Loch Tummel, Perthshire, Scotland.

“… Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.” John 6:8-10 (NASB)

Today’s Bible story reminds me of a time when I found myself the centre of attention in our village hall where I spoke briefly. Initially I was ignored as business carried on, after all I was only a youth. Then a man of much renown stood and praised my ideas for youthwork, suddenly I was the centre of attention. I can only imagine that the young boy with the loaves and fish felt as I did that day in the village hall, standing ten feet tall! God can do such things in our lives, bringing us to the forefront at a time of His choosing not for our glory but for His purpose.

The loaves were not anything like supermarket produce, they resembled small pittas made of barley which was the grain of the poor. The fish were also small, likely to have been sardines. Many commentators suggest that these were brought by the lad to sell, which may be true since he appeared to be alone. The loaves and fish in the story have been interpreted symbolically in many ways over the centuries. I personally like the Jewish idea that the five loaves represent the five books of the Torah and the fish represent the banquet of the Messiah in His Kingdom.

Andrew brings the boy to Jesus’s attention, a literal interpretation tells us that Andrew emphasises the diminutive size of the boy and his food. One can only imagine the indignation of the boy, “who you calling little?” he may have thought. Although there is no evidence in the scripture as to how this boy reacted or felt, it must have been an exciting experience. Here he was before the famous Rabbi from Nazareth that he had heard much about, and true enough his heart did beat quicker in front of Him. Before his very eyes the bread and fish he had held a few moments earlier now filled many baskets, feeding thousands of people. In my imagination I can see Jesus smiling at the stunned boy as the food is shared out.

Dear reader, be encouraged today. Your Father God can use you to bless others, regardless of your age, talents or place in society. Just like the boy in today’s story, Jesus can take your small gift and do great things with it. Surrender to Him what you have, and watch Him do great things with it.

23 thoughts on “Encounters With The Messiah – The Boy With Loaves and Fish.

  1. Amen, Allan. No matter how little we think we have, if we surrender it to the Lord there is no telling how great it can be increased in the Saviors hands! Blessings to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is good stuff, Alan. Our fellow blogger Gary Fultz wrote today about being ready for the Master’s call at a moments notice. He meant the return of Christ (or our surprise home going to heaven), but you’ve put another spin on it all together! It’s amazing how the Holy Spirit works, as Northern Minnesota (Gary’s home) is far from Fife, yet you both wrote on the same theme. God is good! Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When you see brethren being in synchronicity like that it really is great evidence of our living God, and His living Word. Often Ruth and I have seen this happen with our posts, it is really exciting when He does this. Thank you David for your encouragement and faithfulness in reading these posts, God certainly is good! God bless you brother.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am thrilled by your comments Crissy! Thank you for your encouragement. Let me tell you a wee secret, I haven’t any idea from day to day what or who I am going to write about. I trust Him for His leading.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful blog, Alan. I particularly love the thought that Jesus can take my tiny gifts and use them for something good. Sitting in my room at the hospital, treatment now underway. During the next hour it will steadily get more and more painful.. the afternoon, evening And night at home will be hard, but we are well practiced at coping XXXXX

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have my own loaves & fishes story.

    It was Eagle Project Day for my son, Mark. All of the volunteers had worked hard in the summer sun, to build a chicken coop for a local charity, Faith Acres. I went to Walgreen’s and purchased a variety of Arizona Iced Teas (1 per person). When I got back to the worksite I put the drinks in the cooler.

    I watched in amazement as the volunteers retrived their favorite flavors from the cooler. Not only everyone have the flavors they wanted, but they were able to have 2 or 3 of them.

    At the end of the day there were still three drinks in the cooler. So, I purchased 12 drinks, at least were consumed & there were drinks left over. I love God’s math.

    Liked by 1 person

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