Almost every year from May to July, billions of sardine fish come together off the eastern shores of South Africa to spawn. Gradually they form huge shoals that are often over four miles long, nearly a mile wide, and one hundred feet deep, which can be seen from the shore- line or from planes. This “sardine run” seems to be triggered by a current of cold water that sweeps up along the coast of the continent.
These sardine runs have become quite the tourist attraction in the waters off the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal. The sardines are tracked, and their movements and positions are posted on the Internet. These small fish provide a massive feast for sharks and other predatory fish. Whales join in the festivities, and the spectacle attracts divers and sightseers from all over the world.
As a professional fisherman, the disciple Andrew would have been familiar with another variety of sardines that live in the Sea of Galilee. Many people believe that sardines were the “two small fish” referred to in the feeding of the five thousand.
As a disciple of John the Baptist, Andrew’s heart was open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. One day, John the Baptist pointed to Jesus and called Him “the Lamb of God” (John 1:36). John had been telling his listeners that the Messiah was coming, and Andrew took the cue and followed Jesus. He was one of the first two disciples to follow Christ.
Although Andrew had a believing spirit and placed his faith in Jesus, when he looked at the five barley loaves and two small fish, he was hesitant. It didn’t look like much considering the huge crowd of people. But through the lesson that the Lord provided, he learned that Jesus’ command to feed others is also a promise backed by the power of God. Everyone who is connected to Christ receives the spiritual bread of life in order to share it with others.
Precious Lord, thank You for providing the Bread of Life to save me—and others—from spiritual starvation.
For Further Study: John 1:35–42; 6:4-14