Friday, November 9, 2018

A Little Boy's Lunch

There is a story in the Gospels, and it is very well known, about a little boy with a lunch pail who gives what he has to Jesus so that Jesus can feed the thousands with it. A loaf and two fish, a mere bite of food. 

You'd wonder, when that little boy was asked to give his lunch to Jesus, if he thought that he was just feeding Jesus, which would be honor enough in itself, wouldn't it? After all, it is a meal fit for one, and for a grown man, a little boy's lunch may be just a small snack, but it's something. So maybe the boy gives his little pail to the disciples thinking he's feeding Jesus, with no idea at all what Jesus is about to do with it. 

And we should notice that when it comes to pass that Jesus takes the little lunch and breaks it and breaks it and breaks it and feeds the thousands, the little boy whose generosity started it all gets not even a thank you, at least not one that's recorded in the Scriptures. And when the baskets of leftovers are collected after the meal, there's no mention of giving the little boy his measure back - or, as the Scriptures often promise, more than his measure. 

The truth is that most of us don't even think about the little boy; we're too focused on Jesus and the thousands. We're too into the breaking of the bread to think about where it's come from. We spend too much of our time marveling at the miracle to consider the humble gift that started it all. Jesus fed the thousands, but He had to have something to start with. We know it's the little boy, but we read right past it to get to the good stuff. 

But we shouldn't. 

Because we are that little boy.

Each one of us is the little boy on that hillside, carrying with us our normal things, our natural things, the kinds of things that we have day-to-day just because that's what we need. Each one of us has our lunch in a little pail, that little bit that's enough for us, that's nourishing for us, and that we're willing to share with Jesus when we think we might be feeding Him.

For a lot of Christians, that's the pinnacle of faith - feeding Jesus. Giving Him what little we have, what small bit we have to offer, for Him to appreciate and for Him to know that we're invested in what He's doing. Of course we give our little lunch to Jesus if He's hungry. That's what our little lunch is for!

What we less often realize, mostly because we aren't necessarily looking for it, is what Jesus does with our little lunch. What we less often see is how many times He breaks it and breaks it and breaks it and feeds the thousands with our meager gift, with baskets of leftovers to boot!

We never could have imagined it. Never thought our little gift would go that far. We thought it was just enough for Jesus, but Jesus always makes it more. 

And sometimes, it doesn't always seem that we get our measure back, even when there's plenty leftover, let alone our measure pressed down, shaken, and measured more. And you know, even more rarely do we get credit for it. It never comes back on us. (And it shouldn't - it's God's glory, not ours.) But very rarely does anyone come and say, "Thank you." Thank you for being that little boy. Thank you for bringing your humble gift. Thank you for giving your little lunch to Jesus, for He fed me with it. 

Yet, if He asked tomorrow, we'd do it all again. Sure, Jesus; You can have my lunch. It should be just enough for You.

Oh, it is, My child, He answers. Just enough, and infinitely more. 

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