"Standing Out in the Crowd"
"When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, ’This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.’ But Jesus said to them, ’They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.’ And they said to Him, ’We have here only five loaves and two fish.’ He said, ’Bring them here to Me.’ Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children." Matthew 14:15-21
In the miraculous story of the feeding of the five thousand, we typically hear about Jesus, the crowd, and the disciples, but we neglect this central character - the boy. His story teaches us so much.
No one in the crowd would have thought that this boy mattered. No one would have imagined that what he was carrying in his little basket would not only be the provision of the moment, but the basis of one of the most significant sermons Jesus ever preached.
This was one little boy in the crowd, with a little bit of fish and bread, but he had been chosen by God to be a significant part of Jesus’ redemptive plan not only for that day, but for the rest of human history. No one knew that after this moment, every man, woman, and child who trusted in Jesus and read the Bible would know this boy, know exactly what was in his basket that day, and know how Jesus used him to reveal His love and identity.
That means that we’re never just lost in the crowd. We’re never without anything to offer. We never know who the Lord will use to minister His miraculous power. The Lord knows us all. He knows where we are, what we have, and how we can be used. He is the Divine Author over each and every moment, writing our stories. He can do eternally amazing things with the little of our lives that we’re carrying around and that we tend to think aren’t worth much.
What if that little boy had said no to the stranger who came and said that Jesus wanted his food? What if he had run as fast as he could into the crowd and disappeared? But the story didn’t happen that way. The boy selflessly gave up his little, and Jesus did with it what only the Son of God could do. By divine power, a crowd of thousands was satisfied by physical food (with plenty of leftovers!) and simultaneously pointed to the eternal source of spiritual food that satisfies the soul.
What an amazing story! Christ did the impossible through an unremarkable little boy in the middle of a very big crowd. This boy never received glory – only Christ did – but what he carried in his basket had bigger and more lasting implications than he would ever have been able to grasp.
Once Jesus get’s a hold of our little, there is no limit to what He can do with it. To all who feel overwhelmed or who are tempted to take a much too critical look at their lives and feel insignificant . . . take heart! We never know how the Lord will redeem our little, what seems to be an impossible circumstance, and use it in a big way for His glory.
Much love and care,
Greece Assembly of God
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