“One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said unto Him, ‘There is a lad here, who has five barley loaves and two small fishes—but what are they among so many’?”

John 6:8-9

As the song so beautifully says “Little is much when God is in it.”

Five barley loaves and two small fishes.

Not very much food for a crowd of 5,000+ hungry folks.  But, again, “nothing is impossible” with the One Who created everything that is (except man) by speaking.  And, that’s why we should never underestimate God’s ability to use us in ways we could never imagine.

Barley loaves.  Considered an inferior food source (in comparison to wheat) and suitable only for slaves and the very poor in Jesus’ day, that’s all the young lad had with him that day when he went out to hear the Man of Galilee speak.  And, based upon the number of those loaves, we must believe he wasn’t going to be the only one eating them.

“Two small fishes.”

Don’t overlook the word “small;” it was put there for a reason.

They weren’t nice, plump, rolling-in-fat fishes that’d make the grease pop and sizzle when you plopped them in the pan.  No, they were tiny, itsy-bitsy fishes with hardly any meat on their bones, whose sightless eyes looking up at you told you they’d also been poor while alive.

But, still good ‘ole Andrew said “Lord, here’s a lad nearby who got five, day-old, a little moldy loaves and two, small, scrawny fish in his knapsack.  But what good are they to us when there are 5,000+ hungry folks standing in line for a meal?”

An appropriate question, wouldn’t you say?

Yes, if you’re only looking with human eyes and reasoning.

But, they weren’t dealing with just any ‘ole leader.  Before that day would be over He’d take them to a new level of wonder and show them things they’d never seen before.

Such is always the case with this One with Whom we have to do (Jer. 29:11-14).

The Gospels do not tell us if the frantic disciples began searching the crowd to see how much food they could find.  Most likely they didn’t.  But, standing nearby was this small, scrawny, little lad with his inferior bread and scrawny fish.  And, Andrew. . .trying to be helpful. . .spied the lad and the food and said “What about these?”—but then realized they didn’t amount to much in the grand scheme of things.

Or, did they?

We know the rest of the Story, don’t we?  Assuredly we do (vv.10-14).

And, dear Pilgrim, the Story didn’t stop there.  It’s continued on through every generation even until this day.  In every generation the Lord God has been looking for those who realize their availability is more important to Him than their ability.  And, even though their “offerings” may seem small and insignificant, they (like Zacchaeus and the widow in the Temple that day) still willingly give Him their best.  The question is “Will we be one of them?”

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated July 20, 2010

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