Kids are funny. They see everything through different eyes than adults — often with much clearer vision.
When we moved into our home, our next-door neighbor had three young daughters. The first and only real question they had for us was if we had kids (after realizing that we were not in fact the kids — yes, it happened). They moved before the boys were really old enough to go over and play, but on my son’s first birthday, we shared some extra cupcakes with the girls. They, in turn, brought him an assortment of gifts achieving the level of lovable perfection that only comes from children.
I was so struck by the collection from the youngest girl: a single doll shoe, an artificial flower (likely pulled from one of her mother’s decorations), and a quarter. It would truly be an odd collection to receive from an adult, but not from a child. This sweet child was proud of her gifts. Why? First, they were hers and she placed value in them. Second, she saw value in them in the hands of my child. She did not view these items as junk, but as good, useful gifts.
Her gifts remind me of Andrew. Go ahead. Admit it. You are probably thinking to yourself, “Andrew….. who’s he?” Andrew is one of the disciples. If I were to give him a moniker, it would be “The Bringer.” You are probably quite familiar with one of the Bible accounts concerning Andrew, but his name tends to fall to the background in the magnitude of the miracle that happens.
This story is so important that it is recorded in three of the four gospels (but only John mentions Andrew’s role): Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, and John 6:1-14. Here, Jesus and His disciples have gone away from the crowd, but the crowd followed. Jesus continued teaching, but as the day went on, it became clear that the people needed to eat. When the disciples urge Jesus to send the people away to get food for themselves, Jesus tells the disciples to feed them. The crowd is so large that this seems crazy — Phillip even estimates it would coast half a year’s wages to feed the people, Jesus responds by asking what they have.
Here’s where the story gets good.
Like my sweet neighbor searching her house for gifts to bring my child, the disciples search about the crowd. Andrew finds a boy with five loaves and two fish. Five loaves. Five. Two fish. Two. This was a child’s lunch. Imagine sending a lunchable to for your child with a note that says, “Here, feed all the school.” Yeah. You aren’t going to do it.
So think about Andrew. He is looking at the need: food for thousands of people. Then he’s looking at this little boy and his lunch. Now growing up, I always focused on the little boy and how brave and generous he was. These are great things to consider, but this time: think about Andrew. It’s a little crazy to imagine him bringing this child and his lunch and presenting it to Jesus like it is enough to do any good. Imagine your friends watching you do the same in this situation. Are they laughing? Maybe a few jokes at your expense? Are you trying to keep the little boy from being embarrassed? But Andrew brings the little boy and his five loaves and two fish to Jesus. Now don’t get me wrong, Andrew is not exactly strutting this option up in complete faith. He says, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” (John 6:9)
Nevertheless, Andrew brings the materials to Jesus. Could Jesus have fed the crowd from the air? Sure. Absolutely. But He doesn’t. Instead, Jesus uses a meager offering that most would disregard. It was unimportant — far too little to meet such a huge need. But God used the meager to do the miraculous.
You know the rest of the story. Jesus takes the loaves and fishes, prays, and divides the food — and five loaves and two fish feed thousands with baskets of leftovers. God loves to use what we don’t expect or see as worthy, worthwhile, or valuable. He called disciples from nobodies, not the learned elite. He welcomed children and sinners. He was born in a barn and welcomed by shepherds. The first witnesses of his resurrection were women. God consistently sought out and used the least likely.
God used the meager to do the miraculous. God uses the meager to do the miraculous. Do you know how terrifying it is to start a blog? To put words to paper for critique and criticism? I didn’t go to seminary or even a Christian college. My formal education is secular through and through. I don’t feel worthy to speak to you guys. I like words and stories and God allows my mind to connect scripture with experiences in a way that I hope makes sense. But what I say and write is not groundbreaking. If I tell you about the Hebrew word used it’s because I googled it and poured over a commentary (I currently really love Albert Barnes Notes on the Whole Bible). But I trust that if God has put it into my heart to write, then He will use it to His purpose. I’m not trying to be the next Beth Moore: I’m just trying to be faithful — and that is what He requires.
Bring God what He has placed in your hands and allow Him to do with it as He pleases.
Before John records Andrew bringing the child to Jesus, he records Andrew bringing someone else to Jesus: his brother, Simon Peter. In chapter 1, John writes, “Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.“
I don’t think it is coincidental that the few times we see Andrew mentioned, that he is bringing people to Jesus. I think we see it featured because it is a representation of what Andrew regularly did: bring people to Jesus. It was the pattern of his life.
What can you bring to Jesus?
He has given all to us, so it is really bringing back to Jesus what he has given to us.
Is it your home?
Your social media posts?
Your lunch hours?
Teaching the Pre-Schooler Sunday School class?
Leading an online Bible study?
Sharing your faith with a co-worker?
What is meager in your hands is miraculous in His.