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October 18, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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“Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, ‘There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?’”—John 6:8-9 (NKJV)
The foundation was laid yesterday for one of the most memorable miracles. It involves a multitude of about ten to fifteen thousand men, women, and children who’ve followed after Jesus deep into the countryside.
But as the hour grows late, feeding everyone becomes the pressing issue. So, Jesus asks where they should buy bread to feed them all (John 6:5)? Philip immediately determines this isn’t possible, but another disciple, Andrew, does something interesting: He looks for some food and finds a boy with five bread loaves and two fish. He informs Jesus, but then dismisses their inadequacy just as quickly. Undoubtedly, the other disciples did the same thing . . . but not Jesus. Watch! “Then Jesus said, ‘Make the people sit down.’ . . . And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted” (John 6:10-11 NKJV).
Instead of dismissing the meagre meal, Jesus took what little there was and multiplied it into enough to feed every man, woman, and child! It didn’t matter how seemingly insignificant the resources were, when yielded into His hands they were transformed into an abundance. Without a doubt, this miracle is meant to remind us that Jesus is able to provide all that we could ever need!
Yet there’s another interwoven truth that we can’t forget. Remember, Jesus used what Andrew had found from the boy. It wasn’t much, but it was something. And that something represented a participation in Christ’s provision. Jesus didn’t need this participation, but He invited it because He wanted His disciples, as well as us, to have a share in what He does. By doing so, we grow and are even rewarded as we see in this miracle: “So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, ‘Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.’ Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten” (John 6:12-13 NKJV).
Twelve baskets of leftovers and twelve disciples. There’s no question this was the Lord’s reward for His faithful servants. Likewise, there’s great reward for those who participate in His provision!
DIG: What does Jesus demonstrate about Himself through this miracle?
DISCOVER: What does this miracle reveal about God’s desired role for us?
DO: Reflect on how the Lord is calling you to participate in His provision, and how you are responding.