I MET JESUS: A boy and his lunch (Mark 6:30-44)

If you believe in God, then it's not a stretch to believe in miracles.  God can do whatever he likes and this includes utilising, suspending or even completely overruling the laws of nature that he created and continues to sustain.

There's a BIG difference between magic tricks and miracles.  Magic tricks are TRICKS or illusions.  But a MIRACLE is when something incredible really has taken place that cannot be explained by any sleight of hand, camera tricks or any other naturalistic method.  

So do you believe in miracles?  Try to keep an open mind as we see what Mark says Jesus did with a little boy's lunch...

30 The apostles gathered around Jesus. They told him all they had done and taught. 31 But many people were coming and going. So they did not even have a chance to eat. Then Jesus said to his apostles, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place. You need to get some rest.”
32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a quiet place. 33 But many people who saw them leaving recognized them. They ran from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus came ashore, he saw a large crowd. He felt deep concern for them. They were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

Jesus was popular at this point.  People wanted to hear his teaching because it was unlike anything they'd heard before.  And many wanted to see if Jesus would heal them because he'd done it for others.  LOADS of people wanting to get time with Jesus to hang on his every word and see what he would do next.

And Jesus LOVES the people.  So he teaches them in his unique way about God's kingdom family as he did on many other occasions and I imagine people's minds were on anything but food.  But they were probably flagging a bit and the disciples were starting to worry... 

35 By that time it was late in the day. His disciples came to him. “There is nothing here,” they said. “It’s already very late. 36 Send the people away. Then they can go to the nearby countryside and villages to buy something to eat.”
37 But Jesus answered, “You give them something to eat.”
They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s pay! Should we go and spend that much on bread? Are we supposed to feed them?”
38 “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked. “Go and see.”
When they found out, they said, “Five loaves and two fish.”

Jesus says, "YOU give them something to eat."  I love it.  Jesus isn't worried about the food situation and he invites the disciple to JOIN HIM in not worrying.  AND to go DO something, trusting that God would provide what was needed.

But they're not ready yet.  This is a BIG crowd.  Half a year's pay is a lot of money.  Out of curiosity, I did some quick maths and I reckon half a year of my pay today would probably buy lunch (a cheap lunch!) for about 7,500 people.  The disciples are still troubled and confused that Jesus seems to expect them to be able to solve this one.

Jesus asks them what they have and all they have is a little boy's lunch.  We know it's a little boy's lunch from John's account of the same event.

And then Jesus does a miracle in the hands of his disciples (they were learning to trust Jesus, remember)...  
39 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of 100s and 50s. 41 Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish. He looked up to heaven and gave thanks. He broke the loaves into pieces. Then he gave them to his disciples to pass around to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 All of them ate and were satisfied. 43 The disciples picked up 12 baskets of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44 The number of men who had eaten was 5,000.


The small lunch that the little boy gave, was multiplied miraculously by Jesus to feed over 5000 people.  Probably more like 10,000 because there were women and children there too.  And everyone had PLENTY to eat.  It says they 'all ate and were satisfied'.  AND they had 12 basketfulls of leftovers, which was more food than what they had to start out with!!

If you don't believe in God or miracles then you will probably be looking for a naturalistic explanation or for a way to discredit the story entirely.  But it's exactly the kind of thing we would expect to happen if God is real and Jesus is who he said he was (God!).  

I bet the boy had LOTS of questions.  More questions than answers maybe.  But like lots of others,  I bet he was excited to get to know Jesus more and I hope you are too!