Lessons From Distributing 20,000 Fish Sandwiches
On a sunny spring afternoon, a miracle of epic proportions happens in a remote place on the Sea of Galilee. It's the only miracle recorded in all four gospels except the resurrection.
It's well known and famous. It involves a boy and his lunch, five barley loaves, and two small fish. It's a creative miracle, maybe the largest since creation itself. I was at a sporting event recently, and there were 10,000 people in attendance. More than twice that amount of people were about to eat until they were full, and they had 12 baskets left over; that's a lot of food.
There are so many lessons inside this true story. John tells us the "seed" for this creative miracle was provided by a young boy. Was he with his family? There were 5000 "men" counted, not including women and children, and this was a remote location, so the probability is he was there with his family. Somehow Andrew finds this young lad, and he seemingly gives over his loaves and fish to Jesus.
Back up a bit; this whole event is a test. Jesus knows what He intended to do, tested Phillip by asking him to do something impossible. This was in response to the disciples wanting to send the people away to buy their dinner.
Could it be that when we are faced with a problematic situation, Jesus wants us to come up with solutions that look impossible in the moment but never the less should be embraced? When you read all four accounts, it's clear the disciples just wanted to shew away the crowds. Remember, these crowds chased them across the lake when the intention was to have a rest from ministry.
Tired, hungry, and all peopled out. They just wanted to be done. But Jesus is never going to send people away hungry. He's always going to find a way of teaching us to trust Him and increase our faith in Him. Jesus involves the disciples by having them distribute the loaves and fishes. From the hands of the boy to the hands of Jesus and then the disciples' it is just a beautiful scene. Just another miracle of extravagance from the Master of abundance.