Five Loaves and Two Fish
After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 2 Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His sings which He performed on those who were diseased. 3 And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples.
4 Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. 5 Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” 6 But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.
7 Philip Answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.”
8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, 9 “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”
10 Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” 13 Therefore they fathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves and which left over by those who had eaten. 14 Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet who is come into the world.
As Philip was showing his lack of Faith, Andrew the brother of Peter was trying to find a solution to the problem. As we saw in two previous miracles performed by Christ, when man has done all he can, Christ makes up the difference. We saw this in the healing of the Noble man’s son and turning the water into wine. Now again we see the same thing taking place.
First a person must exercise their faith. For the Noble man, it was believing Jesus would heal his son and so he returned to his house without Jesus. In the turning of water into wine, it was the faith of Mary, the mother of Jesus, the faith of the servants to go fill the water pots. When they had done all they could, then Jesus supplied the rest to complete the miracle. In this way, mankind participates in the miracle and is blessed by the miracle because of the exercise of his faith, but also by the fact that he has done all that he can.
I learned a long time ago from another pastor that God always rewards effort. When we faithfully do our part God will complete what we have started out by faith to do.
Andrew set out to find a solution to the problem. He realized it was unrealistic to think they could purchase enough food and also understood that at the late hour it had become, there was little opportunity to buy enough bread to feed 5000 men, not counting women and children.
Andrew found a lad, a small boy whose mother had packed him a lunch of five loaves of barley bread and two small fish. More than enough food for a young person. Yet so interested in what Jesus was teaching that he failed to notice he was growing hungry. Then when Andrew came and noticed what the boy had he asked the boy if he would be willing to share.
Herein lies another great spiritual lesson. We must be willing to share what we have in order for it to be multiplied. When I share, what I do have grows. My part is small, but when I have put forth my effort, God then takes over and multiplies my small effort. It is in this way that from one, many are blessed. But it all starts when we by faith, give of what we have and share with others, that Christ takes over and finishes what we have started. But it all starts by a heart that is willing to share and by faith relies upon Christ to finish what we are powerless to complete.
So Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So men sat down, in number about 5000. And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the people and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.
When we share the gospel, it is similar in that we share what we have and Christ makes up the difference. Our delivery of the gospel message may not be perfect, but when we do it with love and sincerity, then God will take the effort we have expended and multiply it. Not for our glory, but for his.
Therefore let us diligently search for the solution to the problem of spreading the gospel message instead of wanting to turn the people away. As the boy with the loaves and fishes, we must be willing to share, exercise our faith and see the miracle that God will produce in the lives of the people around us.