The sun began to set as Jesus finished his speaking and healing. Thousands of men, women, and children were waiting and hanging on Jesus’ every word. The crowd was growing restless and hungry. No food was around for miles and the disciples knew the people wouldn’t want to wait much longer.
Seeing that the crowds were weary, the disciples asked Jesus to send the crowds away to find some food. But Jesus told the disciples for them to feed the crowds. They had only a minimal amount of food: five loaves and two fish. These small provisions which they had been given by a little boy. The denial and skepticism was apparent in the disciples eyes but Jesus assured them and told them to get the crowd to sit in groups of 50.
After the crowds had been seated, Jesus took the small provisions and held them to heaven, blessing the food. Jesus then gave out the food and all the people ate until they could eat no more. Those five loaves and two fishes fed 5,000 men not counting women and children. They even had enough to fill 12 baskets of leftovers.
12 Now the day began to wear away, and the twelve came and said to him, “Send the crowd away to go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find lodging and get provisions, for we are here in a desolate place.”
13 But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” 14 For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.”
15 And they did so, and had them all sit down. 16 And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing over them. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17 And they all ate and were satisfied. And what was left over was picked up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.
I’m sure this is a miracle we are all familiar with… I love paraphrasing the scripture above because it also helps me take the stories to memory and to heart. I picked this miracle because it was one I had heard all my life but rarely ever pondered over.
We can spew out the words “Jesus fed the 5000” but have we really thought about the magnitude of this statement? The 5000 people mentioned were just the men, not even counting the women and children and Jesus fed them all. I pulled out a few thoughts I wanted to share with you.
First, the willingness of the little boy is astounding. In the Gospel of John, this account of the miracle mentions that the five loaves and two fishes were from a little boy. Now I don’t believe that God mentioned that for no reason…I think we can learn something from that little boy. I can only imagine that, that little boy was tired and hungry himself but He gave up his meager little food to share with Jesus and the crowd.
What I know of childlike faith, I am sure that boy believed that Jesus could do something with his food. Maybe not, I’m only guessing. But either way, we must be willing like that little boy. Sometimes we don’t believe what we have to offer is enough, but God can/will ask us to give it. Maybe it is funds, talents, time, etc. but God might want you to give whatever you have to offer up to Him. My prayer is that I would be that willing and ready to give up whatever I have for Jesus to use for His glory.
Secondly, God always provides what we need and when we need it. Jesus knew exactly what that crowd needed and how much. Sometimes we get caught up in our timing and our wants that we forget that God provides for us. While we might not get it when WE want it or get what WE want, God knows when and what we need in our lives.
The disciples didn’t trust God to provide for the crowd. But Jesus was already ministering to their spiritual side and He was about to satisfy their physical hunger. Jesus always provides. He never fails. He never lets us down. I am so thankful to serve a God that provides for our every need.
What have you learned from this series so far? I would love to hear about it! I hope you are enjoying this series. See you Friday!