INTRO.- When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns.
Crowds of people followed Jesus. That’s not surprising, considering what He did and how He ministered to the people. Have you ever thought what it would be like to be famous?
ILL.- Take Clint Eastwood for example. He has starred in 46 films (appeared in 57), directed 25, and produced 20.
Eastwood said, “I don’t feel my life is that interesting, which is maybe why I became an actor.” He has been married twice, has five daughters and three sons by five different women. I’M SURE THAT WAS SOMEWHAT INTERESTING!
In summing up his own life, Eastwood said, “I just feel like I do a job. I’ve been lucky enough to work in a profession where I enjoy it and still do. Obviously I’m doing it still and I don’t seem to have any ambitions about retiring. If I do, I haven’t kind of found out about them yet, so maybe I’m just waiting until they retire me.”
What do you think of Clint Eastwood? I think he’s a rich, talented Hollywood actor who probably can’t go out in public very often without getting lots of looks and/or requests for an autograph.
The paparazzi won’t seem to leave the rich and the famous alone! And no doubt, after a short period of that kind of attention it would get old! Because most of us prefer a certain amount of privacy and peace!
Our Lord was popular in His day. Look at what He did: He healed the sick, raised the dead, etc. DOING THOSE THINGS WOULD MAKE ANYBODY PRETTY POPULAR!
We can’t begin to comprehend the attention that Jesus would get today if He were here and doing these kinds of things. The press and the public would never leave Him alone!
But Jesus didn’t seek after public attention or praise. Not like some people today. He ministered to people for their good, not His own good. He came not to be served, but to serve. He came to seek and to save the lost. He came to heal, bless and forgive! He came to give His life as a ransom for the whole world!
Our text deals with the feeding of the 5000 and then some. Talk about a big church dinner! That was it! But no pecan pie!
ILL.- A preacher and his wife decided to have the church deacons and their wives over for dinner. It was quite an undertaking, but the preacher and his wife wanted to be a good example for the leaders of their church. When it came time for dinner, everyone was seated and the preacher’s wife asked their little four-year-old girl if she would say grace. The girl said, "I don’t know what to say." Her mother said, "Honey, just say what I say." Everyone bowed their heads and the little girl prayed, "O dear Lord, why am I having all these people over for dinner! Amen!"
PROP.- Our text reveals the difference of thinking in the disciples’ and the Lord.
1- Jesus saw and had compassion
2- The disciples complained and were hungry
3- Jesus listened and met the need
I. JESUS SAW AND HAD COMPASSION
Matthew 14:13-14 “When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.”
We often see what we’re looking for and that’s all, nothing more.
ILL.- I may see a good-looking car down the street. You may be zeroed in on the driver or the way he or she is driving. Or the fact that the driver is talking on their cell phone. Jesus saw hurting people and had compassion.
ILL.- Actor Matt Damon Helps Form African Charity. Oct 17, 2006. Matt Damon (Ocean’s 12 and 13) went to the Sahara Desert to scout locations for a movie about long-distance runners. But when he got there, he took on another project: helping bring clean water to Africa.
Damon and the production team behind the upcoming documentary "Running the Sahara" created a charity to accompany their filmmaking expedition in Africa, which gets under way this month. During his preliminary visit to the continent, Damon, 36, said he "saw firsthand the effects of one of the largest public health issues of our time - the world water crisis which is at its worst in Africa."
Brothers and sisters, I have to hand it to actor Matt Damon. He went, he saw, he was touched and he wants to do something about the poor water condition in Africa. NOT EVERYBODY WOULD BE TOUCHED OR WOULD WANT TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Jesus would. Matt Damon is.
Jesus saw hurting people everywhere. What do we see? He saw them and healed them.
Brothers and sisters, is your heart touched by hurting people? When those little Amish girls were shot to death on that Monday morning, Oct. 2nd, in Lancaster, PA, what did you think? How did you feel? Were you not troubled by that evil and yet at the same time, were you not touched by those hurting moms and dads? How could anyone not hurt for them? And how could we not pray for them?
Doug Murren, in his book “Churches That Heal,” says one thing that hinders the church from becoming a church that heals is a lack of compassion. He wrote, “Two million people die every year. Only about 200,000 of those die knowing Jesus as their Savior. Loneliness is one of the major contributors to the high number of heart attacks. Each year 800,000 babies are born out of wedlock.”
The writer is saying, “Have we no concern or compassion for these people?” Greater still, God our Father looks down on us and wonders about our compassion or lack of it!
Brothers and sisters, may God have mercy on us if we ever stop caring and we stop demonstrating compassion! How do we get a heart that is compassionate and keep it? It all comes from our Lord. The more time we spend with Him, the more compassion we’ll have for others! His was and is a heart of complete sympathy for mankind. And we need a big dose of Him.
II. THE DISCIPLES COMPLAINED AND WERE HUNGRY
Matthew 14:15-16 “As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food." Jesus replied, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat."
The DUHciples were not always very bright or very spiritual. Neither are we at times. I’m not so sure they were really concerned about the multitudes of people. There is a possibility that they were more concerned about their own hunger and than the multitude. Sometimes this is evident at our church dinners, etc. And in other places.
ILL.- When Mel Fanning was in St. Bernard’s for over 3 weeks I would go every day and park in the parking garage. On the third level is a special parking place for the clergy. DO YOU HONESTLY THINK THOSE PLACES ARE TAKEN BY THE CLERGY ONLY? I don’t.
One day it was raining and I drove around that parking garage for about 10 minutes (maybe less) thinking that surely someone would leave one space open in the dry.
