5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. 7 Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages[a] to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” 8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
What’s Your Availability?
Jesus feeding multitudes of people is very common in the Gospels. So much so that one could easily assume that these people were fed because they were hanging out with Jesus. However, the people were fed because the literally seeking Jesus to fulfill some of their needs including food and water. Sadly, hunger and starvation was very real in the Judea that Jesus lived in. In addition, food options were simple such as bread, dates, dried fruits or grain. Meat, eggs, and milk were rarities. Although available, fish wasn’t a daily option either. Hence, it is interesting for a boy to be traveling alone with fish and bread amongst a crowd of hungry people- no matter how small the meal.There is no mention of him selling food. Their is no mention of parents or family being nearby. We never even learn how he met Andrew. We just know that when it mattered he made himself and his resources available to Jesus. Unlike the disciples, he didn’t wonder who else was available. Nor does he question the possibilities of success or reward for his availability. His participation is so open and straightforward that no dialogue is given to it in scripture. We never learn his name, look, or ethnicity. All we know is that hundreds were fed and ministered to because of his availability.
We live in a world with a lot of desperate and needy people. Some people need physical resources. Some people need emotional stability. While others need psychological support or counseling. Yes, the Holy Trinity could address the needs of the world by themselves. However, they didn’t empower humanity with the freedom of choice so that they could work soley outside of us. Instead, Jesus is the living proof that God desires to work with us. Whatever the need or problem is that exists in our communities. They can be confronted and overcome by those of us who willingly partner with Jesus. There is a lot of need out there. Can you free up some of your time and resources to serve others with Jesus?