Clearly, Jesus failed math class

What do you have to offer?

Many of us know the facts about modern day slavery. The problem is enormous; 36 million individuals forced to work against their will, millions of children sold into sexual slavery, imprisoned in a criminal enterprise with profits of $150 billion annually. Who can grasp the enormity of it all? I certainly cannot. Believe me, sometimes when I think of the immense need and my minuscule resources, I want to hide in a corner, eat chocolate, and pretend none of it exists.

John 6 describes the disciples of Jesus who also felt overwhelmed with a large task. Here we see Jesus speaking to a very large crowd of 5000 people, and this large number of people became hungry.  So what happens? The disciples approach Jesus and tell him to send the people away because there is not enough food to feed them all.  Jesus’ response is laughable…”Well then, YOU feed them!” I can imagine the disciples thinking, “Clearly, Jesus failed math class.”  In their profound wisdom, they tell Jesus, “Well you see Jesus, there are 5000 people and it would take us ½ a year to pay for this meal…and, um, we don’t have that.”

Jesus simply replies, “What do you have?”  Andrew then presents a young boy and his sack lunch, five loaves and two fish, and Jesus says, “Give it to Me.” He then takes responsibility for the miracle and feeds the 5000.

I wonder why Jesus did it that way. Did He really need the boy’s lunch? He could have dropped manna on the entire crowd to feed them, He could have sent them away, He could have told the young boy his offer was too small.

But He did none of these things. He took what the boy had and invited him into a miracle. I think Jesus was saying to the boy and to the disciples, “Give me what you have and let me work the miracle.”

Jesus knows the enormity of world problems, injustice and slavery today, and I believe He is asking us the same question, “What do you have, and will you give it to Me?”

And we will discover that when we give Jesus what we have, He will then take responsibility for the miracle. And just like the little boy, we too might experience a very cool day.


Libby Swenson