During the earthly ministry of our Lord Jesus, he performed the great miracle of feeding five thousand with five loaves and two fish that belonged to a young boy.
Andrew, the disciple of Jesus, found the boy with his lunch and said to Jesus, “here is a boy.”
The problem at hand, of course, was how to meet the needs of such a vast crowd of people.
Four solutions were proposed:
First, the disciples suggested that Jesus send the people away (Mark 6:35-36).
Get rid of the problem (Matthew 15:33)
But Jesus knew the hungry people would faint on the way if somebody did not feed them in time.
Also, it was evening (Matthew 14:15) and was not a good time for travel.
Second, Philip, in response to our Lord’s “test question” (John 6:5) suggested raising money to buy food for the people.
Philip counted the cost and decided they would need the equivalent of two hundred days wages to purchase food for everyone! And even that would not provide bread enough to satisfy the hunger of all the men, women, and children (Matthew 14:21)
Too often we think that money is the answer to our every need.
Of course, Jesus was simply testing the strength of Philip’s faith.
Jesus wants to teach us that He is the answer to our every need.
Third, Andrew, although he was not quite sure how the problem could be solved through his discovery, found a little boy who had a small lunch: two little fish and five barley cakes.
While everyone was concerned with the problem at hand, Andrew was busy bringing somebody to Jesus (John 1:40; 12:20-22)
We don't really know how Andrew met this lad, but we are sure glad he did!
Though Andrew did not have a prominent place in the Gospels, he was a “people person” who helped solve problems.
Fourth, and ultimately our Lord took the little boy’s lunch, blessed it, broke it, handed it out to His disciples, and they fed the whole crowd.
The miracle took place in the hands of the Savior, not in the hands of the disciples.
He multiplied the food; they only had the joyful privilege of passing it out.
Not only were the people fed and satisfied, but the disciples saved twelve baskets of fragments for future use. The Lord wasted nothing!
The practical lesson is clear: whenever there is a need, give all that you have to Jesus and let Him do the rest.
Begin with what you have, but be sure you give it all to Him.
It is significant that twice John mentioned the fact that Jesus gave thanks – John 6: 11, 23.
Mathew, Mark and Luke all state that Jesus looked up to heaven when He gave thanks.
By that act, He reminded the needy people that God is the source of all good and necessary gifts.
This is a good lesson for us. Instead of complaining about what we do not have, we should give thanks to God for what we do have, and He will make it never run dry.
As stated earlier, Andrew the disciple of Jesus found the boy with his lunch and he said “here is a boy.”
Here is a boy. He has a family – he has a home - just like you.
But he heard Jesus was preaching in a nearby village. It was quite far away, especially in those times where everyone walked. That is why Jesus said, "if I send them away, they may faint on their way."
Here is a boy, whose name we do not know.
Yet, he became a great blessing to a massive crowd.
God used him, but allowed his name to go unmentioned.
The lesson is that we are not important, all the glory should go to Jesus.
Here is a boy in our church, his name is…… (put your name here).
Here is a girl in our church, her name is………… (put your name here).
No matter how small you are or how little talent you possess, if you give it into the hands of Jesus he will make you a great blessing to many around you, just like the boy in the passage.
I have studied this boy carefully and found certain significant characteristics about his life.
We see him with a box of lunch - but when we look at him carefully, there is more than what meets the eye.
01. His parents trusted him and had confidence in him.
They trusted him enough to send him into a very large crowd.
We are sending our children to school and college where there is a large crowd.
There is the chance they will get lost in the crowd.
There is the chance they will be misled by other children.
The parents could have had doubts that their son could fall into peer pressure.
However, his parents had full confidence in him.
They knew he would not be a trouble to the crowd, instead he would be a blessing to that gathering.
As parents, we should have such confidence that our children will not be spoiled by the world, because they are with Jesus – and Jesus is in their heart.
02. He was spiritually responsible.
He knew that he needed to be in the presence of Jesus and seek out spiritual things, even though his parents were not with him to guide him.
