John the Baptist was killed because an evil woman, Herodias (Herod's wife), held a grudge against Him. Can you imagine how the people felt? Heart broken and wanting to be alone with His disciples, Jesus tried to get to a solitary place near the Sea of Galilee. Yet He saw a crowd of people and had compassion on them. Jesus said they were like sheep without a shepherd. Maybe they were grieving the loss of the Baptist too. Jesus comforted them and healed their sick.
At the end of the day the disciples wanted to send the people away so they could get something to eat, but Jesus had a better plan. He wanted to feed them. Philip said eight months wages would not be enough to give each person a bite. The Bible says at least five thousand men gathered on the hillside that day (not including women and children). If the average family in the crowd had a man, his wife and two children, there must have been about twenty thousand people with Jesus. Can you imagine what that looks like? Think of a sports arena. Most of them hold at least fifteen thousand sports fans.
A boy offered his lunch to feed the crowd. Isn't that just like a boy? He wanted to help the Lord. Andrew said, "Here are two fish and five barley loaves." Jesus gave thanks and then asked the disciples to distribute the food. Everyone in the crowd ate until they were satisfied. Jesus didn't want anything to be wasted so the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers.
Think about it
Jesus multiplied the boy's gift. Think what might happen if we are as willing as the boy to give. Yet, we can't out give God. He is ready to give back to us abundantly. The miracle of feeding five thousand (more like twenty thousand) lasted longer than one afternoon, because people ate from the baskets of fish and bread collected after dinner.
Pray about it
Thank you, Father God, for the way you bless each and every one of us. Help us to be good stewards of your gifts. Amen.