There were five thousand people on the mountainside who had come to hear Jesus teach. According to Matthew’s account of the story, the session had gone on for a very long time with miracles, teaching and worship. The people were hungry and they had nothing to eat. They were not near to any restaurants, cafes or markets where they could get food as they had come a long distance to hear Jesus preach.
The disciples calculated that even if they had half a year’s wages it would not be enough to purchase food so that everyone could have a bite to eat. Logistically, feeding a crowd like that would be almost impossible.
In this vast crowd of hungry people there was a boy with some lunch. I don’t think he was the only person there with some food. However, he might have been the only person who was willing to give up his food so that others might have something to eat. No one, including the boy could perceive how this little lunch could be effective as it seemed so insignificant.
Andrew said ‘Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many? (John 6:9 NIV). What he was really saying that although there were some resources, the need outweighed the resources.
When the boy gave up his lunch there was no guarantee that he would get anything else to eat. He was not sure of the outcome but he gave it up and his surrender resulted in provision and blessings for five thousand people.
We too have a similar choice as we have gifts, talents and abilities. We can exchange them for quick profits, fame and the praise of men or we can turn them over to Jesus and watch them grow, multiply and expand to touch not only five thousand but masses of people throughout the world.
God takes little things from simple men and women with no great titles or positions. However, little things in the hands of a mighty God will have a big impact and a far-reaching effect.