge that is for us! I believe that God is asking us what we have available for His use. But what is our response? Do we keep back what we think we need first and give Him the surplus or are we willing to hand it all to Him? As we step out and do the latter will we begin to experience the miracle working power of God in our lives? So, be encouraged by the faith of the little boy in this story and put into the Lord’s hands all that you have, no matter how insignificant it might seem, and get ready to see God work through your obedience.
Prayer: Lord, please forgive me for the times that I have held onto the things in my hand rather than place them in Yours. Today I choose to be like the little boy in this story and to simply make all that have and all that I am available to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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