The Feeding of the Five Thousand!!!
When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities. And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.” But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” He said, “Bring them here to Me.” Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children….. Matthew 14:13-21
In our last study, We read of how Herod went against His conscience in killing John the Baptist. And we noted that Herod did it because He was trying to maintain his reputation before the people. Here we read of the reaction of Jesus when He heard about the Death of John the Baptist and the feeding of the Multitudes with bread.
When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities.: Here we see the Humanity of Christ. How He had emptied Himself when He came down to Earth as a Man. God has complete knowledge of all things(omniscient), but Jesus did not use His powers as God when He was on Earth. He only knew about the Death of John the Baptist when He was told. And when Jesus heard about it, He felt the sorrow that we feel as human when someone who is so close and so faithful had finally been killed. And so He withdrew to Himself. This is a good thing to do whenever some pressure, sorrow, death or some difficult circumstance happens to us. We need to withdraw and get alone with God to overcome it. We are to withdraw and cast that sorrow and burden into the Lord’s hand for He cares about us(1 Peter 5:7).If we don’t get alone with God in times like these, we can be overcome by much sorrows. There are many Christians like these who because they face sorrow or a difficult situation, they were incapacitated and useless for many weeks on Earth. Let us therefore learn from Jesus to get alone with God in times of Sorrows and pressures of Life for this is the way Jesus overcame!!! It is also interesting to see that Jesus departed on a boat while the Multitude followed Him on foot. Whenever we felt the presence of the Lord departing from us, we must pursue after it. Whenever we sense that our Devotion to the Lord is no longer fervent as it use to be, we must be willing to go through difficulties to regain it back. The Lord departed away from them to the Desert, yet they Followed Him on foot from the Cities. They left the cities to be with the Lord in the Desert!!! The presence of the Lord must be so important to us that we are willing to leave our comfort zone to the Desert to be with Him. Desert becomes Heaven as Long as the Lord is there. Let us therefore make up our mind to follow Jesus wherever He goes, for His presence is Heaven to us.
And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick: So fast!!! Within a short time, He is back into His ministry. He did not allow the sorrow to overwhelm Him and render Him incapacitated to continue His Ministry. This is the benefits of getting alone with God. We are to learn from the Life of Jesus that even if we face sorrow, we are not to allow it overwhelm us that we fail to discharge the Ministry that our Father has appointed for us.
When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.” But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”: Here we see that attitude of Jesus towards those that are in need of material and Physical things. God is not only interested in our spiritual needs but also in our physical, financial and material needs. He knows that we need these things to live on the Earth. He knows that we need clothes, food, money, house and Education for our children. He knows all these things and He is concerned about them. Jesus taught us to pray for our Daily bread(Matt 6:11). The Disciples were not hospitable like Jesus. They wanted to pass the responsibility of feeding on the people themselves, so they told Jesus to send the Multitude away. A servant of God must be Hospitable. His Home must be opened to serve and feed others. If you are unwilling to open your house for others to inconvenient you, then You cannot be a Servant of God. Forget about Serving God!!! Go and do something else like business. You must be willing to sacrifice your time, energy, sleep and Your money for the good of God’s people. And if you seek to be Hospitable, I can guarantee You from my own experience that God will Supernaturally provide the means of blessing others like the case here. So Jesus replied His Disciples, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”. Those who have followed the Lord need not depart from Him to seek for Happiness in the world. We don’t need to go away from Christ in order to get what to eat and drink. In other words, we don’t need to break our fellowship, Devotion and relationship with the Lord because of our physical and material needs. If we seek the kingdom of God and its Righteousness first, ALL other things shall be added onto us(Matt 6:33). If we have given our body to the Lord, we can be sure that the Lord will also be for our body(1 Corinthians 6:13). Let us therefore cast all our cares before the Lord. We don’t need to depart from Him because of Food. He will never send us away Hunger. He will always give us something to eat.
