John 6:1-21

John - The power of giving to God

John 6:1-21
There are parts of scripture which have worked their way into our very culture, not just as Christians, but also as a culture. The feeding of the 5,000 is one of those narratives. Maybe it is the drama of it that makes it so relatable. Maybe it is because if touches on one of our most basic needs – food! It is one of the only narratives that appears in all four of the gospels (Why not have a look at the other versions found in Matthew 14, Mark 6 and Luke 9). In the sermon this week we focused on the miracle itself – this was a real event, it really happened and it is amazing. As with all miracles in John it reveals to us the character of Christ – he is fully God, and God is the God of creation and provision. If you want to hear more about the miracle why not catch the full sermon on our YouTube Channel?

For the next few minutes I want us to look at another key character in the narrative – the small boy. In the midst of this huge crowd this boy has pushed himself to the front, he wants to be near Jesus. We are not told anything about him. Why is he there? Is he on his own? Is he the son of one of the disciples? These are questions that remain unanswered. We just know he was there and he had thought to bring a packed lunch. We are given a much more vivid description of his lunch that we are of him. Five loaves and two fish. A good amount for a small boy – not really going to make a dent on the empty stomachs of over 5,000 people. At least not whilst it remained in the hands of a small boy. But…….

This is a “but God” moment. When these loaves and fish find their way into the hands of Jesus all heaven breaks loose. This becomes a Kingdom breakthrough moment. Felt needs are met, faith is raised, eyes are opened wide and 12 baskets are taken away to bless others. The Kingdom impacts those who were there and overflows to those who were not. It makes me chuckle to think of the conversations in thousands of households and friendship group over the following days. The simple question “what did you have for lunch?” would have elicited some amazing replies.

What was the catalyst of all this Kingdom break through? It was the faith and generosity of one small boy. One small boy managed to overcome his fear and simply gave what he had to Jesus. We are called to do the same. God famously said to Moses “what do you have in your hand” (Exodus 4:2). God took a simple staff and through it brought miracles. Jesus takes this boys packed lunch and through it does a miracle. What is in your hand today? What has God already provided which, when given back to him without parameters, could be used to usher in the Kingdom? This small boy didn’t know what Jesus would do, he simply trusted Jesus with what he had to give. We can so easily think that what we have to offer is too insignificant. We can so easily write ourselves off and think we are not a key player in God’s plans. But we are significant. God wants to take us on a Kingdom adventure. God wants to take hold of that which we think of as mundane and make it miraculous. From a simple act of service for our employer to a spiritual gift, God wants to work in us and through us.

The key question is not – “Do I have anything to give to God?”, the key question is “will I trust what I have into the hands of God?” This week will I follow in the footsteps of this small boy with a generous heart?


  1. Spend some time noting down times or situations where God has stepped into your life or the life of your friends and family. Then takes some time to thank God for all he has done.

  2. Where do you need a miracle in your life? Be honest with God (As the disciples were) and articulate exactly what you need.

  3. Spend some time reflecting on what God has put in your hands right now. Ask him where that gift or gifting might be used by him to transform a situation.


Father God,

Give me eyes to see what you have placed in my hands that you want to use for your glory. Give me fresh faith and boldness where I may be limited by past experience. Help me see that your heart if for me and you have called me by name and placed me in my current situation with sovereign purpose.

This Everyday Devotions was written by Simon Elliott, our Lead Elder.

If you would like to listen to the whole of this week’s sermon on John 6:1-21 why not download the Everyday Church App or visit our website, YouTube Channel and at our Online Church Services.

This Everyday Devotions has also inspired a devotional video that you can watch on our YouTube Channel.

Follow our Everyday Devotions Playlist for some songs to help you worship God in Spirit and truth this week.
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