Friday 16 April 2010

Bible Book:

"There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?" (v.9)

John 6:1-15 Friday 16 April 2010


The account of the feeding of the 5,000 is a familiar one tomost readers of the New Testament. The different Gospel writerstell the story in different ways and interestingly it is only Johnwho actually mentions the young boy who offers the loaves and thefish - although in our mind's eye it is easy to transport thatdetail into the accounts found in the other Gospels.

John is also keen to note the fact that these are "barley" loaves.Such loaves formed the cheap bread of the poorer classes and soJohn emphasises the humble and relatively insignificant backgroundof the boy who makes the loaves and fish available to Jesus. Somescholars make the link between the barley loaves of this incidentand the use of barley loves in the Communion services of the earlyChurch. John may or may not have intended to make that connectionhere by recording that detail.

What is clear is that this incident demonstrates in a powerful anddramatic way the fact that God can take what we offer, and that Goduses it in the work of the kingdom in ways beyond ourimagination.

At times most of us feel that we have little to offer. For somepeople this may be a result of having received little affirmationand encouragement in their childhood years. For others, aparticular event of rejection (perhaps even from the Church) canlead to a sense of being unvalued and unappreciated.

This incident on the shore of Lake Galilee 2,000 years ago remindsus today that, whatever our opinion of ourselves, and whatever ourfeeling of having little to offer, Jesus invites us to give what wehave to him in the knowledge that it can be used for the work ofthe kingdom in amazing ways.

To Ponder

What gifts do you have that God could multiply?To what extent are you willing to offer them?

How can you help people who feel that they havenothing to give know they have a place in God's work?

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