(A fictional account)
Grandfather and grandson rocked back and forth as their old boat rolled up and over each gentle wave of the Sea of Galilee. The fish didn’t seem to be hungry, but Grandpa wasn’t in a hurry.
“Tell me the story again, Grandpa!” the young, restless boy begged.
“But you’ve heard it a hundred times, boy! Surely, I can’t tell it any better than the first time you heard it.” Grandpa’s eyes twinkled with his reply. He knew what an amazing story he unknowingly stepped into when he was exactly the same age as his grandson.
“Pleeease! Just one more time?”
“Alright then. Look across the water at the land in the distance – just to the left of that tall ship’s mast. It was right about there where I met Andrew. I traveled with my dad to see the man called Jesus who went from place to place teaching and healing the sick. I found the perfect rock to sit on. It was a large one with a flat top. From there I could see Jesus and barely hear what He had to say. As people made their way to Him to be healed, Andrew spotted me, walked over, and sat down next to me. He seemed to enjoy talking with people, and I was excited that he took time to talk to me. We talked for a while about all kinds of things. He seemed to know a lot about boats and fishing. He spotted my lunch lying next to me and smiled. ‘I see you brought your lunch with you. Smart boy!’, he said with a big grin. I said, ‘My mom made me bring it. Five loaves of bread and two fish, Sir! She tells me all the time that I can eat more in an hour than most men eat all day.’ That made Andrew laugh. Then he patted me on the head and moved on to talk to some other folks.”
The young grandson smiled knowing that he’d inherited his grandpa’s enormous appetite. “Go on, Grandpa! Get to the part about overhearing Jesus and His disciples.”
“You know this story better than I do! Maybe you should tell it.” Grandpa joked.
“Aw, come on. You’re getting to the good part!”
“Okay, okay. Let’s see now. Oh, yes. It was getting late in the day and Jesus had made His way around the edges of the crowd. All the guys traveling with Him looked concerned about something. I couldn’t hear what they were talking about, so I climbed down from my rock and eased a little closer. That’s when I heard Andrew say, ‘But, Jesus, all the food we have is a little guy’s lunch – five loaves and two fish.’ I wiggled my way through the crowd until I looked up and realized I was standing right next to Jesus. He looked down at me and smiled. His smile and those eyes were like none I had ever seen. I felt like we’d always been friends. I lifted my lunch sack and handed it to Jesus. He took it and blessed it and began pulling out loaf after loaf after loaf. Then fish after fish after fish. My eyes got big. I looked at Andrew and his eyes were as big as mine. But Jesus? He looked as though He knew exactly how many pieces of bread and the number of fish that were going to make their way out of my sack. Jesus’ guys told everyone in that huge crowd to sit down and they did. Then we all enjoyed the banquet that came out of my little sack.”
The young grandson got uncharacteristically quiet for a moment, and finally asked, “Grandpa, what if you hadn’t been there? What if you hadn’t given them your lunch?”
Grandpa got that familiar faraway look in his eyes and replied in a reflective tone, “I think God arranged for me to be there. I believe with all my heart that He nudged my father into making that trip. I think he made sure my mama packed my lunch and insisted that I take it along. Talking with Andrew was no accident. God set it all up so Jesus could do an amazing miracle.”
“But what made you give your lunch up? You were hungry, weren’t you?”
“Son, I was very hungry, but when I heard what Jesus said and witnessed what He could do I became a believer, and I was ready to give Him everything.”
“Oh, Grandpa, I’m so glad you’ve told me all about Him and what He means to you. When I hear you talk about Him, it makes me want to know Him more and more. Hearing all the Jesus stories makes me want to be just like Him.”
Grandpa opened his hands, looked up to heaven, and gave thanks.
“When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, ‘This truly is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” John 6:14, CSB