I am amazed once again as I read the account of the five loaves and two fishes in the Bible.1 The story follows Jesus having received the sad news that his cousin, John, had been beheaded by Herod Antipas. Jesus removed himself for alone time with God in prayer, but the neighboring crowds found him out. They sought him on foot and moved Christ to compassion, so Jesus spent the day healing the sick. After working all day, the disciples told Jesus it would be wise to send the folks away to feed themselves. But Christ asked the disciples instead to feed the crowd.
We only have five loaves and two fish, His disciples answered.
God did not allow the limitations of five loaves and two fish to stop him from feeding five thousand men plus the women and children. This meager offering could have vanished had the one who brought the food decided to consume it alone. Instead, this nameless person selflessly offered their lunch to the Christ. Not only was this benefactor’s own body nourished, but the bodies of thousands more! This humble person’s body of work is now part of the body of Scripture.
I am reminded of the example Christ had growing up in His mother. She too understood that she was God’s servant. 2 I imagine the son of a humble carpenter watching his parents pray and trust God for every provision. But Christ, being God, took life to the next level-perfect obedience.
I am amazed that those closest to the Lord are never recorded as ever having name-dropped Christ as the latest sensation to be watched. Rather, Christ’s plain humanity clothed the living God so that He could multiply God’s work in understated ways. Those surrounding this charismatic enigma were too busy doing life with him; walking and talking with him as a person to see Him as a celebrity. He was and still is a humble servant, calling us to himself as God, friend, comforter, provider and so much more, but a celebrity he is not.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I love amazing entertainment, but I am in awe of God. It is he who created the men and women who capture our attention for their short years on earth. The most noteworthy is himself come in human form, Jesus Christ, who multiplied God’s kindness for our temporary and eternal benefit. Magicians impress for a moment and then are gone. God is a multiplier of his own love in all good things, offering blessing upon blessing even in the most trying of seasons.
1 Matthew 14:13-21
2 Luke 2:38 & John 2:3-5