NO SUCH LUCK. I couldn’t believe that all those people have no sympathy for this preacher! Ha! I ended up parking on the roof or the top level and got wet. And while I walking in the “dry” part of the garage some lady in her car stopped me and said, “How long is the waiting line to get a parking place? I’ve been driving around in here for 20 minutes.” I didn’t want to give her the bad news but I did.
Basically, we humans are more concerned about ourselves than anybody else. It’s just our human nature. It’s our sinful human nature! Self rules. Self controls. Self is selfish. Self thinks more of self than of others.
It may be that disciples weren’t exactly complaining but they weren’t overjoyed with all the people either. If Jesus did see their words as a form of complaint I’m sure He wasn’t thrilled about it.
Phil. 2:14-15 “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.”
Even though we’re not supposed to complain about things in life we still do. It’s our human sinful nature. I do it and you do it, but it’s not the best thing to do.
We heard years ago that the wheel that squeaks the loudest gets the grease. Well, what are we squeaking about? Some things need to be squeaked about and others don’t.
ILL.- For example, recently I was looking at the Southeast Christian Church internet site. As some of you may know, Bob Russell (who is my age) recently retired from preaching there for 40 years. (He’s my age and already retired!!!). Their second preaching minister, Dave Stone, took over the Sr. Minister’s position.
In the process they changed the whole internet site. And personally, I don’t like it as well. It’s not as attractive and it’s harder to figure where to go if you’re looking for something.
But what really got me was Dave Stone’s picture on their site. His picture is not what you’d picture for the Sr. Minister of a super-sized church, or a mega church. Dave’s picture shows him unshaved (not fully bearded – just unshaven) and his hair is messed up. Now maybe that’s the style and I just don’t understand, but I wrote them an email note saying his picture looked like a mug shot of some Hollywood actor who’d been picked up for drunken driving.
I’m sure that my squeaking did not impress them at all! There may be a time and a place for squeaking, but overall the Lord is not impressed with negative complainers.
It appeared that underneath it all the disciples may have been tired and just wanted the people to leave them alone for a while. DID YOU EVER FEEL THAT WAY? Go away. Leave me alone. Again, if this were true it didn’t show their best side to Jesus. Jesus was always interested in ministering people, while the disciples were not always so anxious. WHAT ABOUT US?
Are we quick to serve? Are we quick to OFFER to serve? Are we quick to spot a need and meet that need? Or do we just “let George do it”? It may depend on the day and the hour.
III. JESUS LISTENED AND MET THE NEED
Matthew 14:17-21 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish," they answered. "Bring them here to me," he said. And he directed the people to sit down 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. “They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.”
Jesus listened to the problem that the disciples had. They seemed hopeless and helpless. “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish.” WE HAVE ONLY.
Sounds something like us. “I only have…” Admittedly, we are somewhat limited when it comes to perhaps our talent and our resources.
ILL.- Obviously, our church can’t do what the Central Baptist Church can do for their youth, etc. We can’t give as much to foreign missions as large churches can, etc. BUT JESUS DOES MORE! Jesus met and multiplied their meager rations. Jesus can always do more if our faith will let Him. Many times we have only a little but if we give to the Lord He can bless it, multiply it and use it.
ILL.- Preacher Billy Graham said, "My one purpose in life is to help people find a personal relationship with God, which, I believe, comes through knowing Christ."
Billy Graham has preached the Gospel to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history—over 210 million people in more than 185 countries and territories—through various meetings, but he didn’t start out that way or that big!
Born November 7, 1918, four days before the Armistice ended World War I, Graham was reared on a dairy farm in Charlotte, North Carolina. Growing up during the Depression, he learned the value of hard work on the family farm, but he also found time to spend many hours in the hayloft reading books on a wide variety of subjects.
In the fall of 1934, at age 16, Graham made a personal commitment to Christ through the ministry of Mordecai Ham, a traveling evangelist, who visited Charlotte for a series of revival meetings.
Ordained in 1939 by a church in the Southern Baptist Convention, Graham received a solid foundation in the Scriptures at Florida Bible Institute (now Trinity College in Florida). In 1943 he was graduated from Wheaton College in Illinois and married fellow student Ruth McCue Bell, daughter of a missionary surgeon, who spent the first 17 years of her life in China.
After graduating from college, Graham pastored the First Baptist Church in Western Springs, Illinois, before joining Youth for Christ, an organization founded for ministry to youth and servicemen during World War II. He preached throughout the United States and in Europe in the immediate post war era, emerging as a rising young evangelist.
The Los Angeles crusade in 1949 launched Mr. Graham into international prominence. Scheduled for three weeks, the meetings were extended to more than eight weeks, with overflow crowds filling a tent erected downtown each night.
Many of his subsequent early crusades were similarly extended, including one in London, which lasted 12 weeks, and a New York City crusade in Madison Square Garden in 1957, which ran nightly for 16 weeks. WOW!
Brothers and sisters, it still appears that if we give something to the Lord (our voice, talent, money, etc.) and are willing to use it in service for Him He will multiply it. JESUS ALWAYS DOES MORE WITH WHAT WE GIVE HIM! Jesus listened to the disciples and met the need of the people. He can do the same today through us. We may not be a Billy Graham but we are truly something in the mighty hand of God!
Feeding 5000 and then some. That’s what Jesus did.
ILL.- A Boston mother said to her little daughter: “If you had my faith, darling, you would have no toothache.” The child replied: “Well, mother, if you had my toothache you wouldn’t have any faith.”
We can look at the world in two ways: From the Lord’s viewpoint or from the human standpoint. From the human standpoint the world and America is in trouble and there is little we can do about it. But from the Lord’s viewpoint HE CAN DO MORE! There is no hopeless situation in life.
We must put our trust and faith in the Lord! We must keep on living the life, preaching the message, and loving the people, etc. GOD CAN DO ALWAYS DO MORE IN US AND THROUGH US!