Fish and Chips . . . Well, Sort Of

Vol. 3 No. 11 – John 6:1-15 (3.18.2018)

A little boy has five barley cakes and two sardines –John 6:1-15

Several years ago plaques were just the ticket for gifts. One such plaque had this message:

God gives us great opportunities
Brilliantly disguised
As impossible situations!

Late in the afternoon, on a lonely hillside northeast of the Sea of Galilee – well not today. Over 5,000 hungry stomachs were growling! Think about that for a moment. No 7-Eleven, Turkey Hill, Race Track, Pilot, McDonalds, Chic-Fil-A, or even a Wendy’s. What is wrong with this picture?

The disciples of Jesus did not have enough money to buy a little something for everybody, even if there were a biscuit place on the trail leading to where the people gathered. In human calculations, this was a hopeless situation. Entering the scene was a small lad coming to where Jesus Christ was positioned and teaching.

Have you ever tried to part boy and lunch? Even though it was small – a handful of small barley biscuits and a couple of dinky fish (like I used to catch). Starter size fish and chips. Hardly enough even for a hungry lad. Nothing “palate-tickling” about them. And then, he willing gives it – ALL OF IT!

God takes what we have; in this case the small, insignificant, and even meager lunch of the little boy, and makes a ludicrous provision of seven morsels that is multiplied into proportions to not only feed thousands, BUT there is a mountain type stack of leftovers to care for others’ needs. Isn’t that just like God?

Sometimes when I read what God does, the humor of God cannot be covered up. This cannot help but bring a smile to the lips of the reader.

The arithmetic of the circumstance tells us that five loaves of bread (biscuits/chips) plus two scrawny fish minus 5000 Jewish stomachs equals twelve baskets full left over.

God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. –Ephesians 2:20

Out of meager resources comes a miracle. Think of history and present things:

  • A small Jewish baby takes a trip down the Nile (in a basket, none-the-less) and touches the heart of the Emperor’s daughter
  • David’s sling and a small stone brings down a gargantuan Philistine
  • A slave girl brings the leper Naaman to be in touch with God’s healing power
  • A jawbone of an ass in the hands of Samson took care of 1000 armed men
  • A prostitute in Samaria was used after encounter with Jesus to bring the gospel to her entire town
  • And I just answered the door bell and noticed that the heavy door swings on only two tiny hinges – amazing!

How trivial is that young little Jewish virgin, raised in what many would call a “hick town” in Palestine? God took her, Mary, and privileged her to bring forth the Redeemer. Little is much when God is in it. Note what Jesus did with the barley cakes/loaves/chips and pickled fish – He took it, said a blessing upon it, broke it, and rather than feeding the multitude directly, He provided the feeding through His servants. Do not miss that!

What do you have? All God is asking is for us to be a channel through which He can express Himself, through which He can make known His power and grace. He is looking for channels; even small lunches of little boys. God has all the supply. It is for us to distribute what He gives.

A dedicated life is a multiplying life. –John G Mitchell

What have you provided to someone else today because God made it available to you?

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