This post is Day 25 in a series of studies about “Surprises”. I strongly suggest you begin with the introduction to this study, please click here to read it.

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Surprises – Day 25

Matthew 14:20-21

They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

The Thought

This well known account of one boy’s picnic lunch satisfying at least ten thousand people, (remember that only the men were counted) is yet another of the biggest surprises in the Bible, and one of the most difficult to believe. I remember a scripture teacher at school telling us that this wasn’t really a miracle. It was just that everyone shared their picnic! If that had been the case, it would have been a Christian message about sharing with others, and not a message about the miraculous provision of our Great Heavenly Father, the generosity of one boy, and the obedience of God’s Son!

Part of what we learn from this huge surprise is that if we give, we will receive, and probably some people did share what they received. But the main point is that everyone was blessed by a generous God who cares for His children. The boy who humbly gave his picnic must have been really surprised at what that started!

Another important point at the beginning of this story is that Jesus was in mourning. His cousin John The Baptist had just suffered a horrific death (verses 12-13), and He really wanted time alone. But He didn’t get irritated or upset with the crowd, He continued His own personal mission. What a lesson for all of us.


Think today about the un-named boy who offered what He had to Jesus. What a blessing he was. Ask yourself how generous you are.

Read Matthew 14 and be blessed again by all that Jesus gave, and the surprises He brought to the lives of many.

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