By Day Parker
10-year old Jonathan walked solemnly by his father’s side. They were going to see and hear the man called Jesus. His message was so different than what Jonathan was being taught at school. He did not hear about the kingdom of God or about eternal life at school. Only sacrifices and feasts. This man’s message was all about the kingdom of God, eternal life and how God did not want sacrifices. He wanted faith in Jesus and trust in Him. Yet he was a Jew, and was schooled just like Jonathan. Jonathan was confused.
He was not.the only one who was confused. By the looks on their faces, many were confused. There were so many people. And they were still coming. Jonathan.took his father's hand.so that he would not get lost.In the crowd. Holding his lunch in one hand and his father’s hand in the other hand, Jonathan was pushed towards the front of the crowd.
On the edge of the crowd, the disciples milled around observing the growing number of people. Jonathan recognized his uncles, Andrew and Peter. Jonathan had heard his uncles and his father go round and round about Jesus and his message. His uncles had believed everything Jesus had said about a kingdom of God and ignored their teachings from school. He didn’t understand how such devout people could turn their backs on the usual scripture teachings. Jonathan had the same schooling as they and the scriptures never changed.
Turning his attention to what Jesus was saying and doing, he listened to Jesus talk about having faith that he was the son of God. And that he was the only way to have eternal life. As he walked among the crowd, he would touch someone and heal them. Or cast out a demon. His touch seemed so gentle and his voice so authoritative and compassionate. Jonathan wondered about his message.
It grew late and the disciples admonished him to send the crowd away so they could find something to eat in the surrounding villages. Jesus told his disciples to feed them. The disciple, Philip, retorted “that 8 months wages would not be enough to buy bread for each to have a bite”. His Uncle Andrew had seen Jonathan open his lunch bag and could see the loaves and fishes he had in there. Mentioning it to Jesus he made the comment that it wouldn’t go far.
Jesus instructed the disciples to have the people sit in groups of 50 and 100. He motioned to Andrew to bring him the loaves and fishes. As Andrew turned to Jonathan to do as Jesus said, he noticed the boy hesitate to relinquish the food.
Surely Jonnathan did not choose to keep the food to himself. Andrew didn’t know what Jesus intended for the loaves and fishes but he was sure he didn’t intend for the boy to keep them.
Jonathan didn't know what to do. Should he give the food to his uncle or keep it for him and his father? He looked to his father for the answer to his question. He could see there was no answer there. His father shrugged his shoulders and his eyes were a confused blank like Jonathan’s.
Jesus was not going to eat in front of all these people, was he? Besides there was not enough food for Jonathan and his father, although they would make do until they got home. There was definitely not enough food to begin to feed what appeared to be thousands of people. And they were still coming. Jonathan wondered what Jesus would do with five loaves and two fishes.
As Andrew reached for the food again, his eyes met Jonathan’s. Jonathan’s hesitation weakened. Jonathan saw trust in Andrew’s eyes and the quick nod of assurance that Andrew gave to Jonathon made him relinquish the food. Thinking of the miracles he had just witnessed, the healings and casting out of demons, and the simple message, he handed the food to his uncle. Jonathan made the ultimate share. He was curious as to what Jesus would do with it.
After they were all seated in groups of 50 or 100, Jesus said a simple prayer over the five loaves and two fishes. Then he handed the food to the disciples to disburse them.
Jonathan watched as the disciples started passing out baskets of food. He was astounded at the disbursement of the five loaves and two fishes. As the disciples handed baskets of food to each group, it seemed that the number of baskets did not diminish. Jonathan stood up to watch the disciples hand out food. He could see about half the crowd but could not see the end. However, he could still see the disciples and they were still handing out baskets of food. Each group received enough food to satisfy themselves. These were men and they did not satisfy easily. And there were women and children scattered among the men. Besides, they had been here all day and many had come from a long way..
When all the people had been fed, Jesus instructed the disciples to pick up the leftovers. There were twelve baskets of food collected. All had eaten until they were satisfied.
Jonathan had given ONE basket with five loaves and two fishes. He overheard two of the disciples mention that they had estimated that the crowd of men fed to be about five thousand besides the women and children.
Over five thousand had eaten as much as they wanted and yet there were twelve baskets leftover.
As Andrew gave Jonathan back his empty basket, he smiled at the boy for the look of awesome wonder on his face. Did Jonathan really see Jesus feed over five thousand people from one basket of five loaves and two fishes? His was the ultimate share. But what Jesus would do with it went beyond that. Jonathan was excited and elated at having been a part of this miracle performed by Jesus. He had turned Jonathan’s small ultimate share into a massive ultimate share.
Jonathan was sure he had just witnessed history in the making, his small ultimate share of one basket with five loaves and two fishes into a massive miracle that fed over five thousand men.
Incredible!! Just INCREDIBLE!! How did Jesus do it? Maybe he was the Son of God.