Summary: He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose!


John 6:1-13

John 6:1-13

1 Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias),

2 and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick.

3 Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples.

4 The Jewish Passover Feast was near.

5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?"

6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

7 Philip answered him, "Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!"

8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up,

9 "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?"

10 Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them.

11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted."

13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.


Fifty years ago, a team of five young missionaries in the heart of Ecuador’s Amazon Basin endeavored to reach a fearsome tribe known as the Aucas. On an exploratory trip in their bright yellow Piper Cruiser, the missionaries flew over the tribe’s village and dropped baskets of gifts. Later they built a base along the Curaray River, a short distance from the Auca settlement. One day a small group of the Indians approached, appearing friendly and welcoming. To one curious tribesman—whom they called "George"—they gave an airplane ride. Thinking that an opportunity was opening, the missionaries started to map out a strategy to visit the village. But suddenly and without warning a large group of Auca men attacked. In a matter of minutes, the missionaries were dead, brutally murdered by the people they had been attempting to reach with the love of Jesus Christ.

The deaths of five promising young men was shocking, but even more astonishing was the response of family members of the slain men. They decided to continue the mission, reaching out and actually living among the very savages who had slaughtered their loved ones. Remarkably, the Aucas—known today as the Waodani Indians—received them and received the Gospel as well.

One of the missionaries, Jim Elliot, left a journal filled with spiritual insights. Most memorable is one statement that captures the essence of giving all:

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."

Five young men—Jim Elliot, Peter Fleming, Ed McCully, Nate Saint and Roger Youderian—died violently, but not needlessly. And they were not fools, for they had their eyes fixed on the eternal, not the temporal. They gave what they could not keep, but they gained what can never be lost.

What would happen if we would give all?

Her name was Alexandra Scott, but everyone called her Alex. She was the founder of a charitable organization that has raised millions of dollars for pediatric cancer research. With a generous heart and a simple idea, Alex was the spark that set ablaze a movement that has touched lives in all 50 states and numerous foreign countries.

This is her story: Two days before her first birthday, Alex was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a pediatric cancer. When she was four, Alex was so grateful for the care she had received she decided to set up a lemonade stand to raise money for her local hospital in Connecticut. Alex’s Lemonade Stand – and her formidable spirit – soon attracted the attention of her entire community. The lemonade stand became an annual tradition, and the idea began to spread. Hundreds of young cancer survivors followed Alex’s example and set up their own lemonade stands in cities across America.

On August 1, 2004, Alex died. She was just eight years old.

But in 2005, the year after Alex died, the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation raised over four million dollars to find a cure of cancer. Even though she was gone, the generosity of a thankful, little girl is still yielding huge dividends.

Jesus and the disciples are away for a little R & R. They went to the other side of the lake to regroup and recuperate. Then the crowds came, thousands of people, with more needs than there were people. And Jesus, never missing an opportunity to meet need, asks the disciples:

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