Summary: Jesus celebrates with His disciples the victories won in His name. But another test challenges the disciples. Will they pass the test in showing compassion and faithfulness?
This miracle is recorded in all 4 gospels. It is the only miracle reported outside of the resurrection by all 4 writers. Mt 14.13-21; Lk 9.10-17; Jn 6.1-13
Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.
But the multitudes saw them departing, and many knew Him and ran there on foot from all the cities. They arrived before them and came together to Him. And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.
When the day was now far spent, His disciples came to Him and said, “This is a deserted place, and already the hour is late. Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread; for they have nothing to eat.” But He answered and said to them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to Him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?” But He said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they found out they said, “Five, and two fish.”
Then He commanded them to make them all sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in ranks, in hundreds and in fifties. And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all. So they all ate and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of fragments and of the fish. Now those who had eaten the loaves were about five thousand men.
Introduction – IRS
A sideshow strongman was exhibiting his prowess and as a final trick he squeezed the juice from a lemon between his hands and then offered ten dollars to anyone in the audience who could squeeze a single drop out of it. Several husky men tried, to no avail. Finally, a small bespectacled man came forward. He took the lemon in hand, and to the delight of the audience, managed to squeeze one more drop from the lemon. As the strongman paid out the ten dollars, he asked the man, "What is the secret of your strength. How did you manage to get that last drop?" "Oh," the man replied, "I worked for the IRS for 30 years."
Like the IRS, Jesus is able to get more out of less. Unlike the IRS, Jesus is able to show compassion. Let’s examine what Jesus does to radically change peoples lives.
As Jesus meets with the disciples following their adventure of sharing the Good News, we find them having a…
A Remarkable Celebration 30-32.
The disciples shared with Jesus the results of their going into the cities and villages. Everyone had a story to share!
First, they saw that there were Lives changed. People were healed physically and spiritually. It was God’s power revealed through them. They represented Christ in the world. Today, we also represent Christ to a lost world. Perhaps we don’t do it as well as we ought but we are His representatives.
We find also that the Kingdom was proclaimed. As imperfect as that is we are still the only option for the world to hear the message of Christ. What it tells us to do is be faithful in all we do!
And finally, Jesus provides them with the words that Relaxation was encouraged. They needed the rest after being out for an unknown amount of time. I discern that believers ought to have times or rest and refreshment. There is a time we should breakaway. It doesn’t always work out that way but we should make the attempt.
Illustration – Evangelism Statistics
The late Roland Q. Leavell in his book, Evangelism: Christ’s Imperative Commission, stated that of all the reported Church members: 15 per cent cannot be found, 20 per cent never pray, 25 per cent never read the Bible, 30 per cent never attend Church services, 40 per cent never give to the church, 50 per cent never go to Sunday School, 60 per cent never go to Church Sunday night, 80 per cent never go to prayer meeting, 90 per cent never have family worship, and 95 per cent never win a soul to Christ. If these statistics are correct, they simply mean that only 5 per cent of the Church members are obedient to Christ.