Miracles of Jesus
“Feeding of the 5,000”Categories: Miracles of Jesus
Today we’re looking at an incredible miracle performed by Jesus. Not including the death, burial, and resurrection, there is one miracle found in all 4 gospels – the feeding of the 5,000. Why was this in all 4 gospels? Perhaps it was because of all the people who had witnessed this miracle. Matthew tell us there were 5,000 men, besides women and children (MT 14:21). There might have been a crowd of 10,000, 15,000, or more! This was also likely the longest miracle. By the time it began, the food was distributed and ended – it likely was the longest to process.
Let’s start with some of the background to this miracle. MK 6:30 – the apostles had just returned from the limited commission – the first time Jesus sent them out on their own to preach. MT 14:12-13 – Jesus heard about John’s death. John the baptizer was killed by Herod (and his wife) for speaking the truth. Jesus knew the same thing would be happening to Him soon. Thus Jesus and the Apostles wanted to withdraw to reflect on these things. John 6:1-2 – a large crowd sees them, and follows on land to the other side. Luke 9:11-12 – Jesus teaches them about the Kingdom. It gets late, in the evening, and the Apostles do what they typically did – let’s send
them away. John 6:5-7 – Jesus asks a question to Philip. Notice his answer: If we had 200 denarii (days wage) wouldn’t be enough. That’s a lot of money! Philip quickly does a calculation and sees it as impossible.
Philip is thinking in small amounts, “everyone to receive a little” – just getting a little bit. He’s thinking about just getting by – that’s not in Jesus’ mind – just enough vs. leaving full. All he saw was the problem – it’s impossible – even though the answer was standing right in front of him. He’s seen Jesus calm the sea, heal the incurable,
change water to wine – He didn’t say, we have no money, no food, but we have Jesus!” We walk by faith, not by sight. Philip was led by sight, focused on the problems not on God.
Andrew comes and brings a boy to Jesus who has 5 barley loaves and two fish (v. 9). Often the pictures we see of this are 5 large loaves and two big fish. That’s not the accurate picture. The barley loaves would have been more like small crackers or wafers – and the fish would have been more like dried sardines – a poor man’s food. How could something so small possibly help a problem so great? Jesus has the people sit in groups of 100’s and 50’s (MK 6:40-41), He gives thanks (Jn 6:11), He “kept multiplying” the food. The apostles were the 12 waiters. This is why it might have been the longest miracle. MK 6:42-43 – they all ate and were satisfied to their full – Jesus kept giving. They picked up 12 full baskets! What do we see from this miracle? Jesus, the son of God, touched with compassion – completely satisfies man’s need – Heaven’s abundance.
The miracle prompts us to ask the question, “Where am I seeking the fulfillment of my hunger/desires?” Too often we look to the things of the world to satisfy real desires/longings of our hearts and like physical bread they satisfy for a moment – but it’s not lasting.
Is there any amount of money that can bring lasting happiness?
Is there any amount of TV watching that can provide real fulfillment?
Is there any video game that can supply a true sense of accomplishment?
Is there any sporting event that can forever satisfy?
Is there any advancement at work that will justify the toll of an absent father?
Is there any level of success that will fill the void of arrogant self-centeredness?
Is there any sexual experience that is worth the cost of your marriage?
Is there any website that is equivalent in worth to decades of trust?
Is there anything in this world that can equal the value of your soul?
The people back in John 6, after being fed a miraculous meal, came to Jesus to be given another meal (JN 6:26). Jesus didn’t give it to them. He didn’t come to end physical hunger, He came to end spiritual hunger. Jesus’ answer? Don’t seek the bread that perishes (v. 27), seek that which lasts (v.35). In a world starving for truth, starving for hope, starving for grace – in Jesus there is not just enough – there is more than enough.
Do you remember what the prodigal son realized about his father? LK 15:17 – with the Father there is “more than enough.” Philip reasoned, “there’s not enough” (JN 6:7) and yet in Jesus they left full. Jesus offers to us a bread from which we’ll never hunger, a water from which we’ll never thirst. It’s called abundant life (JN 10:10). In Jesus there is more than enough.
All sufficient Savior, I honor you, recognizing that fullness and completeness is found in you. You are the fullness of grace and truth. Your mercy and grace know no limits. There is no way to measure the depths and heights of your love. In this amazing miracle shown to such a full crowd, you have shown me that the source of my greatest needs is you. Help me to see through the empty offers of the world, the vain promises of Satan, and the vain efforts of my pride, to realize that my sufficiency and strength comes from you. In you there is more than enough. In you, my cup runs over. In you, I find my all in all. You are without limits, without restraints, without boundaries. You are the all sufficient Lord - fill my life and my heart completely with unceasing love and devotion for you!