God’s Provision

“There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”—John 6:9 (NKJV)

As Christ’s fame spread, the masses that followed after Him began to grow. And as the crowd began to grow, so did the needs of the crowd. And all eyes were on Jesus and His men to meet them!

That’s where we’re at in John 6. We have a hungry mass of humanity. Matthew 14:21 tells us that there were 5,000 men and that women and children were also present. This crowd was probably around 10,000–15,000 strong!

Most of us know what happens next. The disciples discover a boy who has five loaves of bread and two fish, and they bring them to Jesus, who does something the world has been talking about for the past 2,000 years. He takes the bread and fish and miraculously multiplies them into enough to feed every last man, woman, and child. There was so much food that the disciples each got a full basket of leftovers (Matthew 14:20)!

But let’s zoom in on a specific aspect of this lesson, because that’s what it truly is. We need to consider that Jesus could have fed this crowd in a number of different ways. The Bible clearly teaches that He is the Creator of all things and possesses sovereign power over the universe and everything in it (Colossians 1:16–17).  

That means He could have “jump started” the natural order so that trees and fields surrounding this crowd suddenly yielded food. Or He could have caused a swarm of fowl or fauna to come along for them to feast on. If He has all power over all creation, He could have done a million different things and more . . . yet He chose to meet the need with five loaves and two fish. Why?

Doesn’t it speak to the Lord’s inclination to use the most unexpected means to make provision for His people? He often chooses to use the small, the humble, the meager, the seemingly incidental to get the job done; for when He does, it glorifies Him rather than the resource (1 Corinthians 1:27–29).

God is going to provide for your needs (Philippians 4:19). But it probably won’t come as you expect it to. He wants to provide in a way that leaves you glorifying Him instead of the resource He chooses to use.

DIG: What makes this miracle so unexpected?

DISCOVER: What principle do the five loaves and two fish uncover?

DISPLAY: How might this encourage you where you’re at?    

About the Author

Pastor Dan Hickling

Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.