Teaching, Helping and Encouraging Spiritual Growth

Jesus Feeds The 5,000

Good morning! Here is my sermon from last Sunday about how Jesus cares for people. We learned how Jesus knows what your next life crisis is before it happens, and that He already has a solution in place. Isn’t that comforting?! God bless! Dick


This morning I want to share with you the story of one of the greatest miracles Jesus performed while here on earth. I am speaking of the time Jesus miraculously fed 5,000 men, plus all the women and children with nothing more than five small loaves of bread and two small fish. It could have been as many as 20,000 people depending on how many kids were there!

This story is found in all four gospels and each account gives us additional information. I am going to combine the four accounts to give you as complete an account of what happened as I can. Let’s see what we can take away from this study. This story is found in Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:31-44, Luke 9:10-17 and John 6:5-15.

This story begins with Jesus hearing about the death of His cousin John the Baptist who had been beheaded in prison. This story is in the first part of Matthew 14.

Matthew 14:12-13 John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus. When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.

Jesus had been with a very large crowd when John the Baptist’s disciples came to Him and told Him that His cousin had been beheaded in prison. When Jesus got the message He quietly withdrew and got on a boat and headed toward a solitary place on the other side of the Lake of Galilee along with His disciples. It must have been a very sober and sad trip.

As we consider this, remember that Jesus was both God and man. This means that the man part of Jesus had all the same emotions we have. Jesus had feelings of loss, sorrow and grief over the loss of His cousin, just like we have a great sense of loss, sorrow and grief when one of our loved ones dies.

We know that Jesus had real emotions from our study last week when Jesus saw Mary and the others weeping and grieving over the death of Lazarus, and Jesus cried, too.

I believe that when Jesus heard about the death of His cousin, He was overwhelmed with sorrow and grief and this is why He needed to get away to a solitary place for some privacy. Jesus needed to be alone and get some rest. He needed time to reflect and to pray and seek comfort from His Father. So, Jesus took His disciples and slipped away by boat privately to a solitary place on the far side of the Sea of Galilee.

When the crowds heard that Jesus and the disciples had left, they ran around the lake (the Sea of Galilee) and were waiting for Him on the other side of the lake.

Matthew 14:14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

This tells us a great deal about Jesus. Jesus was trying to get away from people and find a solitary place to be alone with the Father and be ministered to by Him. He needed to be comforted like any man or woman would who had just lost a dear relative in such a tragic way. But when Jesus saw the huge crowd of people, His heart went out to them. He had pity, deep sympathy and compassion for them.

Jesus’ love for the people trumped His own needs. He put aside His own need and immediately began to minister to the needs of the people. Jesus did not say to the people, “Look, I know you will understand, but I have just heard that my cousin, John the Baptist has died in prison by being beheaded. I need some time alone for a while. I will see you in a few of days.” This is not what happened. Instead, Jesus’ love for the people overwhelmed Him and He welcomed the opportunity to minister to them.

Luke 9:11 He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.

Aren’t you glad that Jesus is never too busy or too distracted to be there for you and care for your needs? What a blessing!

His response to the thousands who had followed Him around the lake was to help them and minister to their needs on the spot. Jesus encouraged the people by talking about the kingdom of God and what it would be like and then He healed the sick and infirmed.

After this, Jesus went to a mountainside and sat down with His disciples. It was customary for teachers to sit when they taught. After teaching all day, His disciples came to Him.

Luke 9:12 Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging , because we are in a remote place.

It was getting late and the disciples probably heard from the people that they were hungry. The disciples may have already tried to get the people to leave so they could buy food and get lodging for the night, but they did not want to leave. So the disciples went to Jesus and suggested that He send the people away so they could buy food and get lodging for the night because they were in a remote place.

After hearing what the disciples had to say, Jesus asked Philip a question.

John 6:5 NLT Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?”

So, Jesus’ question to Philip was, “How are we going to feed all these people, Philip?”

John 6:6 He asked this only to test him, for he had already had in mind what he was going to do.

Jesus already knew how they were going to be fed, but wanted to know what Philip thought. Jesus was testing Philip’s faith. What was Philip’s answer?

John 6:7 Philip answered him, “Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

Philip’s thoughts went to a human solution, and that solution seemed beyond the realm of possibility.

Phillip was from that area and if anyone knew where they could buy bread, it was Philip. Philip knew that there was no place to buy bread. That made the situation impossible. Where do you get bread to buy if there is no place to buy it?

This was the test for Philip. He was placing his faith in a human solution that didn’t exist, and he had no answer. He only talked about the cost.

Jesus wanted Philip to say, “I don’t know how, Lord, but I know you can do all things, including feed these thousands of people.”

