John 6:9 says: “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
Good question. Turns out, they went a very long way! Jesus took them and miraculously fed thousands of people!
Let’s focus on some of the details. In the ancient world barley bread (which is specified here), was less nutritious and less expensive than other kinds of bread. Philo says barley bread “is of somewhat doubtful merit, suited for irrational animals and men in unhappy circumstances.”* Oh dear.
My sense here is that we’re supposed to see a contrast. This boy’s offering was humble and meagre. And yet, he gave it to Jesus who used it to bless the masses.
There are times when, like this boy, we doubt the usefulness of what we have to offer. It’s too small or meagre, we think. That’s why each and every one of us needs a reminder: Believe you can make a difference because you believe in the difference maker.
If God can do amazing things, that most certainly includes extraordinary things with your very ordinary things.
What do you have to give? Some time, some money, some expertise, some energy, some knowledge?
Here’s what I think you should do. Ask God to use it for his glory and for his loving purposes in the world.
And then trust him.
Believe you can make a difference because you believe in the difference maker.
Ask God to use your “meagre” offerings for his glory and for his loving purposes in the world.
—Upcoming. This week stay tuned for “Serious, self-sacrificial evangelism—a talk by Will Han.” It will be available on ‘The Pulse Podcast with Matthew Ruttan.’
—Subscribe to my YouTube Page for the latest sermons, interviews and videos here.
—Sermon. “Your input, God’s output.” May 29, 2022. Click here.
—Bible Study Podcast. “Feeding the 5000 and a poor boy’s gift to Jesus.” May 29, 2022. Click here.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.
–*De Spec. Leg. 3.57.