February 6, 2019
The Bible story where Jesus feeds the five thousand is probably one of the most well-known passages. Because I grew up in the church, I’ve read and heard this story more times than I can count. Maybe you’ve heard it too! Of all the times I read this story or heard sermons on this passage, the same crucial character was left out of the conversation. Not because the character isn’t mentioned in the story, but because he is very easy to skip over. So whether you’ve heard this story before, or this is your first time, pay attention to the boy with five loaves and two fish as you read John 6:1-14
"Sometime after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberius), 2 and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. 3 Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. 4 The Jewish Passover Festival was near. 5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. 7 Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” 8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. 12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. 14 After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.”
Last spring, I was studying the book of John and I noticed the significance of the boy with the five loaves and two fish. I noticed that the boy didn’t have much to offer, but he gave it away. The boy didn’t have enough to feed the five thousand. He was lacking. But this boy’s lack was God’s miracle. The Lord revealed to me that my story is the same as the boy who offered his five loaves and two fish. That we all – as followers of Christ – are lacking in what we have to offer. But when we offer it to Jesus, He performs a miracle.
I’ve found that I focus on my weakness instead of what God can do with my weakness. Instead of offering the little I have to God, I focus on how little my offering is. If only I would take my perspective off of my lack and onto the power of God, miracles could happen! If the little boy had enough bread and fish to feed the five thousand, there would be no need for a miracle. Without our weakness, we wouldn’t need God’s strength. Instead of seeing your lack and weakness as unacceptable, see it as an offering. You’ll be so glad you did – because then God will turn it into a miracle!
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Choose to see your weakness as the avenue that God’s strength can be seen. God isn’t looking at what you have to offer, how much you can do, or your efforts to do good. He looks at your heart. Let your heart be one that offers all you have to God, even if it seems small.
Talk Soon, Ellie