Little Boy, Big Meal
Share the story below with your child. Hand motions are provided throughout. Use these — or create your own — to bring the story to life together.
One day when Jesus was teaching, his disciples came to him late in the afternoon and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go get something to eat.”
(Point away from yourself.)
But Jesus said, “That isn’t necessary — you feed them.”
The disciples said, “There’s a young boy here with five loaves of bread and two fish. But what good is that? There are so many people.”
(Hold up seven fingers. Then, shrug your shoulders.)
Jesus said, “Bring them here.” (Motion toward you.) Then, he told the people to sit down on the grass.
Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up towards heaven, and blessed them.
(Clasp hands together as if in prayer.) Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave the bread to the disciples, who distributed it to the people. (With fists side-by-side, quickly break them apart.)
They all ate as much as they wanted. (Pretend to eat.) About 5,000 men were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children!
After sharing the story, ask your child who shared their food with Jesus. Then, point out that it wasn’t a grown-up or even one of Jesus’ friends (disciples) who had food to help. Instead, it was a young boy that had very little food to offer. But he did. The boy gave all that he had to Jesus, and Jesus did something huge with it — he fed an entire crowd of hungry people!
Explain that sometimes it can be a struggle to feel like we matter, especially when those who are supposed to love and care for us hurt us or we feel too small and unimportant. Share that God created each of us. We are His masterpiece, created on purpose for a purpose — even if we don’t know what that is yet.
Point out that the little boy in the crowd that day didn’t know that — with Jesus’ help — his tiny lunch would soon feed over 5,000 people! And that your child has no idea what wonderful — and BIG — things God has in store for their lives, too.
After completing this activity, read through the following verse and prayer with your child.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.
Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for loving and creating each of us with purpose and value. Help us to offer You all that we have each day — just like the boy in the story.
In Jesus’ name, amen.