I've been reading in Matthew where Jesus fed the five thousand and then the four thousand. In one case a boy offers to share his packed lunch with the crowd. The disciples take it to Jesus but feel kind of silly doing it considering the huge number of people in the crowd that must be fed.
I suppose it took faith of some kind to even bring the boy's food to Jesus. The disciples might've just said, "Aw, thanks little boy, but you don't have any idea how much is needed for a crowd like this. Why don't you just keep it."
That's how we might've acted, recognizing the boy's nice gesture, but telling him to keep it. After all, why should he faint on the way home along with everyone else?
The boy had simple faith. He didn't try to figure out how Jesus could use it to feed so many. He just wanted to share...to be part of the solution.
But today I started to wonder about another person, one the Bible doesn't mention. I don't know if he was there, but it's very possible. It's the man who also thought to bring a lunch, but didn't share it.
This man would've been old enough to know how much food it would take to feed a crowd of that size. He'd recognize the foolishness of those who'd come so far without thought for their own provision. Weren't they similar to the virgins Jesus spoke of who didn't bring any extra oil in anticipation that the bridegroom might be late?
This was a smart man, a hard worker who always took care of his family. And he knew he'd have to make it home without fainting because his wife and children would be waiting for him. He'd be the one to provide for them for many days and years to come. They depended on him.
This man might've separated himself from the crowd slightly. He didn't want to rub their mistake in their noses. He'd hang back from the rest long enough to eat his small lunch and then rejoin them to hear the rest of what Jesus had to say.
We can understand his reasoning, can't we?
Yet, how tragic!
He missed the miracle!
He missed seeing Jesus take a small boy's small lunch and feeding over 5,000 people with it.
He missed partaking in God's supernatural provision.