Skip to main content

Five Loaves and Two Fishes

Whenever I read “five loaves and two fishes”, it always reminds me of the song by Corrine May based off the bible story of the same name. Even with her artistic interpretation of the passage, the message remains the same – no gift is too small in the hands of Jesus.

Growing up, I often felt small and insignificant. I was the awkward girl who said all the wrong things. Everywhere I looked, people seemed to be smarter, and more talented than me. It was hard not to feel inferior. The person “Jesus” was very attractive to me; He didn’t seem to mind hanging out with the unpopular; people like me. I wondered what He saw in me, that He would choose to love me, with all my ugliness. Like the boy in the bible story, who gave out of his poverty; I gave from the poverty of my soul and offered Jesus my life.

As a teenager who had just committed her life to Jesus, I figured the way to go was reading the bible, going to church weekly, and serving wherever there was a need. This was all I knew to being a good Christian. This quickly led to frustration as there was little life transformation and no victory in my life. I eventually felt burned out.

So where was this multiplication of efforts in my life like the story of the “five loaves and two fishes”? Remember how the bread and fish were broken and passed through the hands of the disciples? Well, here’s where I drew the parallel. I needed someone to disciple me, to pass through the hand of someone spiritually mature who could help me along, shape me, and guide me. 

I needed a disciple maker to teach me how God’s grace worked, to teach me how to turn to God in prayer, and how to appropriate the promises of God in my life. I needed to learn how to differentiate different types of biblical text, be it narrative, descriptive, or prescriptive, so I would not unnecessarily condemn myself or apply the wrong things in my life. I needed someone with whom I could share vulnerably with and be discipled by. It was not about being “scolded” into obedience. Instead, it was the need for someone to help me get from a point of knowing what I needed to do, but not wanting to do it, to finally doing it and keeping at it even after I stumbled. After all, the discipleship journey is not just about receiving the grace of knowing that we were all sinners, but about how we press on, looking towards the hope ahead we have in Christ.

Friends, we will never know who needs the “five loaves and two fishes” in our hands, but it might just be the thing that God uses to feed the multitudes or even just the one.

So shall we as brothers and sisters in Christ stop listening to the voice of accusation that our spiritual journey is small and insignificant? Your unique struggles might just help someone else in their current situation. Don’t waste it! Partner with God and witness what He can do through us when we choose to say “amen” to discipling someone.

By Pastoral Staff Clarine Tan