Jn.6:9 – “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”
Needless to say, God’s ways are not our ways, not even close. Every year about this time I begin to reflect on one of Jesus great miracles, the feeding of the multitudes, as we prepare for our own Feed the Multitudes on July 4. Feed the Multitudes is a free food festival that we have been hosting for the last thirty years. The story of this miracle is filled with incredible lessons, starting with the little boy who gave his lunch, five loaves and two fish, to Jesus. This boy’s act of faith immediately speaks to me about several huge spiritually lessons. First, it reminds me of my total dependency on the Lord. When the task at hand is within my ability to accomplish, I have no need to look to the Lord. For the disciples (and the little boy) the task at hand was not just too big or too hard, it was impossible. The absurdity of feeding 5000 men with a boy’s lunch is really quite funny. Actually taking the lunch and bringing it to the Lord was an admission of their insufficiency and their total dependence on God.
The next lesson that jumps out at me is looking to the Lord as our source in all things. The disciples had evaluated all of their options; they evaluated where the nearest market was (they were in the wilderness), and they thought about the finances they had on hand (they said it would cost more than eight months of wages to feed everyone). There was no human way they could meet the challenge. They were really forced to look to the Lord. Jesus looked to the Father and gave thanks. After all, every good and perfect gift comes down from our Father in heaven.
Finally, being put in this impossible situation tapped into the miracle power of God. His supernatural power is literally surrounding all of us. It wasn’t until they had tried everything and put their meager resources in His hands did the miracle begin to take place.
I love the picture that this story paints in my brain. The disciples returning again and again to the Lord, each time the bread multiplied and they continued to feed the hungry crowd. Thinking about the little boy, I think he stuck right by Jesus side. He watched His hands as his little lunch kept multiplying until everyone had eaten their fill. No matter what you are facing and how hopeless your circumstances may appear, look to Jesus, miracles are always flowing from His hands.