June 18, 2013

Small Loaves

John 6:5-14

“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
—John 6:9


When Elisha received twenty barley loaves and some grain, he saw that by God’s power the food would feed a hundred people (2 Kings 4:42-44). Jesus took five barley loaves and two fish and fed a crowd of five thousand. At both meals there was so much that there were leftovers.

As in the days of Elisha, the Lord often did miracles to help with the personal needs of his people. Jesus, the bread of life, is concerned that we have not only food for our souls but also our daily bread. Sometimes we don’t appreciate how much God cares about our day-to-day needs.

But notice that Jesus does not feed the people by himself—he uses the disciples to distribute the bread and serve the people. As Jesus’ disciples today, we should expect the same—Jesus will use us to share in his many ministries of compassion. He is eager to bring us into his work. He not only wants to feed us but also wants us to help him feed others.

Of course, like the disciples, we will look at our resources and wonder how we can make any difference. Our supplies will seem small and inadequate.

But Jesus doesn’t care about that. Our call is to offer what we have to him and to trust that it will be enough. We are to stand by, ready to serve and to be surprised by what he does with the resources we have.

Bread of life, we turn to you for all our needs. Give us this day our daily bread, and help us provide your bread of life for the world. Amen.

About the author — Thea Leunk

Thea Nyhoff Leunk has been a high school English teacher, a director of Christian education, a pastor of discipleship, and a regional coach for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. She is currently the senior pastor at Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Thea has also written courses for teens and young adults on world religions, Christian faith traditions, and science and the Bible. She and her husband have three adult children.

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