Here’s the passage:
1Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), 2and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick. 3Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. 4The Jewish Passover Feast was near.
5When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
7Philip answered him, “Eight months’ wages[a] would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
8Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9″Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
10Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. 11Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
12When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
So, here’s my take on it. Jesus was planning to sit down and spend a bit of time with his disciples. But things changed, in a big kind of way. Not just unexpected company dropping by, but thousands of uninvited guests. But Jesus, always thinking of his disciples and what He wanted them to “get” about who He was, took this as a golden opportunity to teach them a lesson they would never forget.
First, He let them see the depth of the problem. He asks Philip, “How are we going to feed these people?” And the disciples look at the magnitude of the problem, and come up with their answer: “We got nuthin'”. Well, my goodness. Seems like a reasonable answer to me! We learn in verses to come that there were 5000 MEN, so that doesn’t even count the women and children. So, if over 5000 showed up at YOUR door: how would YOU feed them?
But wanting to do SOMETHING, sweet Andrew mentions that there IS this one little boy who has offered his lunch of five small barley loaves and two small fish, but of course he realizes the absurdity of this little bit being any help at all.
And like a ton of bricks, it hit me this morning one more time that our insurmountable problems with school this year due to the extensive work load my son is shouldering for the first time in his life: they’re his multitude, needing to be fed. And all Jesus asks is that we take the little bit we have in our hands, just that little bit, and offer it up to Him to be used, and blessed.
Maybe you have something insurmountable in your life, too. Sometimes Jesus wants us to consider just how inadequate we are on our own to address such an issue. But, if, in full understanding that we really do GOT NUTHIN’, we offer just that little bit of nuthin’ to Him, He takes our willingness to bring what we have to Him, and blesses it beyond what we ever dream or imagine.
So, I prayed with my son this morning, that the Lord would take his little bit of “want to” to do his work, and bless it beyond what either one of us can imagine.
If you have a “little bit of nuthin'” to offer Him today, may He bless your little bit, too.