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Message of the Day: The Feeding of the Five Thousand. Only Jesus Can Satisfy Us!

Text: Matthew 14:13-21

Key Verse: Matthew 14: 19

“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.” (NKJV)

This is the only one of Jesus’ miracles that is told in all four Gospels (Matthew 14:13–33; Mark 6:32–52; Luke 9:10–17).
The exact location of the feeding of the 5000 is not completely certain, but it may have been near the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, possibly a mile or so west of where the Jordan River enters into the sea.
The time was Passover (v. 4), one year before Jesus’ death, when the passing crowds were on their way to Jerusalem. Jesus Himself did not go to Jerusalem for this Passover, because on His previous visit they had formed a plot to kill him (John 5:1, 18). It was probably the first Passover for which He did not go to Jerusalem since He was 12 (Luke 2:42–52). He did one of His most marvelous miracles for the crowds going to Jerusalem for the Passover.

When the disciples returned from their first tour around the country areas, they met Jesus in Galilee and tried to have a quite time alone with him (Mark 6:30; John 6:1;). Jesus also was in need of a rest, but he was filled with pity when he saw the crowds of people flocking to him in their need. They appeared to him as a flock of spiritually starved sheep that had no food because there was no shepherd to feed them (Mark 6:33-34; John 6:2-4).

The size of the crowd is amazing in light of the fact that the neighboring towns of Capernaum and Bethsaida probably had a population of only 2,000-3,000 each.

Image courtesy of http://www.pinterest.com

The apostles were soon reminded that Jesus alone could satisfy the spiritual needs of the people. without him the apostles were not able to satisfy even the people’s physical needs. With five small loaves and two fish, Jesus miraculously fed huge crowd, reminding the apostles that the miracles they had done on their missionary tour had resulted solely from Jesus’ power working in them.

In the Gospel of John (John 6:1-14), the feeding of the 5,000 is the one miracle, apart from the resurrection, found in all four Gospels. It shows Jesus as the supplier of human need, and sets the stage for his testimony that he is the bread of life. To many of the people, the miracle was a sign that Jesus was the promised great prophet. Like Moses, he had miraculously fed God’s people in the wilderness. (John 6:14; exo. 16:1-36; Deut. 18:15; 1 Cor. 10:1-5)

Bread was regarded by Jews as a gift of God, and it was required that scraps that fell on the ground during a meal be picked up. The fragments were collected in small wicker baskets that were carried as a part of daily attire. Each of the disciples returned with his basket full. This act also served as an example of avoiding wastefulness and as a demonstration that everyone had been adequately fed.

Matthew was writing to the Jews, who did not permit women and children to eat with men in public. So they were in a place by themselves. This would also that the “crowd” included 5,000 men besides the women and children. Now if the women and children were not counted, and if we suppose that there were more or less 5,000 of them also, it would mean that Jesus fed around 10,000 people.

It was Jesus’ practice to perform miracles in order to confirm or validate his teachings and this time this miracle was used as a sign to let the crowd know that he was the One promised by the Old Testament. It was an astonishing revelation of who he really is. It was also a reminder for all of us, who already know him, that Jesus alone ca satisfy us.

Sources:

MySword for Android. Riversoft Ministry, 2011-2019.

Olive Tree Bible Software, 1998-2020.

Zondervan NASB Study Bible. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1999.

http://www.biblegateway.com

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