I AM THE BOY WTH THE LUNCH (John 6: 1-15).
I do not know exactly where to begin and how it all happened that my lunch was more important than I was. I was called the, “lad or hi boy.” I was not exactly a boy. I was old enough to venture out on my own. I loved the outdoors. I liked hunting and fishing. That is how I got to know Andrew. He too loved fishing and wander off from time to time. He was a friendly chap. He did not mind talking to boys and show them some of the tricks he had learned when he was a boy. There were times, I wished he were my father. Lately, he and his cousin John were excited about two men John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth. One day, Jesus asked Andrew to join His circle of twelve. He did, but still remained friends with me. He still found time to be with me and explain things. Now more than ever, he wanted me to know about Jesus and encouraged me to follow the crowds because they had no problem finding Jesus. And when the people found Jesus, I found Andrew. Only, I did not leave home without my lunch. My mother put five buns and two fish into my bag so I would not go hungry.
That day the crowd moved rather quickly. Jesus and His twelve had taken a boat and rowed across the Lake of Galilee to be alone for a while. It so happened that we got there ahead of Jesus. He walked up the hillside a ways, sat down and began teaching us about some Kingdom. It was a long speech and I remembered little of what Jesus was saying. My friend Andrew had no time finding me and saw to it that I got close to where Jesus sat. When Jesus showed no sign of stopping, several of his closest associates urged Him to dismiss the people so they could find food and lodging for the night. To their surprise Jesus told them, “You give them something to eat!” One of them argued that it would take all of them a half a year’s wages to feed that many people. Jesus did not appear to hear him. Then Andrew, what seemed humorous, injected there is a lad with five buns and two fish. He paused and added, “How many can we feed with them?” It was true my lunch was hardly a drop in a big bucket. Apparently that was what Jesus was waiting for. He was counting on my lunch. I, of all the people, had provided for the day. No one had taken any thought for provisions. I was to become an object lesson that the associates of Jesus would never forget.
There were about five thousand of us. He ordered that we all be seated on the grass. Then He took my buns and fish raised them up to heaven, prayed, broke them in pieces and gave them to His associates. The prayer had something to do with being thankful. I presumed that Jesus was grateful I came along. What would He have done without little me? I felt very tall and important that late afternoon. But when the associates began to hand the food to the people, I could not believe my eyes what was happening to my buns and fish. It just grew in the hands of these men that were handing it out. Crumbs became satisfying meals. Everybody was eating and all were filled. And all of a sudden, out of nowhere, there were twelve baskets for the twelve associates to collect the leftovers. When they returned from collecting, the baskets were also filled. Wow, what a miracle it was! No one had ever heard or seen such a thing. There we were marveling at a miracle man that had fed five thousand with five buns and two small fish. And it was my lunch that He multiplied to feed so many.
There was some excitement after everyone had eaten. The people began to realize that we all were in the presence of a very great miracle worker – the kind we were hoping for God would send us. Here He was. Some one shouted, “He surely is the Prophet who is to come!” Another one muttered, “Let’s make him King!” Others had other ideas. In the commotion of what to do, I saw Jesus quietly withdraw. As a cover, He used the movement of people and the fast approaching darkness. While everyone assumed Jesus was still within the circle of the twelve, He had disappeared into the hills by Himself. From Andrew I learned that Jesus was quite good in stealing away to be alone with His Heavenly Father. He prayed a lot in the outdoors because He was no longer allowed to pray in our schools and places of worship. The people that were fed and who wanted to make Jesus king were not the leaders. They did not want Jesus to be King. They wanted Him dead. Our leaders were afraid of Jesus that He would help the Romans take over their positions. The common and unhappy people wanted a man like Jesus to lead them.
I did not quite understand why anyone would not want a good man like Jesus to help us. He was the kind of a man that loved everybody. Andrew told me that He even loved children. He insisted that they were brought to Him and He blessed them. I may not have been one of the children He laid his hands on, but I certainly was blessed by sharing my lunch with Him. It would be days, long after the miracle had passed, that I slowly awakened to what had happened to my lunch. I became a little hero. Everywhere that I went, I was asked about how large my loaves and fish were? All I did was show them my bag and asked them, “How big do you think?” Many responded as if it were a fairy tale. But those of us that were there and saw what Jesus had done with my lunch cherished the miracle in our memories as long as we lived. We never grew tired of repeating our experience and the experience never dimmed our faith in the One God had truly sent. It was the greatest day in my life to see what Jesus could do with so little!