This past week, Jordan & Erin Camponi took some time to read through the account of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with their kids, Beck, Lainey, and Neva. Here is the scene they created based on the account in John 6:
The biblical account informs us that Jesus retreated to a desolate place to rest and pray. The word “desolate” is equated with words such as bleak, bare, isolated, lonely, wasted, ruined, destroyed, and forsaken. Yet, this was to be the scene of a wondrous happening. A place where Jesus would supernaturally feed thousands of people.
The restlessness and hopelessness of the crowd in this place is almost palpable.
And here we see Jesus. He comes to the crowd. He sees the yearning for hope and for light. And he sees the hunger. The spiritual hunger, for certain, but also the physical hunger. No aspect of our humanity goes unseen by Jesus, including our need for food. So, Jesus, full of compassion, will feed the crowd. But how? How could there possibly be enough food in this lonely, empty place for thousands of people?
“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish,” Andrew informs Jesus, “but how far will they go among so many?” (John 6:8-9). Is this a response that we too often give to the promptings of the Holy Spirit? How could what little I have to give possibly be enough in the hands of the Almighty? What difference could this possibly make to Jesus? How will He use this little? How will He use me?
I forget that God is in the multiplication business.
We might give money and He might give relationship.
We might give time and He might give increased faith.
We might give trust and He might give peace.
Let God figure out the formula.
Because here’s the truth. None of us have enough. Philip didn’t have enough money and the little boy didn’t have enough food. And how often do we feel that we don’t have enough? Enough money, time, or talent? Or enough of anything to repay the grace that is freely offered to us each and every day? But, in the hands of Jesus, what little we offer, despite our doubt, becomes enough.
In the hands of Christ, little is enough.
In this account, Jesus multiplied what was given. And in so doing, Jesus showed the crowd that He alone is able to satisfy not only physical hunger, but more importantly spiritual hunger. He alone is the provider for both our ordinary and our extraordinary needs.
This miracle of Jesus feeding a crowd of thousands of people is a miracle that is still happening today. Because this is what God does in our lives. What little we give to God, in the midst of our messy and sometimes seemingly desolate lives, he breaks; and through it He will bless us and use us for His beautiful, Kingdom building, eternal purposes. This is powerful. However hard walking through brokenness is at the time, there’s also great blessing and power that can come through it. We offer our lives, broken pieces and all, and Jesus brings us before the Father. That’s the grace and favour that He alone can bring into our lives in the midst of dark circumstances. So remember:
We are enough.
You are enough.
I am enough.
Because we are covered in God’s good grace.
The little we give, brokenness and all, is simply enough.
—this post is based on excerpts from Joanna Hulzenga’s teaching on Sunday, November 12, 2017
Special thanks to the Camponis: the LEGO scene of the account of Jesus feeding the 5,000 was created by Beck, Lainey, and Neva Camponi
A response to John 6:1-14
Best When Broken Teaching Series