The Catalyst

We forget that Jesus took 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish and made it more than enough to feed 5,000 people. How can we be scared of giving our very dreams and hopes to Jesus when we are reminded of this story?

Multiplication of the Loaves - John 6:1-15

The story of the multiplication of the loaves is told in all four gospels, yet a seemingly minuscule detail only made in John’s account sets it apart: the little boy.

With all of the characters and moving pieces in this story, the boy could easily be overlooked. With the popularity of this passage, people could claim that this apostle or that apostle was the most important figure in the story (aside from Jesus, who is always the star). But in John’s gospel, one could argue that this little boy with five barley loaves and two fish was the most important. He was the catalyst.


Aside from giving Jesus the means for the multiplication, this little boy shows what it means to trust God with a childlike innocence. He had multiple reasons to keep this food to himself. For one, he was a child and children need more nourishment than adults. They cannot handle going without food for long periods, whereas adults can manage for a while longer. He needed the food more than others in the crowd did. Second, this could have been barely enough food to feed a growing boy like himself, let alone enough to feed 5,000 people. He had enough reason to keep it all, and to have done so would not have been considered selfish or even a bad thing on his part.

But he didn’t.

That little boy saw that Jesus needed it even though he had no idea what it meant. He selflessly gave away his food so that Jesus could save the day. It was his love that transformed into beauty and brought about the good of others - and it seemed so easy and effortless for him to do.

Children are a beautiful example of pure trust. Simply from the mere fact of being loved, they have a way of confidence in others as if it were a natural instinct. No hesitations, no doubts, just simple trust. Just think about when you were a kid and a time when maybe you could not fall back asleep after hearing a noise. You surely called out to one of your parents, and comfortably fell back asleep in their arms, trusting they would take care of and protect you. All your fears seemed to slip away in their embrace. It is no wonder why God asks us to have this childlike trust in order to grow in faith. He wants us to lay peaceful in His arms, believing that in Him we are safe.


As adults, our hearts are less trusting. Whether it is the experiences we encounter or the harsh realities of life, we grow more cold. Would another adult in the crowd have readily given his loaves and fish? If you were in that crowd, would you have?

Think about what you have that you are holding on to. What are you not giving to Jesus? We all have that one thing, maybe even more than one. We have something that we are not willing to give up, gifts we are not open to sharing, and things we find security in that we hold on tight to. It could be this future we so intricately planned for ourselves without consideration of God’s will, a relationship that we have put on a pedestal, or even an image we have built of ourselves to others. Whatever it may be, we hold on so tightly to the point of allowing worry, anxiety, and sadness overshadow the trust that God has something better. We lose that childlike trust that allows Him to multiply all that we give Him. We forget that Jesus took 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish and made it more than enough to feed 5,000 people. How can we be scared of giving our very dreams and hopes to Jesus when we are reminded of this story?

Surely letting go is no simple task. It does not mean we go unscathed either. There will always be turbulence and difficulty along the way, no matter how much we grow in faith. But this is not a bad thing. When you give something to God, He will multiply it beyond comprehension. So let us be like that little boy, ready to give all that he had in simple trust of Him.

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