Eliza’s Favorite Story
“There is a lad here who has 5 barley loaves and 2 small fish, but what are they among so many.”
The story of feeding the 5,000- most likely 10,000 + including women and children, begins as Jesus lifted His eyes and saw a great multitude coming toward Him. Jesus turned to Phillip, a disciple and native of the nearby town, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” Phillip claimed the equivalent of 8 months salary would purchase only enough for each person to possibly have a mouthful of bread. Enter Andrew, another disciple of Jesus, holding the arm of a young boy beaming with generosity. “There is a lad here who has 5 barley loaves and 2 small fish, but what are they among so many.” The boy offered his own meager lunch to feed thousands of people. Jesus accepted the offering. An offering with no stipulations, no negotiations, no doubt dangling. The boy gave one lunch, to Him, who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think! (Ephesians 3:20)
Jesus gave thanks to the Father, He broke the bread and had the disciples distribute the bread and fish to the hungry crowd. More than a bite, these men, women and children had “as much as they wanted,” “they were filled.” 12 extra baskets were filled with leftovers from a young boy’s lunch.
How often we look at an amount we have to offer and feel lacking. “It’s just a dollar.” “I just have a few minutes.” “What difference will it really make?” “It’s only one meal I am providing.” Like what we offer should make the “exceedingly abundant” difference. Jesus does not want us to belittle our offerings. He made no snide comment to the boy who offered up one lunch for thousands. Jesus scoops up what we have to offer and multiplies it by infinity. That is His work. Our work is to offer just what we have, He is the difference. He fills the gap.
Today’s horrendously broken world makes it quite simple to question whether our measly offerings will make any difference what so ever. Jesus is calling for our input so He can exceed. He is the bread of life.