A Child’s Generosity
This morning I want to share with you the message I shared with my congregation about one of the best Bible stories in the New Testament. It is the story where Jesus feeds 5000 men plus the women and children all because of one little boy’s generosity in offering his lunch consisting of 5 small loaves of bread and 2 fish.
In an age where people have become cynical about giving and some unscrupulous modern day preachers have abused their flocks with the overemphasis of money, I find this story refreshing.
It was not about the size of the gift, or the expected return from the gift, but instead it was just the innocence of a child wanting to help in any way he could. So come with me and take a second look at the story where Jesus feeds 5000.
News Flash! Jesus Feeds 5000 People or More!
The loaves and fishes Bible verse
New Living Translation (NLT)
5 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?” 6 He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.
7 Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!”
8 Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. 9 “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”
10 “Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. 12 After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.” 13 So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves.
The Motive Behind Jesus Feeding 5000
All 4 of the gospel writers record the loaves and fishes miracle when Jesus feeds 5000. In Mark’s gospel chapter 6 it says that Jesus was moved with compassion when he looked upon the people. It says they were like sheep without a shepherd. It was because of this compassion that He set about to do this miracle.
Compare His motive with the motives of the disciples. They wanted Jesus to send them away. Problem solved! Out of sight, out of mind.
When Jesus said no to that idea, then they tried to convince Him that it was impossible. They couldn’t earn enough money fast enough to do it.
Then Jesus had to lead them even further but they still didn’t get the idea.
In Mark’s gospel it is written that Jesus told them point blank for the disciples to feed them. But even then they didn’t get what Jesus was getting after.
Do you honestly think that the disciples went out to that deserted place without any food?
I believe they had their own supplies sufficient for themselves but instead of having compassion on the crowds and having a generous spirit, they were more concerned for themselves.
Peter, finally finds 1 young boy who was willing to help. He had a small sack lunch and was willing to give it away to help the people.
In the innocence of a child, the young boy has the same compassion on the people as Jesus and gave what he had to help others. How refreshing that is compared to the disciples motives or for that matter some of our own motives when we give.
Jesus Feeds 5000 Because of One Boy’s Generosity
All of us have heard messages about tithing and giving. Some approach giving with the clause that “if you give then God will”.
Is God some type of investment banker or stock broker?
Honestly this is the wrong attitude.
Others approach it with the clause “if you don’t give then”. Is God some type of prison warden enforcing the rules? This is also the wrong approach.
It is not about how much you give or the percentage. It is about whether or not you are moved with compassion for the needs that are present.
It is about whether or not you will have a generous spirit or a hoarding spirit. It is about whether or not you are going to look out for others or only for yourself. It is about developing a culture of generosity within yourself, your family and your community.
You can be Ebeneezer Scrooge or you can be the innocent little boy or girl with a sack lunch. The choice is yours.
Christianity is not about performance, it is about our heart attitudes. Generosity is an outworking of the love of Christ that has been placed in our hearts.
If you allow God to change your heart into a heart that is generous, then no longer is the issue about how much, or what is your responsibility. It is about where can I show my love by being generous.
How can I be moved with compassion for people who seem to be without a shepherd. How can I be used like this little boy in the story when Jesus feeds 5000?
Jesus fed 5000 people plus women and children because of 1 little boy’s generous heart.
If you will notice, that little boy received back from his generosity more than he could carry home. He received 12 baskets full of loaves and fishes.
This was no formula. It was the return given by a loving heavenly Father to a boy that had shown himself generous.
I am sure if asked again, that little boy would give up those 12 baskets to help some more people.
I wonder what would happen if we all would cultivate a culture of generosity in our own lives and family like the story where Jesus feeds 5000?
Now that is something to think about!