I recently was looking at this story in Scripture, and I began, I think for the first time, to wonder what the moment must have been like for the boy to give up his lunch to a man (Andrew) he probably did not know and had never seen before. For the boy, all of this is happening quite suddenly in a very large crowd of at least five thousand men.
Picture the situation: Andrew had just heard Jesus’ question to Philip about buying bread to feed the crowd. My holy imagination tells me that Andrew, upon hearing that question, began immediately working the crowd to see what’s what. And behold! He discovers this young boy with five loaves (mind you these were not warm yeast rolls fresh from mum’s oven) and a couple of (most likely) pickled sardines.
We are not told what the boy’s reaction was, but perhaps in making them available to Andrew, for a few seconds it flashed through his mind: “What do I do for food? I‘m hungry” or “Dad, that man asked me for my lunch, and I gave it to him, but what do I do now?” I would hope his father would say, “Let’s wait and see what Jesus does.”
Jesus took what the boy offered and multiplied it. There are so many teachings from this that it’s hard to point out any one specific thing. But I can imagine one thing: that young boy would never forget that day and that encounter with Jesus and how his lunch was used to feed so many people.
Life can be like that. That boy probably never really said one word to Jesus himself. But he was in the presence of a crowd that, together, experienced Jesus’s presence and actions that made a difference for all of them collectively.
I suspect that’s why so many of us attend worship services at our local churches. We want to be gathered with folks so we can experience Jesus’ presence and action in our lives. We come offering what little (in His eyes) we have and trust Him to take it, bless it, and make it far more that we can ever ask for or imagine.
And like that boy, we can look in amazement at what God can do with so little to make provision for so many. So the next time you go to worship, wait and see what Jesus does.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your call upon me to serve You. I offer to Jesus my few loaves and a couple of fish, hardly big enough to do the job You need to do through me. Thank You that Your Spirit makes up the difference in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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