Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?”
John 6:7-9 ESV
How many times have you read or heard the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000? For me, probably dozens of dozens. And yet today as I read this story I was struck by a new thought. It comes from a tiny detail tucked into these familiar scriptures. “One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him…” Never before had I given thought to Andrew, the disciple who brought the little boy’s offering to Jesus. Before this very moment his name was just a superfluous part of the story but today I was struck by his courage.
Think about it. Jesus asked Philip what He should do to fix the problem (John 6:5) and when Philip comes up with naught, Andrew brings up this preposterously inadequate meal option. Even he knows it’s not enough saying, “what are they for so many?” but none the less, Andrew brought the five loaves and two fish to The Lord’s attention. Can you just picture the eye rolling and sarcastic comments of the others? Andrew had to know it was coming. Like seriously? There are well over 5,000 people and you bring this nothingness to the Son of God Himself? What are you thinking?! And yet, despite his own disbelief, he offered up what was available to him.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
How often do we see a problem, a need and yet feel ill-equipped to help? We might feel hesitant to step in, to step up because the gifts or resources we have available seem so preposterously inadequate to make a difference. We think, “You know, if I make this suggestion, if I bring this option up, people might roll their eyes and laugh, might make snide or sarcastic comments. Maybe it’ll be better if I just stay back here in the crowd and let others figure it out.”
And yet, we must have courage. “Lord, this is all I have but what can it do?” Who knows, it just might be that God is waiting for us to bring our meagre offering so that He can transform it into a mighty miracle. Andrew didn’t know what the final outcome would look like, he even had his doubts, but brought what he had anyways. You and I may not always know what the final outcome is going to look like in any given situation, we might even have our doubts about our ability or capacity, but we have to have the courage to bring what we have anyways.
Who knows, we might have more left over than what we started with!