By Pete Smithies & Andy Lund
The lad who's lunch was used by Jesus to feed the 5000 tells his story.
Interviewer: Welcome to 'Where are they now?' In recent weeks we have featured the person who was the original voice behind the Talking Clock and the baby from the Safeway advert. But today we bring you a young man from Bethsaida. Bertie from Bethsaida. Not a household name but who was he some years back and why is he in tonight's edition of 'Where are they now'? Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Bertie from Bethsaida.
Interviewer: Welcome. Make yourself comfortable.
Bertie: Thank you
Interviewer: Bertie, it was some years ago when you came to prominence.
Bertie: About 15 years ago
Interviewer: So you were a young lad at the time?
Interviewer: Any ideas from the audience? (Allow some time) Can you give us some clues?
Bertie: If I say bread and fish would that help?
Interviewer: Yes, you are Mr J. Sainsbury...(checks notes) oh, no. I'm wrong there. Audience any ideas?
(Some may guess)
Yes, Bertie from Bethsaida you are the young lad who gave his packed lunch to the Lord Jesus Christ who then apparently performed the miracle of feeding 5000.
Bertie: That's right. Except it wasn't 5000. It was more.
Interviewer: Oh I always thought it was 5000
Bertie: Yes it was 5000 men. But there were also stacks of women and all us children.
Interviewer: I see. So give us the story as it happened.
Bertie: Well, Jesus had been in our town, teaching, healing and so on. 'Course a lot of people wanted to hear him and they followed him all day. As it began to get dark they were still there with him. They were beginning to get a bit peckish.
Interviewer: So what happened?
Bertie: Well Jesus' close friends - you know the disciples - they got a bit worried for us and they asked him to send us home. But no-one wanted to go.
Interviewer: I suppose there was no possibility of a take away?
Bertie: What, for near on 20,000 people. You're joking. It would have cost a fortune.
Interviewer: So what happened?
Bertie: Well, I don't know why really, but I offered him my packed lunch. Crazy when you think of it. It was only 5 small rolls and a couple of fish.
Interviewer: Yes, a bit inadequate really.
Bertie: Tthe strange thing was, it wasn't.
Interviewer: Oh yes, I remember now.
Bertie: Jesus just took my packed lunch - sort of said a prayer of thanks to God and gave it out to his disciples to distribute.
Interviewer: And that was it?
Bertie: Yes, everyone got something to eat.
Bertie: A miracle.
Interviewer: ...err, I don't want to be cynical. But..err..could you have been fooled perhaps. Perhaps it wasn't a miracle -just some sort of conjuring trick, or mass hysteria.
Bertie: Look mate. Thousands of people ended up with supper and there were 12 baskets of scraps collected up afterwards, and what's more, a few weeks later Jesus did the whole thing again with another load of people.
Interviewer: So you don't believe it was in the mind?
Bertie: I tell you what. You can fool the mind but you can't fool the stomach. I know when I have a real good meal. And that was the best.
© Pete Smithies & Andy Lund 1999
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