After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias. A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world. When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
I don’t know if you have ever heard any of the songs that I have written but here is a link below to the first 30 if you wanna check them out (https://youtu.be/yIAnER3miKY). Many of the more recent ones are sung by youngsters who are between 15 and 17 years old. When I first met them they had just gotten into their teens. They had a little talent, which they gave to God for his use, and today, not only are they awesome musicians they minister with me at many of my retreats.
I love having them around, because not only are they are an anointed, exuberant, and extremely affectionate bunch of guys, they are a tremendous testimony to a truth illustrated in today’s reading. A little boy gives the five barley loaves and two fish he has to our Lord, and our Lord takes it, and when he had given thanks he distributed them to the thousands of people who were there, and when they had finished eating, there were twelve baskets of leftovers.
Some suggest the twelve baskets went to the twelve apostles, but I’d like to think they were given to the little boy who gave the food to Jesus. Don’t you think he deserved it? And in this is a tremendous lesson. When we give of the little we have, not only does God bless thousands with it, he blesses us as well manifold. And there is Scriptural backing for this truth.
Our Lord said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38). Although Jesus said this in the context of mercy, it holds true for everything that we give for the sake of God and his kingdom. Ask my young friends and they will tell you this is so.
These reflections are another example of this truth. Each one is less than five minutes long, but they bless thousands of people around the world, and in turn, me too. I hope this encourages you to give God what you have. It doesn’t have to be much, as long as it is from the heart and it is for the glory of God, so do think about what you can give God today. A little time. A little talent. And little treasure.
Give and it will be given to you.