Last week, I began breaking down my focus verse for 2014 by looking at the meaning in the first four words. The verse I’ve chosen says:
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
I know this seems like a strange verse to choose as a focus verse so, that’s why I’m explaining what it means to me. I want to continue today by examining what we can learn in the middle section of this verse.
Two Problems that Often Hold Me Back
Again, I’ll remind you that this verse is a part of John’s story about how Jesus miraculously FEEDS 5000. He does this with the five small barley loaves and two small fish mentioned in the middle of the verse.
In human terms, there are two main problems with the loaves and fish. The quantity and the quality are seemingly NOT enough.
The Quantity Problem
The scripture says there were about 5000 men there that day. But, we know it wasn’t just men, because a boy was present. Therefore, most scholars agree that there were likely upwards of 15,000 men, women and children on the mountainside. Five small barley loaves and two small fish obviously wouldn’t go far in this circumstance.
Phillip said in Verse 7 that it would take more than a half year’s wages just to buy bread for the crowd. Phillip did what I usually do. He looked at the situation from a merely human point of view. It was humanly impossible for the disciples to feed this crowd. Jesus knew that.
However, nothing is impossible with God. Jesus accepted the meager rations the boy had to offer and performed a miracle. One that is still glorifying God thousands of years later.
Human reasoning would say that what the boy had to offer was so inadequate that it couldn’t possibly make a difference. What a trap! One that many Christ Followers (including me) fall into all the time.
The Quality Problem
All the boy had was bread and fish. It was probably leftovers from last night’s dinner. It definitely wasn’t a Thanksgiving feast.
When I feel God calling me to do something, not only do I worry that what I have to offer isn’t enough in terms of quantity, I also worry that the quality won’t be good enough to make a difference either.
Remember Moses and the burning bush? God wanted to send Moses to tell Pharaoh to let His people go. Moses responded, “I am slow of speech and tongue.” Moses was afraid of the quality problem too.
Here’s the truth though. God can take whatever we have to offer, bless it and do amazing, wondrous miracles with it. Even if it is meager, broken and seemingly inadequate.
Ignore the Problems and Trust God
This section of my focus verse reminds me that I serve a BIG God. He can multiply the quantity and quality of whatever I give Him and do miracles with it. I can’t continue to let my human reasoning hold me back from copying Jesus.