The Generosity of a Child
The Bible tells us about a time when Jesus fed people...LOTS of people. He did it with two fish and five loaves of bread. But how did Jesus get those two fish and five loaves of bread?
The Gospel of John tells us: they belonged to a young boy in the crowd.
Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, "Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?" He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.
Philip replied, "Even if we worked for months, we wouldn't have enough money to feed them!"
Then Andrew, Simon Peter's Brother, spoke up. "There's a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?" John 6:5-8
Now, John does not give us all the details here. We don't know how Andrew found out about the young boy and the food he had with him. But the most likely explanation is that the boy offered his food to Andrew. After all, Andrew clearly did not think those two fish and five loaves were going to help. So, why would he take them unless the boy gave them to him?
To Andrew, it probably seemed like a nice thing for the boy to do. So, he shared the offering with Jesus. But Jesus knew it was more than a nice thing for the boy to do.
It was an act of faith.
Andrew might not have been impressed by the size of the boy's gift. He was too overwhelmed by the much bigger size of the crowd. But Jesus knew it would be enough. He knew it would be more than enough.
And that's because the boy gave his food to Jesus.
That young boy could have just offered his food to a couple of people standing next to him. That would have been a nice thing to do, too. But it would only have fed a couple of people. Instead, this young boy offered his food to Jesus. He did it because he had the faith to believe that with Jesus, his gift would be even better.
And, of course, it was.
If you ever feel like you don't have a lot to offer, remember the boy in this story. Give whatever you have to Jesus. It doesn't matter how big or amazing your gift might seem to someone else. If you give it to him, he will make it more than enough.
Read Mark 12:41-44
This passage contains another example of a generous giver. What does the widow in this story give? Why does Jesus notice her gift even though it is smaller than so many others? Do you think the widow gave out of faith, like the young boy who shared his food?
Draw a picture of the young boy giving his gift and another picture of the widow giving her gift. As you draw, think about what these two people have in common and what makes them different.
Give a gift to Jesus this week. See what he does with it!