Being a mother of two daughters, I don’t know a whole lot about raising boys. But when I read in John 6 about the 5,000 people that had gathered to hear Jesus I thought it strange that a little boy would have a lunch with him. Remember the story? The crowd was hungry, and there was no food to feed them. Jesus asked Philip where they could buy enough bread to feed this large crowd. Andrew spoke up and said to him,
There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 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. 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.
When I read that recently, I thought, “That little boy didn’t pack that lunch himself! His mother sent him off with that meal.” Think about it, what little boy would:
- think ahead to pack himself a lunch?
- pack the lunch, consisting of a fish sandwich (wouldn’t he rather have a sweet cake)?
- remember to bring it with him?
This was definitely the act of a thoughtful mother!
This mother didn’t know that her provision would have such a profound affect on her son and 5,000 men plus women and children! I’d loved to have heard what the little boy had to say when he came home that day! Did his mother look in the sack and ask why he didn’t eat his lunch? Remember, there was lots of food left over! Imagine his excited story as he told her what happened on the hillside that day when Jesus performed a miracle using his little lunch! It would never have happened had she not made the provision for her son.
You know, if you have little children, you have the same responsibility – not just making a nutritious meal for your child, but of providing opportunities for your child to be exposed to Christ. The lunch she made did three things that you can do for your child every day:
- It gave him the opportunity to be near Jesus. What provisions are you make today to bring your child close to Christ? Read Bible stories to him. Tell him about his need for Jesus to be his Savior. Share your own salvation testimony with him. Pray with him before bedtime, when he’s worried or afraid, or concerned for others. Take him to church regularly to learn all he can about Christ. Expose him to godly people – your pastor, his workers at church, and the youth pastor by having them in your home so he can see their genuine walk with God.
- It gave him the opportunity to see Jesus do something wonderful. When the Lord answers prayer, tell your child! When you see someone make a decision for the Lord, explain it to him. When a baptism is taking place at church, sit up close so he can see, and explain that this person has received Christ as their Savior, and is now showing that by being obedient.
- It gave him the opportunity to be used by God. Remind your child often how special it would be if God would call him to the mission field or to some full-time work. Show them Christians who may not be full-time workers, but are dedicated to the Lord and are happy servants! Provide opportunities for him to serve others – in a nursing home, a family at church, or neighbors who need Christ.
The mother that provided the lunch was doing a normal every-day task and it turned into a day her son would never forget. I prayed yesterday after reading this story, “Lord, I sure hope to meet this lad in heaven some day. I want to hear that he followed You because of this special day in His life.” Will our children be in heaven because of a mom who loved them enough to go about her normal every-day routines and provide opportunities for them to encounter Christ? There are no stains on the pages of tomorrow. If you haven’t been doing that, then make it your prayer to get busy and “make a little lunch”.
See you in church!