I’ve read the story a lot of times. I read it again just the other day.
It’s a story that Matthew records in his gospel. So do Mark, Luke, and John, but only John tells us whose lunch Jesus transformed into enough for five thousand people.
One young boy had fives loaves and two fishes. That’s the only food the disciples found amongst five thousand people.
I’ve often imagined that young boy, many years later, old and gray, sitting in the midst of his grandchildren, still telling the amazing story of Jesus breaking those loaves and dividing those fish into lunch for 5000 people.
But I’ve never thought about the boy’s mother before. She probably got up that morning and packed him a lunch, something she had most likely done many, many times before. She probably baked the bread. Perhaps she prepared the fish or bought it dried at the market. Maybe she gathered up leftovers from last night’s dinner to send along with him.
She was doing what mothers do — making sure her boy had something to eat when he got hungry. And what a story he must have told her when he came home later that day! Jesus had fed 5000 people with his lunch! He had taken the fruit of that mama’s loving labor and multiplied it to bless thousands of other people.
The feeding of the five thousand is about much more than a sack lunch packed by a faithful mother. But still, we can be encouraged.
Jesus can take simple, mundane things like packed lunches and lesson plans, helping with homework and opening up the Bible to instruct a child, changing diapers and settling arguments, carpooling and watching Little League games, and He can use them for His glory.
We can’t always see what He is doing. We don’t know what the future holds. But we know He is faithful. Let’s be faithful, too. Let’s give our children our loaves and fish and wait to see what Jesus does with them.
Let’s joyfully persevere in the job He has given us, trusting Him to multiply our labors, expecting Him to do marvelous things.