AN ATTITUDE OF HEART
Have you ever compared your attitude of heart to that of the young boy who gave his sack lunch of five small loaves of bread and two little fish to Jesus to feed the hunger of thousands?
John 6:5-13 (NLT)
Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do. Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!”
Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”
“Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.” So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves.
The bread size of the boy’s loaves was probably about the size of what we call an English muffin and the fish probably only two or three inches long (that was bigger than what I usually caught when I went fishing).
If we prepared a Hero sandwich that would provide a six-inch portion to each person, it would be almost a half mile long sandwich to feed a group of 5000 people and here we find Jesus feeding 5000 people plus women and children. This could mean a crowd in size from 10,000 to 20,000 that were fed. All because of a little boy’s generous heart.
It was just a very small sack lunch, but the young boy had the same compassion for people as Jesus and gave what he had to help others. Compare the boy’s motive to that of the disciple’s or even our own motives when we give.
Is our attitude moved with compassion for the needs that are present or are they likened to “if you give then God will” or “if you don’t give then so what”? It is about our heart attitude.
Jesus took the loaves and fish, gave thanks, and distributed them, all because of the innocence of a child wanting to help. Because of their attitude of heart, a loving heavenly Father multiplied the gift to feed the multitude and increased the giving to return 12 baskets full of loaves and fish.
Sadly, many of those who had eaten searched for Jesus the next day only for another free lunch. However, Jesus told them to look beyond their physical needs to their spiritual needs: "Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval" (John 6:26-27).
For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world", "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." John 6:33, 35
Our attitude of heart is not about wanting what we are entitled to; as we hear in many commercials today, but rather what am I willing to do for Christ and give out of compassion to others.
If Jesus asks you how is your attitude of heart, how will you respond? Do you hear that small voice whispering to your heart? He’s asking.
May God Bless and Keep you.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Jerry Schmid