I chuckled as I read the story of how Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes to feed over 5000 people. I say over 5000 because the Bible account states that there were 5000 men, besides women and children. Anyway, what made me chuckle was when I thought of my oldest grandchild, Tyrique, and how he would have reacted had he been asked to give up his lunch. I could just hear his shrill pre-teen voice: “Why must I give up my lunch to feed all these people?”
Tyrique is almost twelve and like most boys around that age, he doesn’t want anyone coming between him and his food. Thinking about Tyrique reminded me of a Coca Coca commercial some years ago with Shaquille Oneil and a little boy much younger than Tyrique. Shaq had been playing and looked like he could use a drink and there was this youngster sipping a frosty bottle of Coke. Shaq approaches, looks at the Coke then at the boy. The boy looks up at this man-mountain and says in his best growl, “Don’t even think about it.” My Tyrique would have reacted in similar manner if Peter or John had tried to get his lunch.
The story may sound funny, but it takes on a deeper meaning if we try to put ourselves in the place of that little boy with the five loaves and two fishes. Would you have given up your lunch? On a hot day, in the middle of nowhere, with no money in your wallet? I asked myself the same question. What loaves and fishes is God asking us to give up so that others can be fed? What can we give to promote God’s kingdom here on earth?
Jesus said, “Forasmuch as you have done it to one of these the least of my brethren you have done it unto me.” The next time the Holy Spirit prompts you to give, or you see someone in need and you are in a position to help, don’t growl like the boy in the commercial, but give up willingly.
By the way, I did ask Tyrique what he would do in a similar situation. He smiled and said, “I know that story. I would have given them half.” Not bad. But God requires us to give Him our all. He didn’t hold back when He had to choose between His only begotten Son and us. He gave Him up willingly so that we could have eternal life. What are you willing to give?