Mark 6: 38-44
‘How many loaves do you have?’ he asked. ‘Go and see.’
When they found out, they said, ‘Five – and two fish.’
Then Jesus told them to make all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.
Luke 6: 38
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
If I had been one of the twelve disciples, I would have been annoyed. Not only did I not get the rest time alone with Jesus that I had planned, but now I am expected to walk around giving out food to thousands of people.
If the crowd was hungry, what about the disciples? I’m sure they needed dinner as well. Every bit of bread and fish they gave away, they were probably thinking: “Well there’s one bit less that I get to eat. It’s okay for Jesus to ask me to serve and look after everyone else’s needs. What about my needs?” And yet look at what we see:
“…the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish.”
Twelve baskets full of bread and fish. How many disciples were there? That’s right, twelve. As they gave, as they served others, they got more than enough in return for themselves. They got a whole basket of food each!
There are certain Kingdom principles, spiritual laws, that God has built into His creation and they never fail, they apply to everyone and they work for everyone. And one of these key principles is this: It’s in giving that we receive. Whatever we have, whatever God has entrusted to us - time, talent or treasure – as we give it away, we always get more back in return. The little boy in the story might not have known the principle, but he experienced the blessing of it.
I’m sure out of approximately 15,000 people present that day, there was more than one little boy who had brought food. However the mentality of the masses is always, ‘I can’t give this away, I need it myself. If I give it away then I won’t have enough. I’ll hold onto it and at least I’ll have enough.’
Others might have had food but were so overwhelmed by the crowd that they thought their little bit of bread won’t make much difference. What’s the point in giving it to Jesus?
Imagine if the young boy had done that. If he had just eaten his bread and fish himself. Two minutes later the food would have been gone and life would have continued as normal. But because he was willing to give it away, he became part of a miracle. His little offering was the seed of a huge miracle. Two thousand years later and we’re still talking about him.
Do you know what I think one of the most amazing things about this story is? The little boy is one of the ones who isn’t even counted.
“The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.”
Only the men were counted. That’s how it was in that culture. Women and children weren’t seen as significant enough. And yet the miracle came through someone who didn’t matter enough to be counted.
God counts in those who most people count out. The small, the insignificant, those behind the scenes, He loves to do some of this best miracles through the least outwardly impressive people.
I don’t think that little boy ever forgot that day. I can imagine that when he was an old man, he sat on his porch and talked about the day when he was 9 years old that he gave Jesus all that he had, and Jesus took it and did a miracle with it.
Our job is just to give what we have. It isn’t to ask what Jesus will do with it. It’s simply to give him our lives, our everything, even if it doesn’t seem like much. And as we give it into His hands, he takes it, he blesses it, he may even break it, but then he transforms our little and makes it much to many.
Join us this Sunday at 9.30 am and 11.30 am.