I mentioned in a previous post that since my experience working with OurCalling at the Dallas Convention Center during Snowmaggedon, I chucked my bible reading plan for 2021 and focused on the miracles performed by Jesus as recorded in the Gospels. I even dedicated six weeks of daily reading to exploring these miracles Jesus graciously did. Over the course of those weeks, my focus centered primarily on the feeding of the 5,000.
Of all the miracles Jesus performed and that are found written in Scripture, the feeding of the 5,000 is the only one recorded in each of the Four Gospels. The Synoptic Gospels–Matthew, Mark, and Luke-each include this particular miracle in their writings and share many details and similar words. The Gospel of John also records this miracle, but includes some specifics that the other three accounts lack. The Miracle of the Feeding the 5,000 centers on providing a Jewish crowd with something to eat. Another similar miracle, the Feeding of the 4,000, involves Jesus providing food for a Gentile audience following Him.
I think the fact that the Miracle of Feeding the 5,000 is found in each of the Gospels indicates its importance and impact on those that witnessed it firsthand. The nuances, similarities, and differences in the four accounts help us understand that each Gospel writer wrote his particular work to a unique audience and sought to highlight a different aspect of the ministry and person of Jesus Christ.
In executing this great miracle, Jesus prompts His disciples by challenging them to take action and inviting them to participate in the work He was doing.
Jesus and His disciples were heading off to an isolated place, presumably to get some down time and grieve the death of John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin. But the people anxiously followed Him, hoping for an answer to their prayers and an opportunity to receive much needed healing. We see a weary Jesus show compassion on the people, taking time to visit with them to meet their needs.
He spends the day teaching and as it is getting late, His disciples urge Him to send the people away so that everyone can go get something to eat. Jesus responds by telling them, “You give them something to eat.”
Leaning on their own understanding and thinking within their own limitations, they look at Him and ask (paraphrasing) “Feed them with what? There’s no groceries near by. Besides, we don’t have that kind of money.”
But Jesus already knew this. He also knew what He was going to do, regardless of their answer. He simply wanted to see how they would respond, primarily, I believe, as a means of testing and growing their faith. Faith, essentially, boils down to demonstrating confidence in the Lord doing what He says He will do. So He prompts them. Then, after giving them a few instructions, Jesus prays and provides. Scripture says that Jesus takes what they have—two fish and five loaves of bread–looks up to Heaven, gives thanks, and then gives the disciples food to hand out to each of the people present.
And they all ate and were satisfied. Mic drop.
Jesus is never too busy to show compassion to us. His love for us is limitless. God’s ability to provide is matchless and boundless. He can–and does—provide for us abundantly.
Jesus demonstrated to all who were there that He had the power to supply everything they needed and then some. He took every opportunity to teach His disciples and the multitude of people who ran after Him from place to place. Yet, even though they saw Jesus work miracles firsthand, they didn’t fully understand, much like we don’t comprehend everything there is to understand about God.
That’s where our confidence in Him comes into play. With every opportunity to trust Him come challenges from our Great Common Enemy, who seeks to sow doubt and discord along our walk with Jesus. In those moments, we must remember that it is not up to the Enemy to trust the Lord Jesus, but to each of us, as we seek to grow in Christlikeness daily.
I pray your week is filled with God’s blessings and that His favor will shine on you.
The Devotional Guy™
To donate to the ministry of OurCalling, click here.