The simple act of giving the bread and fish to Jesus set in motion events that would supply the needs of thousands of people. Imagine that!
In one of my previous articles I wrote about the young girl in 2 Kings 5. Because she was bold enough to speak up she helped make a difference in Naaman’s life.
The second “difference maker” that I would like us to take a little closer look at is the boy in John 6. Like the young girl in 2 Kings 5 there are a number of things that we don’t know about this boy. We don’t know his name, age, who his parents were, or if he was with his parents on the occasion mentioned in John 6.
The Bible contains four accounts of what is commonly called the “Feeding of the 5,000,” there is one account in each gospel (Matt. 14; Mark 6; Luke 9; John 6). All of the accounts mention the five loaves and two fish but only John’s account tells us that it was a boy who had them.
We are not told if they belonged to him, or if he was holding them for someone else. In any case, the bottom line was that this boy had material resources in his possession: food.
What we do know about this boy is that he was in a crowd that had come to Jesus. Apparently he was the only one in the crowd that the disciples could find who had a significant amount of food, (if five loaves and two fish can be considered significant in view of the size of the crowd). It does not seem like much and Jesus’ disciples did not think so either (John 6:9).
But little became much. This happened when the food that the boy had was given to Jesus. If an adult had been in possession of this food I wonder if they would have given it up. Adults tend to reason things out, “I paid for this” or “I worked for this and so I don’t want to give it up.” Or an adult might think “if I give up this food then I won’t have anything.”
The simple act of giving the bread and fish to Jesus set in motion events that would supply the needs of thousands of people. Imagine that! The boy gave what he had for the greater good. When we allow Jesus to take what we have we might be amazed at what He can do with it. There is an important principle here.
The Lord can also use what we have if we place it in His hands. If we hold on to what we have then the Lord cannot bless and multiple it. When “the Lord has need of it” we need to give. This may seem costly at times but it will prove to be a blessing. Please note that this passage shows us that we are only called to give what we have. The Lord is responsible to do what we cannot.
I don’t think that the boy in John 6 brought the bread and fish to the open air meeting with Jesus because he was positioning himself for a miracle or because he knew that he would be called on to help that day. He happened to be in the crowd and he had something that was needed.
He merely made what he had available, he gave it to Jesus. This was all it took for him to be a “difference maker.” It does not take much for us to be difference makers either. Small things can cause us to be used in big ways!
John P. Lathrop - United States
John P. Lathrop is a graduate of Western Connecticut State University, Zion Bible Institute, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s Center for Urban Ministerial Education (CUME). He is an ordained minister with the International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies and has twenty years of pastoral experience.