Unnamed Boys – the Tale of Two Bible Studies

Creating Interest

  • Who named you:  your mom or your dad?
  • Name the three classical Greek column designs! *
  • Describe how you would serve five loaves of bread and two fish.

Judges 16:26 (extended:  23-31)

Then Samson said to the lad who held him by the hand, “Let me feel the pillars which support the temple, so that I can lean on them.”

John 6:9 (extended:  1-14)

“There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”

Building Foundations:  The Story, by Don

As I write this, I’m reading through the Bible again in two different but simultaneous ways:  in our church’s Bible reading emphasis, Turning the Year Around…  180 Days in the New Testament, and in my own personal Bible study which is currently in the Old Testament.  At about the same time in both Testaments, I read about two unnamed lads:

In Judges 16:26, a young lad led Sampson out of prison and to the temple of Dagon where over 3000 men and women were partying in drunken stupor.  You know the story.  But what about that unnamed boy, mentioned only this one time?  For the most part, we have overlooked him.

Raised in an immoral and idolatrous culture, all he knew was a pagan lifestyle and how to hurt people and how to offer sacrifices to the gods – and very likely human sacrifices, like Sampson.  Desensitized to debauchery, he knew his way around the prison and the palace.  The sights and smells of those places were putrid and repugnant.  This was all he knew.  This was his norm.

Describe a tourist attraction you’ve enjoyed.  Did you see any churches in the area?  What entertainment opportunities were available for children?

Then there’s the young lad in John 6:9 who gave Jesus five loaves and two fish to feed over 5000 people (most were adults who apparently forgot to bring something to eat!).  You know the story.  But what about this unnamed boy, also mentioned only one time (the story is recorded in the other Gospels but the boy is not referenced)?  For the most part, we have overlooked him, too.

He must have had some kind of faith training at home that caused him to be drawn to Jesus.  Maybe mom and grandma taught him about Jehovah God, like Timothy’s maternal kin did for him.  Maybe dad schooled him in the way of a Godly man – how to share his catch and how to care for others, like Zebedee did for his two sons, James and John.

Turn to John 6:1-14.  List and describe the individuals and people groups mentioned in this Scripture.

The bottom line:  Sampson’s lad went to hell, having worshiped Dagon, a false god who could not hold up the pillar of his own temple (the truth is, it could do or say nothing, of course).  Jesus’ lad went to heaven, having served alongside Christ Himself, the True God who holds up pillars of faith, like that of a little boy who gave the Lord all that he had.

I can’t help but believe that when Jesus saw the multitude coming to Him, He had His eye on that boy the whole time – a holy, magnetic gaze that drew the young man to the Master’s side.  After all, the Bible says that Jesus knew what He was going to do the whole time (John 6:6).  Maybe the lad overheard Jesus questioning Philip about how they would feed so many people and he elbowed his way to the Way.  I mean, how else could Andrew have found the kid so quickly among the thousands?

The reality of the outcomes of both lads and their actions is simple:  One was raised to know and serve the world and the ungodly ways of it.  The other was raised to know and serve the living Lord and His righteous ways.  Both are telling examples of the choice we adults must make in mentoring and molding boys and girls into future men and women of God.

Applying Truth

Personally meditate on these key words, or discuss these with your friends or small group.  What does the Bible say about each one?  Determine how you will interact with these subjects this week:

  • parenting
  • mentoring
  • The Way of Jesus

* Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian