One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said unto Him, “There is a lad here, who has five barley loaves, and two small fish: but what are they among so many?” John 6:9
Well, Lord, I can’t seem to leave the mountain. I”m still there with You and the disciples and whoever was closeby. And I think that really matters. There was a multitude of people on that mountain that day. But not everyone could be in close proximity to You. Not everyone was close enough to hear what You asked Philip. “Where shall we buy bread that these people may eat?”
Now, it’s not as though You shouted this for everyone’s benefit. You said this to Philip. The Greek word for said is “lego.” And it just means that You told someone this, You spoke this to Philip maybe because You wanted Him to focus on the content of what You were saying. Sometimes it meant to say something so that You could explain it’s intent better. But right now, I’m not thinking about what You said so much as I’m thinking about who was listening.
Who heard Your voice in that crowd? Who heard Your voice even though You weren’t speaking directly to them? Well, Philip heard because You addressed the question to him. And then there was Andrew who overheard. But because of Andrew, I know of one more person that heard Your question, Jesus. Who was it? A little boy. Well, I don’t know if he heard that specific question, but I know he was listening and he heard what was being discussed. And of all the people present in the multitude and even out of all the disciples, he was the only one that gave to help feed the people.
I think one little boy made the difference here, Lord. I think that You used one little boy to put across Your intent. I really don’t think this little boy started eating his lunch and that when he was done he came and presented his left-overs. And I’m thinking that maybe his family was listening too. What if this little boy and his family heard about the need and thought, “How can we sit here and eat when so many others lack?” And what if they decided to give all their food, all five barley loaves and two small fish to You because they cared enough to go without for the sake of others?
It reminds me of the widow who was fixing her last meal before she and her son starved to death. And Elijah asks her to prepare for him first. And she does, even though they are going to starve. And it reminds me of the woman at the temple who put her last coin in the offering box when everyone else was just putting in of their surplus. You pointed these people out to us. We’re reminded because every time we read through Your Word, there they are, forever remembered. Just like this boy, even though he has no name. Well, neither did the widow or the woman at the temple. But I think their intent is more important than their name.
I think they all were willing to give all they had to You. They trusted You for their outcome, for their welfare. And they were trusting You for the welfare of the others around them because they actually cared about others. It wasn’t all about what they could learn or gain. Yes, they all wanted more of You. But their eyes were on others. And as they focussed on You, they couldn’t help but see the people around them and understand their needs and their pain too. But it’s one thing to see a need and to feel someone’s pain. And it’s another to sacrifice to do something about it.
If that little boy and his family had not presented that gift, I don’t think we would have heard about this miracle this way. I think You moved in that boy’s heart and in his family’s heart to teach us this lesson. Yes, we need to realize the magnitude of who You are. And we need to act in faith. And we need to meet the needs of those around us. But we also need to be willing to give everything. It’s not enough to give our left-overs. It’s not enough to work on it “down the road.” The need is now. And even though our all isn’t enough by far on it’s own, You take it and make it sufficient, actually, more than sufficient. But we have to give it first.
Luke 4:33 shares these words straight from Your lips, “In the same way, none of you can be my disciple unless you give up everything you have.” That’s strong stuff, strong words, Jesus. But isn’t that what this lad and his family did? And look what You did with that kind of commitment to You. I don’t think I’ve been taught to think this way. But I’m learning that it means everything. Wow, that has a double meaning there. It means so much to me and it literally means “everything.” Every attitude, every hope, every dream, every possession, every ounce of who I am must be Yours. Everything. When I finally come to place everything in Your hands, that’s when You can finally make a “God thing” of it.
I don’t know if that was the only family who thought to bring food. And I don’t know if they were the only ones who overheard. But thank You, Lord, that they responded. Thank You, Lord, for this lesson that You arranged for our benefit. Thank You that it was for Philip’s benefit, Andrew’s benefit, the benefit of the boy and his family, the benefit of the other disciples and the multitude, and for my benefit and the benefit of every reader. I am so glad that every one of Your words was spoken for our benefit.
Lord, give me a heart like that. Give me a heart that sensitively listens to You even if it’s overhearing what You are saying to someone else. Let me hear Your quiet voice even in the midst of the crowd or in the midst of turmoil. And let me not just hear, but give me a heart to act upon how You move me. I want to care about what You care about. And don’t just let me be sensitive, but let me give everything and all of me just like the example You set. You held nothing back for Your love for us. Let every part of my life be a sacrifice for You for the love of others. But I can’t do any of it without You. What little I have, my little attitudes, my little hopes and dreams, my little possessions, my little short life, let me put them all in Your hands that You can bring forth a miracle for Your glory and for the good of others. Take all my loaves and fish, Lord, and have Your way with them.