The Gospel of John ends with stating “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” (John 21:25) I can’t help but wonder what the “other things” were, but I accept that what is recorded is sufficient for us to know. One can’t help but notice in reading all the four Gospels in the Bible’s New Testament that Jesus took the time to perform many a miracle. He had compassion for the blind, deaf, lame, and the leper. Such as he healed the blind beggar on the side of a road, the demon-possessed man living in a graveyard, and the woman with a bleeding illness who touched his cloak in a crowded place.
Word of his miracles spread throughout the region like wildfire. Crowds would gather when hearing that Jesus was coming to their neck of the woods. Such as in the story told in Matthew 14:13-21 where 5000 men, plus women and children, showed up traveling on foot to see the miracle worker for themselves.
As evening drew near, the disciples told Jesus that since they were in a remote place, they should send the crowds away so they could go to their villages and get something to eat. Instead of agreeing, Jesus told the disciples instead that they give the crowds something to eat. I wonder what the disciples were thinking at this point. They never imagined feeding that many people in one sitting. Besides, the only food they had on hand was a mere five loaves of bread and two fish provided by a boy according to the version of the story told in the Gospel of John. It doesn’t take much math to figure out that wouldn’t satisfy a hundred, much less five thousand.
Jesus told them to bring the food to Him and directed the people to have a seat on the grass. He took the bread and fish and looked up to heaven, gave thanks, and broke the loaves. Then He had the disciples hand out the food. The disciples and the crowd saw something amazing happen. Something they couldn’t have imagined in their wildest dreams. The fish and loaves multiplied before their very eyes!
The crowd had plenty to eat and no one, so to speak, left the table hungry. After dinner was over (or supper as folks in the south call it), the disciples had leftovers to pick up.
Years ago, I heard a minister preach about this story. He had an interesting perspective that up until then, I had not given on this miraculous feeding. The Lord is in the business of multiplying. In this story, it was food. But it isn’t just food the Lord can multiply.
There are countless stories where the Lord has taken what a child of His does, such as an act of kindness or a display of one’s God-given talent, and multiply it many times over. After the minister finished his sermon, he then invited his daughter to sing a hymn. I don’t remember the hymn, but I do remember she had a lovely voice and her talent left an impression on me. It’s been over a decade and I still remember the minister’s lesson and the minister’s daughter putting the lesson into practice.
My own heart has been touched multiple times from observing a special talent possessed by a child with Autism. For example, a boy around ten whose drawings is stunning for one who has yet to say his first word. It does my heart good to hear a lovely girl sing who can’t yet hold a conversation. She can sing words of a song with her beautiful voice accompanied by an angelic glow on her face. I’m told she sings in the church choir. Only the Lord knows how many hearts that child has touched from the choir loft.
The Lord can take what we do, no matter how small the action may be, and have it touch multiple lives for the better. Many testimonies have been given by those whose lives were changed by an act of kindness from a fellow human being. There are testimonies of those who came to know the Lord through the witness of one person and then that one goes on to share the gospel to multitudes of people.
It so often starts with “ONE” and multiplies many times over just as the loaves and fishes so long ago.