The boy that day was not confined as to what to give Jesus. I don’t think that if he had presented Jesus with chicken and vegetables Jesus would’ve said, “oh no! I can’t multiply that! It has to be bread and fish.” Jesus would not be confined like that. He takes whatever we give him. He just cares that we give it. Whatever we give he will use.
What was important is that the boy came prepared and ready to sacrifice. He had his lunch with him in the first place. He had something to offer. He didn’t keep it to himself. He wasn’t selfish. I have a sneaking suspicion he wasn’t the only one in the crowd with a lunch box. I’m sure there were others in the crowd that day who were prepared for a long day in the heat of the desert and brought some lunch with them.
What made the difference?
Although they were prepared – they were not willing to give. We can have all the supplies we want but unless we are willing to give, what’s the point?
Another thing I have noticed about this boy is that he didn’t try to feed the crowd himself. He knew his limitations. He didn’t break the bread and fish himself and start distributing it among the circle of people around him. That would have fed 10-12 people at the most which would have been commendable and those 10-12 people would have been satisfied and the boy would have been heralded as very kind to share with this small group of people.
But the boy wasn’t interested in making himself look kind. He wanted to make Jesus famous so he not only surrendered his lunch but also his pride. He was saying to Jesus, “I can do something with this lunch but I think you can do more, so here it is.”
It’s tempting when you have something in your hand that can help people just to hold on to it and ‘do your best.’ It’s humbling when you realize that your best is nowhere near good enough for the massive need that is out there. So then it’s time to surrender and take what is in your hand and place it into the hand of the One who can meet the need and more besides.
There were 12 baskets of leftovers picked up that day. Somehow I don’t think that boy went home empty-handed.
How easy do you find it to surrender what is in your hand?