Pretend it is the year 30 AD and you are sitting on a hill side near the place where the Lord fed the 5,000 plus people. You are a news reporter observing from a distance, What could you report? What, to you, would be newsworthy? I want to share with you what I would report.
First: The Concern of Jesus.
I. A report about the feeding of 5,000 includes the concern of Jesus. v 5
In verse 5 we note that Jesus had concern for the hunger and physical needs of the multitude. The other gospels report this same event and they tell us the disciples wanted to send the multitude away so they could buy their own food, but Jesus had compassion on the multitude because they were like sheep without a shepherd. I don't think one could notice this scene unfolding without seeing the concern of Jesus for these people. Concern even when they are not concerned for themselves.
Tuesday morning I was at home a little later than ususal. On the Today show I saw a man who had invented a mobile to aid his child who had cerebral palsy. At birth the doctors thought there was only one child but were surprised to find twins. One little boy received brain damage in the birth process. The doctors said he would never approach normality. He would never walk, talk, etc. The father spent hours teaching the child to move and talk and walk. His invention had proven to be a great success because he had concern and compassion for his son. The only reason I would try to illustrate the idea of the Lord's concern with a human concern is that this man who invented this module was a man of prayer. he got his depth of concern from the Lord.
The Lord sees us in the multitude of peoples and he has concern upon
us. We can't walk or talk spiritually without the Lord's intervention.
But because he has intervened in our life we can be concerned about others.
And it's worth reporting. The second thing I would report would be; The
reasons of the disciples.
II. A report about the feeding of the 5,000 includes the response of the disciples. v 5-9
We have already shared that the other 3 gospels tell us the disciples wanted to send the multitude into town to buy food. However, the Lord told them in Matthew, Mark and Luke to feed the people. Here in verse 5b the Lord asks how are we going to buy bread to feed these folks. Philip says, 200 pennyworth is not enough bread that all may ear.
Let me give you the McCullen translation of what Philip said: he said; "we don't have enough money in the treasury to feed all those people." In verse 9, Andrew makes mention that there is a lad present who still has his lunch of 5 loaves and 2 fish (some suggest the first miracle was that the land hadn't eaten his lunch as yet). Andrew then says, "But what are they among so many?" Andrew seems to have spoken and then thought about what he said. Just think, 5,000 men eating 5 loaves and 2 fishes.
The response of the disciples is one that could be titled, "We can't do it." They saw the task before them as helpless. They saw themselves as inadequate as ones lacking ability and power. One commentary stated, "The sense of inadequacy is often the beginning of Divine strength."
In the first church I pastored there was man named Bob Scoby. Bob was a person who didn't see how he could tithe. He honestly wanted to be obedient and was not spending the Lord's money on the luxuries of the world. His family lived modestly but he still couldn't see how he could tithe. One night the Lord got ahold of him and he made a commitment to tithe. The next day he was standing at his locker after work and a love offering envelope fell out of his pocket. A friend picked it up and said, "What's a love offering?" Bob told him it was for money for somebody you love. Then he jokingly, in passing, said to this man, "You love me, don't you, so put some money in that envelope." Then Bob left. But the next day this man greeted Bob with the envelope bulging with money. He said, "I do love you, Bob, and I'm a single person who doesn't need as much money as you do, so I decided to give you a love offering." The gift was more than Bob's tithe.
When the disciples realized they couldn't do what the Lord was asking
there was hope for them. When Bob Scoby got to a place of obedience, irregardless
of what he thought he should do, there was hope for him. If you really
believe you can't do something God asks you to do, and you must trust Him
to provide, you're on your way to blessing. When you do, it will be worth
reporting. The 3rd thing I would report would be the way the
III. A report about the feeding of the 5,000; includes the way the Lord blessed. v 10-12
It is very interesting that the Lord organized before he blessed. Verse 10 states that he had a class organization for them. Mark tells us it was groups of 50 and 100. The Bible is not being anti-organization. Being spiritual is not being anti-organizational. Jesus was organized. After organizing, he took the loaves and gave thank, following the giving of thanks, he distributed out loaves to the disciples for them to give to the waiting multitude. The same process was used in giving out the fish to the people. Isn't it interesting to note the way the Lord blessed the people?
Obviously, if Jesus can feed 5,000+ people with 5 loaves and 2 fish,
he could miraculously put the food in their hands. But the Lord chooses
to let the disciples take the food from Him and give it to the people.
Why does the Lord bother to use His disciples for this task? Is there any
lesson learned while doing this? I would suggest that the Lord is allowing
them to know their part in ministry to the world. They can not cause 5
loaves and 2 fish to feed 5,000 people, but they can pass out what the
Lord gives them.
We have been having a "share" time in our worship services now for a few years. People are supposed to share unique or special blessings they have received from the Lord. In this time blessings have been reported because of a musical presentation, a class, a sermon, visitation experiences and the examples of others. These were blessings from the Lord but in every one of them the Lord used somebody else to deliver his blessing.
Are you receiving blessings from the Lord? He has not stopped blessing;
many receive them daily. Are you being a part of his delivery service delivering
blessings to others? He has chosen to use His disciples to channel His
blessings. But there is a fourth thing worth reporting, and that is the
knowledge of the Lord.
IV. A report about the feeding of the 5,000
includes the knowledge of the Lord. v 6
In verse 6 John reports that Jesus asked a question but he already knew the answer. Jesus' concern for the peoples' hunger was not an after thought. He knew what He was going to do all the time. However, He seems to have desired to check out his disciples to see where they were in their faith. He tells the disciples to feed the 5,000. Philip says, 'we don't have enough money in the treasury' and Andrew says 'there's a boy here with 5 loaves and 2 fishes.' The other disciples don't seem to say anything. I think the Lord would have enjoyed hearing these men say, "Lord, you have healed the sick and raised the dead; you can feed the 5,000 and we can perhaps be of some help.'
This week I read of a missionary who had a great step of faith in front of him. In a dream the Lord had him placed in the middle of the ocean on two boards. The Lord said,"Walk towards the land." The missionary said, "How, Lord?" and the Lord said, "I put a new board down every place you put your foot."
Are you interested in discovering what God wants to do? Has your faith grown beyond what's in the treasury or a little boy's lunch sack? Are you willing to trust the Lord before you see all that He is going to do?
The scriptures say all the people were filled and there were 12 baskets
full left over for the disciples. Can you imagine how the little boy felt?
He probably said, "Here's my lunch," but then he came to a place where
he said, "that's no longer my lunch, it's the Lord's." He came to a new
place of faith and we invite you to do the same this morning.
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim
Return to Preach Him Sermon Index Page
Return to Preach Him Home Page
Go to Preach Him Links Page
And Beyond. Amen? Amen!