On Oct. 20, Pastor Jim preaches on John 6:1-14.
Though the feeding of the multitude is in all four Gospels, John is the only one that tells us about the little boy with his lunch. In the past when I’ve thought of the five loaves and two fish, I’ve imagined steaming loaves of bread, fresh from the oven, and fresh salmon on the grill garnished with lemon slices.
The text makes it clear that this was not the case. The fish were actually small, sardine size, and the bread was made of barley—the worst kind of bread. Today, this would be a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a bite taken out. When Andrew told Jesus about it, I sense he did so with a twinge of sarcasm. “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?”
I’d like to think that the disciples didn’t simply rip the lunch out of the boy’s hands. Surely they knelt down and asked him for it. Verse 11 says that “Jesus took the loaves.” Can you picture Jesus looking into the boy’s eyes and explaining that he needed help feeding that multitude?
It was a lousy little lunch, but in the hands of Jesus, little is always enough—actually more than enough. John tells us in Verse 13, “So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets.”
This Sunday is Celebration Sunday. We will share the joy of sharing a portion of what we have with God. Bring your gift, be it a little or a lot. Let’s hand it all over to Jesus. In his hands it will be more than enough.