Summary: One little lad with a little lunch became a part of one of the largest miralces in the ministry of Christ. We can learn from him and become a part of God's glorious work.
From The Desk Of Pastor Toby Powers
Truth Baptist Church, Bremen, GA
A LITTLE LAD, A LITTLE LUNCH, AND A LARGE MIRACLE
Intro: The passage begins with “After these things...” That seems to be an odd way to begin a story... by saying AFTER. So it begs the question, after what things?
* After These Things: It was after John the Baptist had been imprisoned for preaching against Herod’s adultery in taking his brother’s wife. It was after Herodios sent her daughter to perform a salacious dance for Herod as a birthday gift. It was after Herod in the heat of his lust promised her anything she requested up to half of the kingdom. It was after Herodios advised her to demand as her gift the head of John the Baptist who had preached against her adultery might be brought to her in a charger. It was after John was buried by Jesus’ disciples, according to Matthew’s account in Matt 14:12. Then, when the disciples had told Jesus of it, he took them away for a time of mourning and prayer.
* Because Of His Miracles: v. 2, the crowd followed him. Many just wanted to see him perform some trick, display some fanciful whirligig. Some sought for help for their situation. Others just wanted to find out what the truth was about this man of whom they had heard so much. And they followed him.
* Jesus Went Up Into A Mountain: v. 3, he and his disciples were going there to be alone, considering the circumstances. They were weak, exhausted, discouraged, and likely afraid. Herod had already compared Jesus to John the Baptist. Many of them were John’s disciples before having followed Jesus in the way. Would they be next? Would the sword of Herod seek them out? What would become of their lives, ministries, and families? They had no desire at all to minister at this time. They simply wanted to be alone to sort things out.
BUT... in the middle of all this turmoil and confusion, Jesus lifts up his eyes and sees a great crowd following. He asks Phillip where they can get something to give them to eat (v. 5). In Matthew 14:15 the disciples asked the Lord to send the multitude away, but he commanded them to give them something to eat. They didn’t have any money, and if they did, where would they buy? They were not of a mind or a spirit to desire to minister to people, not did they have the means to meet the need. As if beginning to take up a collection, Andrew offers his finding of five loaves and two small fishes that a little boy had there. He knew it wouldn’t be enough, but it was almost as if he thought if all the disciples were to collect a little, they might have enough to get by. But all Jesus needed was a little boy with a little lunch to do a big miracle.
In this account we see the Lord Magnified, The Loaves Multiplied, and the Lad Mystified, or you could say we see the Lord Displayed, The Loaves Duplicated, And The Lad Delighted. While much has been preached on the Lord and the Loaves from this passage, I want to concentrate on the Lad. How was it that a little boy with a little bread and some little fishes was able to be part of such a BIG Miracle? It was so big that it is one of the few recorded in all four of the Gospels. What he did to be in a place of such a blessing is a lesson to us all.
I. HE FOLLOWED THE RIGHT PERSON: Matt 14:13, “they followed him out of all the cities...” And this little boy followed too. But, he was not just a follower, he followed the right person.
A. Had he followed a disciple... they didn’t want to feed them. They wanted to just send them away. They were short on resources.
B. Had he followed Herod... He might have had his head cut off
C. Had he followed the crowd... He would have been hungry as would have all the rest.
D. But he FOLLOWED JESUS God used him and his fish for a great miracle.
The disciples thought they had no resources to feed the people. They felt they had no strength to minister to the people. They didn’t expect that God was going to do anything for the people, but Jesus took a little lad with a little lunch and worked a Big Miracle. We wonder why, how, if, but we just have to follow the right person, and when you feel the least able to minister to someone else may be when God uses you in the greatest way