“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish,” Andrew pointed out to Jesus, with double emphasis on the word small. “But how far will they go among so many? (John 6:9)” With emphasis on the word many.
Many (thousands, actually) hungry people, twelve disciples, and a few small vittles. It didn’t add up to a meal in the minds of the disciples. But Jesus doesn’t operate by human calculations.
“Have the people sit down,” Jesus said (John 6:10). And they did. Then Jesus had the disciples distribute bread and fish to everyone. It miraculously multiplied as they followed his orders. His way. His hand.
What small vittles has Jesus given you? An ability to plan and organize even though it sometimes makes you a control freak … a steady salary even though there was no raise this year … an interest in music even though you haven’t made it big time? So seemingly small. But Jesus multiplies.
In the movie “Bucket List” two men befriend each other after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. The happy, endearing character played by Morgan Freeman addresses the grumpy, selfish character played by Jack Nicholson about what truly matters in life. “There are two things,” he says, “that make a good life. One is – do I have joy in my life? The second – do I bring joy to others?”
Good questions. Good self awareness. And for Christians, we have the best answer and conclusion. Each of us not only has gifts from God – even small gifts – that bring us joy, but each of us is a gift that God gives to other people. To bring joy to them. The Bible says, “God richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment … be rich in good deeds … be generous and willing to share … take hold of the life that is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:17,18).
Take whatever Jesus gives you and bring it to him in faith – to multiply to others. Trust him. Then, like the disciples, you can be a blessing to thousands more people than you’d ever thought.
PRAYER: What I have is so small, Jesus. Compared to others in high positions, with great skills, possessing strong faith. I don’t see myself as someone who flourishes among the successful people of this world. But what I have I give you. Take it. It is yours to do with what you want – only give me the wisdom and patience to follow you in faith. As you multiply my meager contributions bring joy to many, even as I know it will bring joy to me. Amen.
EVANGELISM ACTION: How could you add Jesus to a conversation with coworkers about money, salary, paychecks, and having what you need? Consider how he multiplied the little things brought by the boy. Can he still do that? Of course. Someone you know needs to hear that.