Why “5 Loaves / 2 Fish”?
To remind us how great of a thing God can do with so little.
We all know the story: a multitude of people had followed Jesus into the wilderness foothills near the Sea of Galilee. We usually call it ‘the feeding of the 5,000’, but that was just the men. Counting the women and children that were there, the number easily could have been greater than 20,000! The day drew long and the people grew hungry. Jesus, knowing what He would do, asked the disciples to solve the problem. They quickly saw the impossibility of the situation. What they thought should have been the answer, to buy the food with money, simply could not work.
Then Andrew found a boy. The boy didn’t have much, but he was willing to give what he had. The Lord Jesus took what the boy gave and performed an unforgettable miracle. We don’t know much about this boy. He could have been anywhere between 12 and 16 years old. He could have been rich; he could have been poor. He could have been from a loving family; he could have been from a broken home. The passage doesn’t even tell us if he was a Jew or a gentile. Why doesn’t the Bible tells us any of this stuff? Because it didn’t matter. When you’re willing to come to the Lord on His terms and be used as He sees fit, details don’t matter!
That day, no one could argue that Jesus Christ had performed a miracle, and for it most in attendance honored Him as the Messiah. He can do the same through any teenager today who is willing to give Him what little they have and allow Him to work. What you have to give is beside the point. As a matter of fact, the less you have, the more glory God can get through you. (example: Why do you think it was a 16 year old that killed Goliath? Because the slingshot was the new wave of sniper technology?) The only ability needed to serve God is availability. The 5 loaves and 2 fish help us to keep that in mind.
As for the apologetics side of this operation…
Every day, our society gets more and more skeptical concerning Christianity, the Bible, and God. And it’s not just adults who are becoming more skeptical. The Barna Research Group found in 2002 that up to 70% of all students who regularly attended church in high school stopped attending church altogether after they left home.(1) However, as can be expected, the question of why this statistic was so high was left unanswered.
So, as a follow-up, Answers in Genesis(AiG) commissioned a poll to figure out when and why this was happening. America’s Research Group (ARG) called over 26,000 households nationwide to find 1,000 people between 20 and 29 years old, who faithfully attended church at some point but no longer do. ARG asked a number of questions in this poll, covering education, religion, creation, evolution, and moral issues. Some of the most stunning of the statistics are the results of asking the question “At what age did you begin to really question content in the Bible?”
- 45.7% said they began in grades 10-12
- 29.3% said they began in grades 7–9
- 12.8% said they began in grades 4–6
- 11.2% said they began in the first years of college
- 1.0% even said they began in grades K–3
One would probably expect that these people would have started questioning the Bible while in college, but that’s not the case at all. The only bracket to receive a lower percentage of the poll than the college age was kindergarten through the third grade. A substantial 75% of the people polled lost confidence in the Bible while still in junior high and high school!
The poll speaks for itself, but for me, it speaks to a very specific burden. God has given me a deep desire for ministering to teenagers. Accompanying that burden, He has also given me a tremendous interest in apologetics. This website is a combination of those two workings of God.
To be perfectly honest, the “5 Loaves / 2 Fish” theme has a personal application. When I think of all the questions to be asked in the field of apologetics I feel just like the boy that Andrew found. The fact is, I don’t have much to give. But, what I do have is His. This website is my 5 loaves and my 2 fish. If it helps anyone, it is to the glory of God.
(1) Barna, George, The State of the Church: 2002, Issachar Resources, Ventura, California, p. 110, 2002.