Summary: 1. Celebrate Christ’s great sympathy toward us (vs. 1-6). 2. Celebrate Christ’s great opportunity for us (vs. 5-11). 3. Celebrate Christ’s great ability to help us (vs. 2-4 & 11-13).
Celebrate God’s Greatness
Sermon by Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - Nov. 15, 2009
*Many people in our church have dreamed of a new children’s building for almost 20 years, and this year our dream has come to life! We are here today to celebrate this dream, and the fruit it is already bearing for the Lord.
*But most of all, we are here to celebrate the greatness of our God, because this blessing has come from Him. We are here to celebrate God’s greatness, and this story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 will help do it.
1. First: Celebrate Christ’s great sympathy toward us.
*We see several signs of the Lord’s sympathy in this story.
A. For example, Jesus cares about hurting people. Vs. 1&2 tell us that:
1. After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias.
2. Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased.
*Jesus had healed those hurting people, because He cared for them. Matt 14:14 says, “When Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.” Jesus cares about hurting people.
B. But He also cares about hungry people. We see this care in vs. 5&6:
5. Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?''
6. But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.
*Jesus knew that before the end of the day He would feed all 5,000 of those hungry men, plus all of the women and children who were with them, possibly up to 15 or 20 thousand people. Jesus cares about hungry people.
C. But He also cares about hell-bound people. Mark 6:34 described the scene this way: “When Jesus came out, He 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.”
*Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd who cares about lost sheep. Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for His sheep.
-This is what Jesus did when He died on the cross for our sins.
-But He rose from the dead!
-And the Risen Lord will save you if you will trust in Him.
-Jesus Christ cares about lost sheep. He cares about your soul.
*Author Stephen Ambrose told the story of an American paratrooper unit in World War II. Some of you probably read the book, “Band of Brothers.” This book includes the story of one of the lost sheep from my parents’ generation. His name was Sgt. Skinny Sisk, and he was one of the few men to survive from beginning to end.
*After the war, Sisk had a hard time shaking his memories. In July 1991, he wrote a letter to explain to his old Captain, Dick Winters. Skinny said:
“My career after the war was trying to drink away the truckload of Krauts that I stopped in Holland and the die-hard Nazi that I went up into the Bavarian Alps and killed. Old Moe Alley made a statement that all the killings that I did was going to jump into the bed with me one of these days and they surely did. I have a lot of flash backs after the war and I started drinking. Ha! Ha!
“Then my sister’s little daughter, four years old, came into my bedroom (I was too unbearable to the rest of the family, either hung over or drunk) and she told me that Jesus loved me and she loved me and if I would repent God would forgive me for all the men I kept trying to kill all over again.
“That little girl got to me. I put her out of my room, told her to go to her Mommy. There and then I bowed my head on my Mother’s old feather bed and repented and God forgave me for the war and all the other bad things I had done down through the years. I was ordained in the latter part of 1949 into the ministry and believe me, Dick, I haven’t whipped but one man since and he needed it. I have four children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
“The Lord willing and Jesus tarrys I hope to see you all at the next reunion. If not I’ll see you at the Last Jump.” (1)
*I love that story because it shows us how the Lord can save any soul. It shows how even a 4-year-old child can be part of the process, because Jesus Christ cares about people: hurting people, hungry people, hell-bound people. Nobody cares like Jesus cares!