Giving Your Fish

March 10, 2016

by Erin Bird

Last Sunday, we launched a new message series called Putting Go Back in the Gospel. In this series, we will be looking at the idea of Sharing. In week 1, we saw from 2nd Kings that we should "Share the Wealth." This coming weekend, we'll look at "Share Your Life." And we'll conclude the series on Palm Sunday with "Share the Truth."

With the idea of "sharing" on my mind, I thought I'd "share" another Biblical story on the topic that we won't get to during the series, but is well worth the time for us to read and ponder.

A Little Can Be a Lot

There are only a handful of stories that make an appearance in all four the Gospels. One of them is the Feeding of the 5000.

John's telling of the story teaches us something that the other three Gospel accounts don't bother to mention. (If you have a moment, take 90 seconds to read John's account right now.) The five loaves of bread and the two fish were from a little boy's lunch.

I imagine some 8-year-old boy hearing that Jesus was coming to the area. He runs home, yelling at the top of his lungs as he runs into the house, "Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming! He's on the other hill! Can I go hear him speak? Please!?!?"

His mom gets him to calm down, and says, "Yes, yes, you may go! But you need to take a lunch with you." So she grabs a few things from the kitchen, throws it in a cloth bag, and kisses her son on the forehead as he dashes out the door to go hear this famed rabbi.

When the little boy arrived, he sees Jesus up on the hill. Throngs of people were seated, looking up as the words of Jesus fell down the slopes upon eager ears. The boy makes his way up the hill to get closer. He wants to be as close to Jesus as possible.

Jesus taught the people all day, as well as spent some time healing the sick. But the people were so enraptured with Jesus's presence and teaching that they completely forgot about eating. Most had not bothered bringing anything along with them. They had rushed to the hillside, but in their haste had failed to grab their own meal on the way.

So with everyone beginning to realize their stomachs were growling, a conversation begins about food. Perhaps the little boy overheard Jesus talking with Philip about how they were going to feed the crowd. So he tugged on Andrew's tunic, and said in his innocent little voice - "Hey, mister, I have some bread and fish."

We sometimes forget it all started with a little boy's lunch willingly given. Now, a reasonable adult would have kept quiet. The five loaves and two fish were all he had. If he gave it away, what would he eat? But the child wasn't reasonable. He was so moved by Jesus that he offered everything he had, even if it was just a small lunch his mom had packed for him.

The reason this story is in the Scripture is because Jesus fed 5000 men, not counting the women and children that were among the masses, with such a small amount. But what we sometimes forget is that it all started with a little boy's lunch willingly given.

What's Your Fish?

I suspect you have some "fish." There are things in your life that you don't see as much, but God can use them for great things. For instance:

  • You may not think your house is all that great, but how can you give your home to God to use to bless others more than you thought possible?
  • You may think you aren't all that talented in certain areas, but what little do you have that you can give to God so He can do a lot with it?
  • You may think you don't have thousands of dollars you can give, but what can you sacrifice that God can take and do far more with than you ever could?

In other words - what is your fish? What is the small thing that you can give to God, trusting He can do more with it than you ever could? What can you share with the expectancy that God will bless others through it?

I'm praying that we as the Riverwood family will live lives of radical generosity, sharing even the smallest of things with others in belief that God can and will do miraculous things through our small gifts and lives!

Erin Bird Lead Pastor - Riverwood Church

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Riverwood Church, Waverly Iowa

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