And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” He said, “Bring them here to Me.”: In John 6:9, we read that they found a little boy who gave them the Five loaves and two fishes. And it is interesting to see that Jesus who could have miraculous created a Bread from nothing did not do that. Instead He asked them what they have(Mark 6:38). There is a lesson for us here. The Lord always works in partnership with Humans. He could have Evangelize to the world without the Help of any Human being but He chose to uses us. He could have blessed others without any human instrumentalist but He always use Human. So Here we see Jesus using a little Lad to bless the Multitude. Jesus used the Lad’s gift of five loaves and two fishes to feed the Multitude. Jesus wanted the cooperation of at least one human in His Miracle. You remember the wedding at Cana, He Jesus could have created a Wine from nothing but He asked the Servants to fill the pots with Water(John 2:7). Jesus always works in Partnership with Us. He wants us to take His yoke and do it together. It is as we walk in partnership with Jesus that we fulfill our ministry. Also notice, Jesus does not need much. The little we have is enough to feed a great Multitude. This should encourage us that when we look at the need before us and the resource we have is so little, We can always hear the Lord saying to Us, “Bring them here to Me!!!” That Little thing you have is enough to feed the Multitude if you bring it to the Lord. Those who give everything that they have to the Lord are those who are used to bless the Multitude. Do you give everything you have to the Lord like this Little Lad? If Yes, then He is able to use you to bless the Multitude. There are people who give 10% to the Lord, this is Old testament!!! In the New testament, we are called to give ALL. If We give everything to the Lord, our need will be met, in fact this Boy who gave up His food could get more than enough afterwards. He gets back more than what He gave and the Multitude are fed also with His little. If you give ALL to the Lord, God meets Your need and also use you to bless the Multitude. This is where many people find it difficult. They seek their own. They are always keeping things back for themselves alone and that’s why God Cannot use them to bless the Multitude. Let us therefore give ALL that we have to the Lord that we might become a blessing to the Multitude.
Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes.: They who will receive anything from the Lord must learn to go down to the ground. We must Humble ourselves to receive spiritual food from the Lord. Those who are too big to Humble themselves and sit on the grass are not worthy to receive anything from the Lord. Another thing we see is that Jesus gave thanks for the Little thing He had received. He looked unto Heaven thanking God for the provision of these food. When We give God thanks for the little He has done in our lives, we can be sure He will increase it like the case Here. It is also very significant to note that Jesus did not ask for volunteers in the distribution of the loaves and fishes. We would have thought that a more efficient way of distributing food is to ask for like 500 volunteers so that the job would be done quicker. But Jesus did not ask for volunteers!!! He gave the Loaves to His Disciples alone to feed these great multitudes. In God’s service, there are no volunteers!!! You cannot volunteer to serve the Lord, You have to be called. If the Lord has not called You to serve, You had better sit down. The Lord only use Disciples to bless the Multitude. Only those who have fulfilled the conditions of Discipleship(Luke 14:25-33) are permitted to Partnership in the Distribution of the Loaves to the Multitude. This is the reason for a lot of shallowness in many ministries of the Word today. Many are preaching who have not been called. Many are volunteers and not Disciples.
So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.: Remember the Disciples were Hungry also. And I can imagine the Disciples thinking, “I hope there will be something left for us after all these people have eaten?” But the Lord took care of them. The Lord had made such an abundance and He asked the Disciples to pick what was remaining(Not the broken bones of fishes and crumbs of bread!!! But the Excesses of fresh bread and fish). And they collected twelve baskets(probably one for each Disciple) to take home. This is how God rewards those who serve Him. If we serve the Lord unselfishly and faithfully, we can be sure that there will be basket full left for us at the end of our lives. None of our needs or family needs will be unmet if we have serve God’s people unselfishly.
Dear Friend, Don’t be overwhelmed with Sorrows that surrounds You, withdraw and cast it to the Lord in meditation and prayers. Fulfill the Ministry God has given to You and don’t be incapacitated by Sorrows. Be hospitable to God’s people. You don’t need to depart from the Lord to get Your food and drink. Fulfill the Conditions of a Disciple, give ALL to Jesus, He says to You, “Bring Your Eyes, Ears, energy, passion, time, Brain to Me, and I will bless It and Use it to Bless the Multitude” The choice is Yours, My Friend sit down and count the cost!!! what would You lose If You surrender ALL to Him? You think He will make Your life a mess? Far from it!!! At the end of Your Life, You will have abundance for Your self and your Family. May the Lord give us Grace to respond to His call of Discipleship!!!(Amen). God bless You. Have a blessed day.
#Everyday with Jesus
The Feeding of the Five Thousand!!!