Jesus had gone to the land by the Sea of Galilee. The people followed him there because they were intrigued by the healing power in his touch and the common sense in his teaching.
On this day there were more than 5,000 gathered to listen and to watch. They apparently didn’t pay much attention to the time or to the growling in their bellies. Jesus knew they needed to be fed with more than his words and his touch so he asked Philip where they could buy bread to feed them.
Can you get a picture of this in your head, 5,000 people, no money, and your Master wants you to tell him where to buy bread? Was he crazy or was he trying to make a point? He was the Teacher so you know he wanted us to learn from him.
In Mark’s gospel he says that Jesus said, “You feed them.” In John Andrew brings the food that a young boy had brought with him for lunch, five loaves of bread and two fish.
Do you think what Jesus did was a miracle, feeding more than 5,000 people with just one boy’s lunch? How did it happen? How did God make it enough to feed them all?
Do we really need to know the answer? I don’t think so. The point, and I need to be reminded of this often, is, God can do great and wondrous things with the smallest contributions from us.
What did Paul say in his letter to the Ephesians? “God can do anything …far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.”
Friends, it’s all God’s grace and our faith, and that’s a gift from God too. When we are called by God to do something like feed his children we are to be reminded of what God did through Jesus on that grassy knoll by the Sea of Galilee with five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus fed 5,000, actually about double that when you count the women and children, with one boy’s lunch. Just think what he can do with what you bring to his table. You might think that you don’t have anything God could use to feed his children but you do.
God made everyone of us for a particular purpose. He has granted all of us with a gift to be used to further his kingdom. We may be afraid to step out of the boat and take the first step but Jesus tells us, “Don’t be afraid.”
Jesus has asked us to feed them. Jesus asks us to feed each other. Jesus asks us to make disciples. We might think he’s crazy but remember he’s God and he can do anything.
What’s in your basket? What are the five loaves and two fish that you bring? Will you let God bless them and multiply them so that his children can be fed? I pray that you will trust enough in God to let him increase the gifts he has blessed you with.
Friends, God loves you and so do I. Thanks be to God. Amen.