His parents were not with him. He didn’t say to his parents, “if you are going then I’ll only come.”
He didn’t serve the Lord solely because his parents were serving the Lord. He served the Lord because he realized his need for the presence of Jesus.
Without your parent’s insistence, how many of you read the Bible?
Without your parent’s insistence, how many of you pray?
Without your parent’s insistence, how many of you go to church or participate in the church/worship service?
This boy probably said to his parents, “I understand you are busy with work, but I am going to go hear from Jesus – I want to be with Jesus - I want to worship Jesus.
03. He was attentive.
Andrew easily found this young boy because he was in the front of the crowd.
If he was in back (almost fifteen thousand people were there) Andrew could’ve never found him.
Some people go to services but they do not know what happened there – they do not receive anything from their attendance.
Children you are going to school and college – ask yourself, why are you going to school? – For what purpose are my parents sending me to school?
For some children, they forget their purpose after they enter the crowd.
1. They misuse their valuable time – use your time wisely.
2. They misuse their parent’s money – don’t believe that your parents are money-making machines – they work hard day and night to provide you a better future.
3. They lose their peace of mind.
4. They lose their prayer life.
5. They lose their habit of reading God’s precious word.
6. They lose their personal holiness.
Children, remember one thing – the name of the game is hard work. Now is the time to concentrate on your studies – pushing all distractions aside.
04. He was self-controlled.
He kept his entire lunch till the end of this service. It’s quite a hard thing, especially for a boy who got two meals (five loaves and two fish is more than one meal)
More than likely his hunger tempted him to eat the lunch, more than once, during the service– but he controlled that temptation – he overcame the lust of the flesh.
1 John 2:16 - For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.
He might have seen others eating in the morning and others at noon - but he controlled that temptation – that is peer pressure. We tend to make the excuse that this is what everybody is doing, in order to give in to peer pressure.
When one person gets up to go the restroom during the service, that tempts another person to do the same.
Without a doubt, the smell of fried fish tempted him to eat – yet he overcame that temptation.
Always remember that temporary pleasures will throw you into a chain of eternal guilt and curse - and will make a scar of bad remembrance.
Children – you need self-control.
05. He was well disciplined
When he came to the prayer meeting or worship service, he found his seat at the front and he was there with his lunch till the service ended.
He patiently waited to the end of the meeting – he didn’t want to disturb the spiritual atmosphere.
We need to be disciplined in our daily life – you need discipline in your personal life – you need discipline in your spiritual life – you need discipline in your studies.
06. He dared to be different.
He was different in the crowd because he was the only one with bread. He was not embarrassed to carry a lunch box when everybody walked freely.
In the end, that five loaves of bread and two fish satisfied the hunger of thousands.
Even though there are hundreds or thousands in the schools and colleges you attend, you should dare to be different.
Jesus said I am the “Bread of Life”
Do not be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ – lift Him up whenever and wherever you get a chance – and the Lord will lift you up in the right time in the right place because you have the Bread of Life in your heart and in your hand.
06. He was not selfish.
He was ready to give all he had. He may’ve thought he was losing his food – but he considered others.
Learn to share with others – sharing make you blessing.
In the last two thousand years, this young boy has been known by all the world.
Because of the boy, the problem was settled.
Because of the boy, boy the disciples became tension free.
Because of the boy, the crowd was calm and orderly sat instead of being scattered.
Because of the boy, Jesus looked up at heaven and thanked the Father.
Because of the boy, thousands of people were fed
Because of the boy, thousands of people did not faint on their way home.
Because of the boy, the disciples got one basket full of bread each.
Because of the boy, Jesus was able to perform a miracle.
Because of the boy, Jesus strengthened the disciples’ faith.
Because of the boy, people accepted Jesus as the messiah.
Because of the boy, the four gospel writers included this great miracle of Jesus in their gospels
Because of the boy, this morning I am able to give you a message.