One of my all time favorite stories from the Bible is from John 6:2-14. it is the only miracle that Jesus performs that is told in all four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John! Here are three things to share about this story.
#1 The Story of An Incredible Miracle
Jesus had come out to the Sea of Galilee to go out on the mountain alone to pray and refresh His spirit, but people found out where He was and they followed him. Word had spread about Jesus healing the sick and even though he was planning to take some time for rest, when he saw the people coming, he had compassion. He began to heal and teach and before you know it, it was time for dinner and there were thousands of hungry people!
A young boy overheard the Disciples telling Jesus, “We’ve got to send the crowd away, it’s getting late and we don’t have food for all of these people!” Jesus responded by telling the Disciples to feed the crowds and they were in such a tizzy about how they would accomplish this seemingly impossible task! The young boy tells Andrew, “I’ve got 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.” Andrew takes them and turns to say, “We’ve got a lad here with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, but how will that feed all of these people?!” I think this is where you and I often find ourselves. We look around in this world and we see the rudeness and harshness and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed! It’s not how many loaves of bread and fish you have; it’s what you do with them! The boy who gave up the only food he had, gave way to an incredible miracle! Now there are a couple of theories surrounding HOW this miracle actually occurred and you get to choose which one you think took place.
#2 The First Theory:
When the boy brings the bread and fish to Jesus, He gives thanks. There is gratitude. And then we know it is put into12 baskets and the Disciples begin to hand out the bread and fish. One theory is that the bread changed in molecular structure to create an endless supply of food to feed 5,000 people. The bread and fish continued to replenish in a miraculous way so that through God’s grace we never run out of food and there is enough for everyone!
#3: The Second Theory:
Other people say that what probably happened was people came out and they knew there wasn’t a Walmart on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, so they brought their own loaf of bread and fish. Knowing human nature, you aren’t going to whip out your loaf of bread when you’re not sure if everyone else brought their own bread and fish. So, then everyone falls into a scarcity mindset and holds on to what they have. As the Disciples went out sharing the bread and fish, those who brought their own food began to say, “I don’t need this, I’ve got some of my own, this will be enough for me, share it with someone else.” And the miracle takes place when everybody begins to share what they have and as a result, all 5,000 people are fed.
Whatever way you think the miracle occurred, the message of the miracle is that with God there is always enough. If we share, there is enough. There was abundance for all people to be taken care of with 12 baskets left over! I believe this is why all gospel writers wanted to include this story because the message is so fundamental and significant: when we share, there’s enough for everybody and even enough for leftovers! There is a ripple effect to this kind of sharing and it multiplies!