Jesus then turned His attention to all of the disciples. Jesus responded to the disciple’s idea of sending the people away so they could buy food by putting it on them.

Matthew 14:16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You given them something to eat.

Now Jesus was testing the faith of all Twelve of them. They knew that this was an impossible situation. Can you imagine what must have gone thought their minds when Jesus said, “You give them something to eat?” How were they going to feed all these people? There was no place to even buy bread in such a remote place and the cost would have been prohibitive. The disciples were speechless.

Then Jesus took charge.

Mark 6:38 “How many loaves do you have” he (Jesus) asked. “Go and see.”

Jesus sent the disciples to go out amongst the people and see how much bread there was. The disciples went through the crowd perhaps shouting, “Does anybody have any bread?! The Master needs it!

When they returned, Andrew had found a small basket of bread and fish.

John 6:8-9 AMPL Another of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, “There is a little boy here, who has with him five barley loaves and two small fish; but what are they among so many people?

Barley loaves and fish was a meal commonly eaten by the poor. So this child from a poor family provided the bread and fish that Jesus used to perform this miracle.

Do you ever feel like you have nothing to offer God? Do you ever feel unqualified to make a real difference?

What did the little boy do? He gave what little he had to Jesus, and from that a miracle came.

What if this little boy (who was probably hungry like the rest of the people) hid his bread and fish so he would have something to eat? He certainly would not have been part of the miracle!

The message here is that when you give what you have to Jesus (including you), however small or insignificant, He can use it to perform a miracle!

Just as Philip demonstrated a lack of faith in Jesus by seeking a human solution to this huge problem so did Andrew when he said, “How can a meal of five little barley loaves of bread and two fish feed so many?”

Then Jesus got down to business.

Matthew 14:18-19 “Bring them here to me,” Jesus said. And he directed the people to sit on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.

Jesus took the humble meal that the little boy had and did what Philip and Andrew and the rest of the disciples thought was “humanly” impossible.

After they gave Jesus the loaves and fish, Jesus prayed over them. Then Jesus had the people sit on the grass in groups of 50 and 100. Then the miracle began.

Jesus began to break the loaves and the fish and gave it to the disciples who distributed it to the crowds who were seated on the grass. Jesus just kept breaking off pieces of bread and fish, and it did not stop until all the people had eaten and were full.

Matthew 14:20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish that were left over.

Twelve baskets of bread and fish sounds like a lot that was left over. But it really wasn’t. Remember, there could have been as many as 20,000 people there that day and all of them ate until they were all full.

Look at how Jesus met the need of all these people. There was enough to feed everybody until they were satisfied, with only twelve baskets left over. This tells us that God knows exactly what you need and gives you more than enough.

In this story, Jesus offers a pattern that we should follow.

When we are facing a challenge that is impossible for us, we need to remember that these challenges are not impossible for God. Don’t be like Philip and Andrew. The answer to your human need does not always lie in a human solution.

There are times when the only solution to a human need is a SPIRITUAL solution. When faced with one of those “impossible” situations, look to Jesus to see what He already has in mind to solve your problem. Didn’t Jesus already know what He was going to do before the issue of feeding the people was brought to Him by the disciples? This tells us that Jesus is already aware of your need and already has the solution to that need.

So, what does this mean to us today?

Quit fretting! Stop worrying! Stop stressing! Stop being fearful! Jesus knows what the problem is going to be before it happens, and already has the solution ready!

Then give thanks to the Father for all that He is going to do and wait on Him to take care of the problem. This is placing your faith in Jesus.

After Jesus fed the 5,000 men and all the women and children as well, what happened?

John 6:14 After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.”

Jesus had been doing miraculous things all along, but this particular miracle caused the people to believe that Jesus was truly the Messiah. When this realization swept through the crowd, they began to talk about making Him king.

The Jews believed that the Messiah would come and overthrow the Roman government and set up His kingdom here on earth. So, when the people realized that Jesus was indeed the Messiah, they wanted to make Him king.

John 6:15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

To keep the people from forcibly making Him king, He withdrew to a quiet place in a mountain alone where He could then be ministered to by the Father over the loss of His cousin, John the Baptist. Remember that Jesus had learned of this only earlier in the day, and Jesus was still grieving from the loss of His cousin, John the Baptist.

Aren’t you glad that Jesus loves you so much?

Aren’t you glad that Jesus is aware the realities and challenges of your life even before they come about?

Aren’t you glad that Jesus has a solution to your problem already in place, even before the problem occurs?

Aren’t you glad that you are not alone, but God is with you?!

Aren’t you glad you know Jesus?!

Today is a good day to thank Jesus for all the things He is doing for you that you are unaware of. Praise God!

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