Jesus Feeds Five Thousand
Daily Bible Reading – 2 Samuel 2; 1 Chronicles 11; Psalm 142; Matthew 14
Today’s Key Passage – Matthew 14:13-21
In today’s Bible reading, we find one of the most well known of Jesus’ miracles. Most people have heard the story, and it is illustrated in all four Gospels. Because it is so well known, sometimes we can have a tendency to gloss over it as we are reading God’s Word, but the lesson we learn from this story is so important that we must do everything we can to avoid that pitfall. The story of Jesus feeding five thousand people is not just a great story that shows Jesus’ capacity to perform miracles. It is not just a story about Jesus’ unlimited compassion. While both of these things are true and are highlighted in the text, there is so much more that we can glean from this story. The lesson taught is one that can permeate into every area of our lives. The lesson is about faith.
When our story begins, Jesus has just been told about John the Baptist’s death. He was filled with sorrow, and decided that He and His men needed a break, so they left in a boat to go to a solitary place. When they landed, though, Jesus and the disciples were met with thousands of people who were waiting on them. Instead of sticking to their plan of taking a break, Jesus had compassion for the people and healed their sick. Near the end of the day, the disciples wanted Jesus to send the crowd away so they could get something to eat, but instead Jesus gave the disciples a seemingly impossible task. He said, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” (Vs. 16) The disciples, knowing they were in a remote place, surveyed to see what they had available to feed the crowd. From John’s Gospel, we learn that they found a young boy who had brought his lunch consisting of five loaves of bread and two fish, and while they knew this was not enough to feed five thousand men plus women and children, they took what they had and gave it to Jesus. Jesus took the food He had been given, looked up to heaven, gave thanks, and everyone in the crowd ate and were satisfied. Once everyone had finished eating, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of broken pieces that were left over.
In this life, we know that Jesus wants us to meet the needs of others. He wants us to meet their needs spiritually by reaching the lost and telling them about Him. He wants us to meet their needs physically by feeding the hungry and helping the poor. He wants us to meet their needs emotionally by taking compassion on others and serving them. Sometimes these tasks can seem difficult, and sometimes they might even seem impossible. There are many times when we simply feel we do not have a lot to offer. In those times, though, it is important that we do a bit of surveying to determine exactly what we have available. Whatever we find, no matter how small, if we give it all to Jesus He can do great things. He can multiply what we have to offer to create an abundance. There is a trap in this life, though, that we must avoid. When we feel like we do not have a lot of money or time, our flesh will say that we should just not give anything. When we feel like we do not have a lot of energy to serve others, our flesh will say that we should just not serve at all. When we feel like we do not know enough or are too afraid to reach people for Christ, our flesh will say that we should not even try. When we feel like we do not have a lot of faith, our flesh will say that we should just turn away from God. Imagine what would have happened if the disciples had fallen for this trap when they found the five loaves and two fish – Jesus never would have had a chance to perform one of the greatest miracles in history! In all areas of our lives, when we take everything we have and give it to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, He will multiply our efforts. The next time you feel like you do not have a lot to offer, give everything you have to Jesus and watch as He does miraculous things.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.