Pastor Kevin Sanders

"He must increase, but I must decrease." -John 3:30

John 6: Jesus and the Turo-Turo Meal*

Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”

“Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted.
-John 6:8-11

I can only imagine the scene. A massive crowd has followed Jesus, amazed at his teaching, miracles, healing and charisma. He had just crossed the Sea of Galilee, but somehow they managed to find him. There were 5,000 men—who knows how large the entire crowd was (including women and children)!

Jesus turned to Philip and asked where they could buy some bread. Perhaps he had a smile on his face. We assume Jesus was always so serious, but maybe he was overjoyed at what was he was about to show them—like a father who is about to present a birthday gift to his son. Philip was shocked, arguing that a year’s wages wouldn’t be enough to feed them. I wonder if Jesus was holding back laughter while Philip complained.

I’ve spoken to a few large crowds before—about 1,000 or so students. I can only imagine what my teammates would do if I leaned over and said, “Go to Jollybee and buy a two piece chickenjoy for everyone here.”

Jesus was presented with a humble meal—five barely loaves and two fish. This was a common meal in Palestine, similar to our “turo-turo” meal. He took this meal and did something completely amazing with it: He performed one of the most well-know miracles of the Bible.

What do you have?

Keep in mind that Jesus didn’t have to use these loaves and fish. He had the power to turn stones into bread (otherwise Satan’s temptation would have been pointless). Regardless of this power, he chose to use what was presented to him.

What was the point to Jesus’ choice? I can think of at least one: We tend to obsess over what we don’t have, but God is interested in using what we do have.

I wish I had a solo quality singing voice. I don’t—my singing sounds more like that drunk guy who refuses to release the karaoke microphone. God didn’t put me hear to sing. He has, however, asked me to surrender my existing talents to Him. Like the poor boy’s meal, he has used my humble gifts in ways that I never would have imagined.

You may wish that you were taller, richer, more attractive, more talented, etc. My question to you is this: have you given your existing gifts/talents to God? God will never ask you for a steak if all you have is a turo-turo meal. He will ask you to surrender those gifts you already have and use them for His glory. You never know—He may use your gifts in ways that you never dreamed of.

“Your best shot at making your greatest contribution in the world is for you to get better at what you are already good at.”
-Reggie McNeal, Practicing Greatness: 7 Disciplines of Extraordinary Spiritual Leaders

*For those who are not familiar with Filipino culture, “turo-turo” is a slang term coming from the Tagalog verb “to point.” It refers to the thousands of little canteens where you can buy a cheap meal after pointing to your preferred dish. Despite their humble nature, some of the best food in the Philippines can be found at the turo-turo.

12 Comments

  1. that’s what i like in you kuya kevin you’re “pangmasa”..that’s what in us filipinos..though were not as rich as where you came from but the faith we have in GOD ,giving us wisdom to be resourceful of what we think that will help us in everyday struggles.

  2. salamat po. na-encourage po me sa message nio. God bless and bless God..

  3. Thanks for reading, guys! Blessings!

  4. thanks kuya kevin for sharing a simple comparison about what we have, you stir my consciousness to be real not being fancy, im now thinking what talent i have that i can truly share to God for His glory.

  5. Thanks Kuya Kevin I realiZed something that makes me better…Godbless!!!

  6. But what r the number twelve and seven in mark 8:19-20 mean? and what shall they understand in verse 21?

  7. Mark 8:14-20
    14 But the disciples had forgotten to bring any food. They had only one loaf of bread with them in the boat. 15 As they were crossing the lake, Jesus warned them, “Watch out! Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod.”
    16 At this they began to argue with each other because they hadn’t brought any bread. 17 Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “Why are you arguing about having no bread? Don’t you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? 18 ‘You have eyes—can’t you see? You have ears—can’t you hear?’[a] Don’t you remember anything at all? 19 When I fed the 5,000 with five loaves of bread, how many baskets of leftovers did you pick up afterward?”

    “Twelve,” they said.

    20 “And when I fed the 4,000 with seven loaves, how many large baskets of leftovers did you pick up?”

    “Seven,” they said.

    21 “Don’t you understand yet?” he asked them.

    In this passage, Jesus was talking about the “yeast” of the Pharisees, their evil ways. The disciples thought he was talking about food, although he had fed a crowd of five thousand men, then a crowd of four thousand (with leftovers).

    Jesus was trying to make a point, yet the disciples didn’t get it. They were arguing over food, as if Jesus could not provide for them.

    Anonymous, in the future please let me know which post you are responding to. It is hard to go back and find your comment when I don’t know which post you are replying to.

  8. Kuya,

    This post of yours ministered to me. Too many times, we (especially me!) become square pegs in round holes, simply because we are copycats, trying to fit someone else’s shoes. I pondered on this before.. if we want to be unique, we just simply have to be ourselves.

    Many times, it is the poverty of our souls that cause us to wander. We do not look within and search to discover what God uniquely gifted us with. We look at what others have and keep comparing ourselves when God crafted each of us in a very special way.

  9. Lord,
    I offer my two loaves of bread and five pieces of fish. Please use it as you wish. Its all I have and everything I can give.

  10. Thank you kuya Kevin for sharing. It reminded me of one or our guest speaker’s message in our church. He also said that we should give what we have to the Lord, no matter how small it is.
    God bless your ministry. ^^

  11. thanks kuya kevin for the reminders! well, i may not have many talents but i will use the talents He had given me for His glory. God bless you more kuya. 😀

  12. hi kuya kevs!! u never fail to inspire & motivate me

    Godbless kuya

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