Summary: Second sermon in series - "Living Life On Purpose - Christ’s Answers to Man’s Questions". This sermon deals with the disciples’ question at the feeding of the 4,000.
Last week we asked the question, "Am I Good Enough?", and saw that "in Christ", indeed we are good enough.
Today we want to digest Christ’s answer to the question, "Do I Have Enough?"
This is the second sermon in the series, "Living Life On Purpose, Christ’s Answers to Man’s Questions."
Christ’s ability to live life on purpose aroused the curiosity of His friends and foes alike. His life inspired imitation from His followers and indignation from His enemies. One group wanted to learn and the other wanted to spurn, but both asked questions of Jesus.
His benevolent answers teach us beneficial truth about what life is all about and how it can be lived to the fullest.
Today’s question is from His disciples and is found in verse 33 of our Bible text:
"Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?"
The miracle recorded here is not to be confused with the feeding of the 5,000 in Matthew 14:13-21. They are clearly distinguishable.
The feeding of the 5,000 took place in Galilee, near Bethsaida. The feeding of the 4,000 in The Decapolis, an area composed of ten cities on the east side of the Jordan River.
5,000 - 5 loaves, 2 fish; 4,000 - 7 loaves, a few small fish.
5,000 - 12 baskets left over; 4,000 - 7 baskets left over. (Even the Greek words used for "baskets" were different in Matthew 14 and Matthew 15 - which we’ll investigate further in a few minutes.)
5,000 - Crowd with Jesus 1 day; 4,000 - 3 days.
5,000 - Spring of the year; 4,000 - Summer.
5,000 - Tried to make Jesus king; 4,000 - Didn’t.
But perhaps the most interesting and pertinent difference between the two events is that the feeding of the 5,000 was to a primarily Jewish congregation and the feeding of the 4,000 primarily to a Gentile congregation.
That’s the reason the gospel writers used two different words for "baskets" in Matthew 14 and 15. The first is the Greek word for the small Jewish hand-basket, and the second for the large Greek hamper-sized basket. The Word of God is distinctly marking these as two separate events on purpose.
Christ reduplicated the miracle of feeding a vast multitude among Gentiles to demonstrate that He is The Bread of Life to the entire world - not just to one people group!
When we come up against great needs in life, Christ wants every one of us, no matter what our background, to be able to say, "God loves me and wants to meet my needs."
The question of the disciples is a question we all ask ourselves sometimes. "Do I have enough?" ("Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?")
The disciples were tired and spent from the three-day encampment and all the healings and the constant throng pursuing Jesus.
They made the mistake of viewing the need of the crowd on a material and earthly plane when Christ wanted them to view it on a spiritual and heavenly plane.
Listen to what He says to them in the next chapter to understand this principle more clearly.
Matthew 16:5 - When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread.