Lenten Reader | Day 16

More Than Enough

Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Festival was near.

When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

John 6:1-13
Jesus could have simply taught this crowd about prayer and fasting and sent them on their way. So why did He choose to feed them? I would like to offer two thoughts.   
First, I would like to think of the young boy who Andrew discovered that had the bread and fish. Did Andrew find him or did he find Andrew? Did the boy overhear the discussion on how they were going to feed the five thousand people? Had he seen Jesus work other miracles? Was this boy one of the children that Jesus welcomed to come close, “Let the children come to me….” in Matthew 19? Did Jesus perform the miracle because the boy knew what was in his basket was more than enough?   
The second thought is this: did Jesus do it just to flex his power? What better time to show his miracles than with over five thousand people there. Surely with that many in attendance word would get out about him being the Messiah. That would make sense to us – especially with the days that we live in where “numbers matter.” We know that followers or likes on social media platforms mean so much. But I don’t believe this was his train of thought at all.   
More than enough or showing His miracle working power? Which was it? I think it was both. Jesus used the childlike faith of a boy to offer what he had and watch Jesus do what He does. I think the crowds around Jesus needed to see miracles to believe – to get their attention. What does it take for Jesus to get our attention? He wants us to be like little children, to trust like little children. To take “lowly positions.”  To look to our heavenly Father for what we need and nothing else.   
What Christ has placed in our possession is “more than enough.” He can work miracles with what we have. We have need of nothing else if we have Him. The boy knew this but grown men struggled with believing. Do you believe?   
Patrick Clevinger