In my last article, I revealed the word and verse that I’m going to use to focus my efforts to copy Jesus in 2014.
Today, I want to begin to explain why I chose the verse I did and what it means in relation to my focus word – FEED. In all, this will likely take a few more articles so, consider yourself forewarned.
Unpacking My Focus Verse
I’ve decided that the best way to unpack my focus verse for you is to dissect it one little section at a time. I’ll start by looking at just the first four words.
If you recall, the verse I selected is:
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 NIV
As you may know, this verse comes from the story of Jesus FEEDING the 5000. But, what meaning, what value could there possibly be in the four words, “Here is a boy”? Well, let me explain how I see it.
There three very important things I appreciate in these first four words.
1. You Have to Make Yourself Available
This boy is the raw material that Jesus uses to perform a MIRACLE. He shows up and Jesus uses him. So, these first four words tell me that if I want to help Jesus FEED his sheep, then I must seek to be in the right place at the right time. But, how do I know the right place? Well, I know it isn’t staying home on my couch. It is getting out among the people that Jesus wants to reach. You have to make yourself available if you want to be used by God.
2. God Uses the Ordinary to Do the Extraordinary
The second thing I notice in these words is that this boy is ordinary. He’s so ordinary that John doesn’t even mention his name. Yet he is the one that Jesus enlists to assist Him in performing one of His most extraordinary miracles. If you look at verse 14, John makes it clear that this event significantly sways the crowd’s opinion of Jesus. And I’m sure they didn’t keep it to themselves either. They likely told everyone they knew. God makes a habit of using ordinary people like you and me to do extraordinary things to build His kingdom. These words remind me of that.
3. Childlike Faith Is a Huge Plus
Finally, I think it is important to recognize how befuddled the adults (the disciples) are leading up to verse 9. They simply can’t wrap their minds around how Jesus expects them to FEED such a huge crowd. Jesus has to turn to a boy – a child – to help. Why? Because the boy has childlike faith. He doesn’t see the obstacles. He doesn’t let his own logic and reason get in the way. He simply offers what he has to Jesus and watches as Jesus does the rest. There is no doubt that I need to be more like this boy in my faith and willingness to give what I have.
Deep Meaning in Four Words
I hope you are beginning to see why I say this verse is LOADED with deep meaning for me. Just the first four words speak volumes about how I can better copy Jesus in 2014 and help Him FEED his sheep.