“There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?”
In this story, there was a great need. The Scriptures say that there was a “great multitude” who were hungry and needed to be fed. No doubt, in this multitude were people of resources and stature, but they didn’t have the answer to the great need of this great multitude.
However, there was an answer to the need for this great multitude. The answer was a lad, a young boy, who brought his lunch because the day would be long. The young boy had obviously prepared for the day when the great multitudes had not prepared. When Jesus asked His disciples, “Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat,” the only answer they had was that there was a lad with “five barley loaves, and two small fishes.” The disciples looked at the lad and the small fishes and determined that they were not enough. They felt that they needed something greater than what they had, but Jesus took the young lad and the small fishes and met the needs of the great multitude.
The emphasis of small or little things is pronounced in this story of the lad. The word “small” means little, insignificant, undersized, trivial, and unimportant. Many people often feel small, insignificant, or unimportant in life. Many feel that they have nothing to offer for the work of the LORD. Let me share several thoughts that will help you about God’s use of the small things.
First, great needs are the proving grounds of the omnipotent God. It says in verse 6, “And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.” Jesus knew that He had the power to meet the need, and He still has the power to meet the great need of today. God sees the great needs of today as His opportunity to show that He is still God.
Second, great needs are the proving grounds of the believer’s faith. The problem is not whether the power of our omnipotent God is sufficient to meet the great need; the problem is the believer’s faith that is too small to believe that God is powerful enough to take the small things to meet the great needs of the multitudes of our day. The disciples said in verse 7, “Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.” The great need that you face in your life or the great need that your church faces are the opportunity to prove your faith is great enough to meet those needs. Never let the doubt that tries to squelch the little faith that you have cause you not to do what the Saviour tells you to do. God can use your little faith to meet the needs of the great multitudes if you will act on the faith that you have.
Third, God always uses small or little things to meet and go beyond the needs, no matter how great they may be. My friend, God is the master of using small and little things to answer the great need of the day. It was a little maid whom God used to help the great leader of the Syrian army. It was little Bethlehem where the Saviour of the world was born. It was the little lad who had small fishes that Jesus used to feed the great multitudes. You may feel small, insignificant, and unimportant, but you are the tool God wants to use to meet the needs of the great multitudes of our day if you will only let God use you. Whatever you do, don’t let your “small” mentality keep the omnipotent God from using you to do great works through you.