Most of us can remember the stories of the biblical giants of faith that we can gain such insight and inspiration from.  There is Noah, Moses, King David, Isaiah, the Disciples and Apostle Paul, etc.  Most everyone also knows the great miracles of Jesus told in the Bible, like the feeding of 5000.  This one is so important, it is told in each of the four Gospels.John 6:9 contains the only mention out of the four Gospels in which we learn where the food that Jesus multiplied came from.  In this verse we learn that it is a little boy that has five barley loaves of bread and two fish. I could write about the obvious significance of this miracle relating to Jesus being the Bread of Life for our eternal salvation, but I want to focus on this one little boy.  Jesus and boy 5000John 6:9 is brief.  A Disciple says to Jesus, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”  Sometimes God speaks to us through the Bible in a very brief, subtle way and the following are four lessons I learned from this one Bible verse:

1. You may have an important role in a miracle of God but you don’t need credit and the story, or testimony, should be told to glorify Jesus.  He is the compassionate miracle worker and author of our salvation, so it is never really about us. Our desire in life should be to follow and serve Jesus.

2. You need to be close to Jesus and his followers for him to use you for a miracle and to bless others. It is important to hang around the right friends and belong to a local church that believes in miracles and Hebrews 13:8 which says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”  People often run from God, rather than seeking his Kingdom (Matthew 6:33) and righteousness and when in need, especially a miracle, they call out to God and find the prayer often goes unanswered.  In this story, thousands of people flocked to see and hear Jesus because they heard of his miracles healing the sick primarily, and this boy somehow managed to be right next to Jesus and the Disciples at the end of the day at the critical moment.  Perhaps if he sought a seat in the back planning to beat the crowds and get an early exit he’d grow old wondering why he never witnessed a miracle and Jesus never did anything special in his life.  I know that hits home for many, but I’m just saying… Its true.

3. Don’t be stingy with what you got. When you have a giving heart, Jesus takes what is inadequate and makes it adequate for you and others.  The boy had very little to give, but he gave it all to Jesus.  And then he went home with nothing, right?  I doubt it.  We learn in John 6:12-13 that Jesus not only multiplied it to feed 5000, but after everyone (which surely included the boy) had enough to eat, twelve baskets were left over, much more than the boy started with.  The Bible does not say what was done with the twelve baskets of leftovers, but if there is consistency with other lessons throughout the Bible, the boy got the leftovers, at least more than he could carry.  From Psalm 23:5, his “cup runneth over”, so to speak!  He was blessed many times over for what he gave.  I believe he was able to go home and show his family and friends that were not there, “look what Jesus did for me!”  That is a great witness for Christ.

4. The boy’s gift was used for a miracle far more reaching than the obvious. Jesus uses people to meet the needs of people.  Yes, millions of lives have been touched by this story over the last 2000 years.  More immediate in the story though, Matthew 14:21 ends it by stating that not only were 5000 men fed that day, but so were all the women and children!  Who knows, but perhaps 10,000, 15,000 or even 20,000 were actually fed miraculously that day.  If you think the Bible doesn’t count you, it does and Jesus does.  His grace is sufficient for you and for everyone.  His mercy and miracles are not just for men, but for women and children too.

So, who are the great ones that inspire you from the Bible in times of need?  Next time, consider this little boy and you have all the Biblical hero and inspiration you need to go seek the Kingdom of God and all of your needs will be met.

With all that, I am reminded of another important lesson I learned which also came from a little boy, only 12 years old.  He said, “I must be about my Father’s business.”  That was Jesus when he was twelve. See Luke 2:49.  Likewise, Jesus also said in Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Now, this is the most important lesson because it is the will of the Father that everyone is born again by believing and receiving Christ, following Him as their Lord and savior, who as the son of God, became man and died upon the cross so we can receive by his grace, the gift of salvation and eternal life in Heaven.