Five Barley Loaves and Two Small Fishes Jn 6:9 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Read the gospel records of feeding the five thousand in Matt 14:13-21; Mk 6:35-44; Lk 9:12-17; and Jn 6:5-14.
The Lord had been moved with compassion when he saw the people. The disciples, on the other hand, by the end of that day, were ready to send the people away into the towns and villages so that they could get themselves something to eat and find places to sleep. They were “done.”
Yet, Jesus wanted the disciples to feed these people. When the disciples sized up the crowd, they estimated that 200 pennyworth of bread would just be enough to give everybody “a little,” [Jn 6:7]. Remember, from Matt 20, that a penny was a day’s wage. They were talking about a lot of money. For men who were traveling light and depending upon others for lodging [Matt 10:9-13] it was impossible to buy that much bread. The task was too big and the provisions were too small.
Jesus told them to “go and see” [Mk 6:38] how many loaves they could find. All they found, or all that anyone was willing to contribute, were five barley loaves and two small fishes. They belonged to “a lad,” [Jn 6:9]. Andrew pointed out the obvious, “what are they among so many,” [Jn 6:9]?
In the hands of the Lord, five barley loaves and two small fishes were more than sufficient. God had fed over 600,000 men, besides women and children, in the wilderness for 40 years. And he’s going to feed the Tribulation saints who can’t buy and sell because they won’t take the mark of the beast. After feeding this crowd, they had twelve baskets full of fragments leftover.
I love this part… “Jesus took the loaves,” [Jn 6:11]. Beautiful. That lad offered his meal to the Lord and the Lord accepted it. Unlike the disciples, the lad didn’t look at the impossible task and his meager provision. He looked at the Lord.
Put what little you have in the hand of the Lord and with it he can accomplish greater things than you could do with much more provision. He’ll do more than you can ever imagine. With all the need in missions, the task is far greater than we can meet. But it’s not greater than the Lord can meet. He just needs us to offer our lives [Rom 12:1-2] and our possessions to him so that he can take what he wants to accomplish “what he would do,” [Jn 6:6].