And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. He said, Bring them hither to me. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.Matthew 14:15-21
And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed: Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat. He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat? He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes. And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass. And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties. And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. And they did all eat, and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes. And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.Mark 6:35-44
And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place. But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people. For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company. And they did so, and made them all sit down. Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude. And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.Luke 9:12-17
When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him, There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered [them] together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.John 6:5-13
Jesus had performed many miracles prior to this scene in the desert. He had healed many illnesses, driven out demons, and even raised the dead. More than that, He had given the disciples the ability to do many of the same miracles when they went out on their first preaching trip. Yet, all of these things seem to slip their mind when they look at the sea of people who were following them and it was time to eat.
Jesus knows their thoughts, and uses this opportunity as a teaching moment about their faith. He knows what He is planning to do so He simply says, “Let them eat.” The disciples do not go beyond human thought while trying to figure out what to do. They even conclude that 200 days’ wage would not be enough to feed such a large crowd. By-the-way, this crowd is much larger than 5,000. That was just the number of men. This crowd was most likely over 20,000. But even if it was only 5,000, the disciples were correct that 200 pennyworth of bread would not feed them all. However, Jesus had just said, “Let them eat.” They were missing something!
Andrew then brings up the boy that had five loaves of bread and two fishes. Again, they only see with natural eyes and wonder what they would do to feed so many. Again, they were missing something.
But consider the boy!
This boy came prepared for something. We don’t know what but he showed up and was prepared for something. He knew Jesus was out in the desert and that he and others might need some food so…he brought some. He had no idea ahead of time what Jesus would do with his simple and small provision. He just brought it with him and followed Jesus. Jesus took that small amount of food and not only fed this great multitude, there were enough leftovers for each of the disciples to have a basket of testimony about the power of God in Jesus Christ.
We do not always know what God is going to do, so be ready for anything. Don’t put God in a box and think He only works in ways we understand and can foresee. Remember what He has done before and realize He can do so much more than that!
So, be THAT kid! Bring your little lunch sack and follow Jesus. Bring whatever it is that could be of benefit to others and stick close to the Lord.
Give Jesus something to work with. Perhaps a little trust and faith? And then watch the mighty King of glory bless you and others beyond measure.