“What are they among so many?” (John 6:9b)
The scene in John 6:1-14 is that Jesus had crossed the Sea of Galilee after healing the multitude. However, many followed Him. The Passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh. Jesus asked Philip, “Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” Jesus said this to Philip to prove him (for Christ knew what He would do). Philip related to Jesus that among the disciples they had only a small amount of bread, but it was not enough to give each man and his family even a little. Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up and said, “There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes:” Then he added, “but what are they among so many?”
Jesus answered that question when He fed five thousand men along with the women and children, maybe 15 to 20 thousand people. And after all were fed, the disciples took up twelve baskets of fragments of bread and fish that were left. Christ had performed a notable miracle before their very eyes.
Christ was teaching His disciples:
- The Supplier of our needs is in our midst,
- With God all things are possible,
- His Supply is more than enough,
- Nothing is too small to be used of God.
He set the stage with a physical miracle to teach a spiritual truth. The next day in Capernaum, Christ delivered the now famous sermon “The Bread of Life.”
Many times, Christians, Disciples of Christ, find that they have so little to perform the task before them. And yet the supply is in their midst. When Christ is in your heart, the Way Maker is there. Christ makes a way where there is no way. God had already supplied the need with the lad and his five loaves and two fishes. What the lad had was enough for his sustenance for that day. Not only enough for him, but he found out God’s supply is enough to feed the thousands.
If you are a Child of God, God has implanted in you the Seed of God. This Seed is not only enough for you, but also for others. But note the lad had to surrender his daily sustenance to Christ, for it had to be multiplied to supply the thousands. The problem is not God’s Plan or His Power, but us. Are you willing to yield your all to God to be used to feed others?
(This devotional was previously posted on August 25, 2010.)