Saved To Save Others
by
Rev. Foster Kofi Amenya, Ph.D.

One day after Jesus had gone about his usual business of proclaiming the good news, doing good, and healing the diseased he crossed over the Sea of Galilee, (the sea of Tiberias) with his disciples for a rest.

He noticed that a large crowd had followed him because they saw him do miracles and healed many of their diseases. These people had been with him the whole day and were hungry and he had compassion on them. Jesus asked one of the disciples where they could get bread to feed the great number of people that had gathered. The Bible states that he asked the disciple this question to prove him. Jesus is still proving us to see the strength of our faith. Jesus already knew what he would do but the disciples needed to learn from the master what it was about.

When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip,

Whence shall we buy bread that these may eat? And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. John 6:5-6

Philip came out and said even two hundred-penny worth of bread would not be enough. Those days a days wage was a penny so in effect two hundred days work would not be enough for everyone to break a piece. Soon Andrew, one of the disciples, also came and told Jesus about a small boy with five loaves of bread and two fishes but since he did not believe it was worth anything he said:

There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? John 6:9

This question I believe proved the lack of faith on the part of the disciples. Jesus had done a lot of miracles but feeding a great number of people with a supply of food from a lad was something else. With Andrew's doubt Jesus said to the disciples, "make the men sit down". Let them be organized. Any time we are expecting God to do a miracle in our lives we first need to be organized. We can not live any which way and expect to receive from God. Hence, "make the men sit down". Expect a miracle. Organizing oneself is a sign of expectancy.

The five loaves of bread and two fishes was for only the lad and no one else. The child's meal could not feed another person otherwise it would not suffice for the lad. Here we know there were children in the crowd because of the lad. The five loaves of bread and the two fishes left in the lad's hand are lifeless and lack the power to increase. The materials of the meal were dead and had no life in the natural. After some persuasion the lad gave the five loaves and the two fishes to Jesus.

The Bible records that Jesus gave thanks for the supply at hand.

And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. John 6:11

We can say that after the thanks giving there was a super natural occurrence. The bread and the fish did not remain the same. A divine change took place during the thanks giving to cause an increase or a multiplication that such a large crowd could eat and be filled. We can say Jesus introduced life into the bread and hence the power to multiply and increase. Jesus fed the multitude because he had compassion on them.

He knew that they were hungry and hunger leads to death. There was the likelihood that some of them may faint when sent away as suggested by the disciples earlier. The miracle that occurred allowed the feeding of about ten thousand or more people. Writing with Mathew's account in mind.

In Mathew's account there were five thousand men besides women and children. Yes it was a miracle beyond anyone's wildest imagination and it did happen. At the time of thanks giving the loaves and fishes which a few minutes before were lifeless and dead had received life and been used to feed the many that were hungry. It was used to restore life to the hungry multitudes. Where there is life there must be growth and therefore increase. Anything that passes through the hands of Jesus never remains the same.

Diagrammatic expression of the exchange


This can be the diagrammatic expression of John 6:11

And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. John 6:11

From the above diagram we see the movement of the lifeless five loaves and the two fishes and the resulting effect that Jesus had on them.

Before we came to Jesus we were like the five lifeless loaves and two fishes. We had no worth and were dead in our sins. We were of no spiritual usefulness. We were selfish and on the way to hell and destruction but Jesus changed all that when we came to him. Now we are alive and are commissioned to multiply.

Some lessons we can learn from the above.

1. No contribution is too small for Jesus to use.
2. Any amount of time with Jesus is time well spent.
3. The lad gave all that was asked of him and he became a blessing to thousands. Obedience brings blessing.
4. One person willing to be used of Jesus had saved a multitude.
5. Our life fully committed to Jesus will make us effective and able servants, enjoying the work of the Lord rather than enduring it.
6. For the life without hope and direction, Jesus is the answer.
7. To be alive and live as men and women that God has created we must go through the hands of Jesus where the miracles take place. There we shall be transformed.
8. God used the five loaves and the two lifeless fishes to save the hungry and save the lost. In the same sense we can say when the lad was yielding Jesus used him to draw men unto himself.
9. When you are saved you are given eternal life and the power to increase.
10. You are saved to save others.
11. When we learn to give thanks for what we have, miracles may occur.
12. Any problem we bring to Him Jesus is able to provide a solution.
13. We are the bread made alive to be eaten by those who are hungry, those who do not have Jesus.
14. We are to lead the unbeliever to Christ as we feed them the Word of God.
15. We owe it to Jesus to be a blessing to the kingdom by walking in obedience to His command.

As long as we are alive in Christ we are commanded to preach the gospel to all creatures, to multiply and tell about Jesus wherever we go.

When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. John 6:12-13

The above scripture, which commands that all fragments be collected and none be lost, can also assure us that our message of the gospel will not be in vain. The Word of the Lord never gets lost. Every seed of the gospel we plant will not go to waste and will not be lost. There will always be a harvest, as indicated by the twelve baskets which remained.

Finally, for us to live and for our needs to be met there is no other way except that we have Jesus on our side, for He alone has the ability to change situations and provide solutions to our problems. The Bible declares that He is the life and there is no one like Him. Amen.

TEXT FOR THIS MATERIAL: JOHN 6:1-13



copyright 2002 Rev. Foster Kofi Amenya, Ph.D.
Used by permission.