Summary: A sermon about the feeding of the 5,000, using two small fish and five small loaves. How this was a lesson that was followed up by a test on the lake that evening. And how we can use that to develop our own faith.
One day in the middle of the woods, a hawk, a lion, and a skunk were arguing about which one was the most powerful. The hawk said it was because he could fly down and catch his dinner so quickly they could not get away.
The lion said he could run the fastest and had the bigger teeth to eat his prey with. The skunk said he was the most powerful because with one flick of his tail, he could chase them both away.
About that time, a large grizzly bear came out from the trees and ate them all; hawk, lion, and stinker.
It’s a good thing we aren’t planning an after-church fellowship dinner today, isn’t it? But I do want to talk to you about a meal that took place a long time ago. It was the meal where they feed 5,000 people with two small fish and five small loaves of bread.
We will center our attention on the meal, and especially the miracle that took place at that meal. First of all, out of all the miracles that Jesus performed, this is the only one that is documented in all four Gospels.
Jesus had gone to Jerusalem to participate in the Feast of the Jews. While Jesus was there, He had gone by the pool at Bethesda where he saw a man was blind and had been an invalid for 38 years. Jesus healed that man, and then the other Jews started condemning Jesus for doing it on the Sabbath.
At this point, Jesus began talking to them and when the Jews heard Jesus refer to Himself as the Son of God, they hated Him that much more. Now, Scripture says that some time after this, Jesus crossed to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.
Before we go any further, let’s read about it from our main text.
‘Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd followed Him because they saw the miracles He had performed. Then, Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Passover Feast was near.
‘When Jesus looked up and saw the crowd coming toward Him, He asked Philip, ‘Where will we buy enough bread for these people to eat?’ He asked this only to test Phillip, for He already knew what He was going to do.
‘Philip said, ‘It would take nearly a year’s wages to buy enough bread just so each person here could have one bite.’ Another disciples, Andrew, said ‘Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but that isn’t going to very far.’
‘Jesus said, ‘Have the people sit down.’ There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down. They numbered about 5,000. Then, Jesus took the five small loaves, gave thanks for them, and then had the disciples distribute them to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
‘When they had all had enough to eat, Jesus said ‘Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.’ So they gathered enough to fill twelve baskets with the pieces of fish and the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.’
Let’s stop for a moment and look deeper into this passage. Let’s look at;
1. STORY #1 - THE MIRACLE OF PROVISION
The Bible says there were about 5,000 of them. In those days, it was customary to count the men only. This number of 5,000 did not include the women and children. So, even a conservative guess would mean as many as 10,000 to 15,000 people may have actually been there.
Out of that great crowd, we can safely assume that not everyone there had come with a heart to follow the Messiah. There were some who came because they had heard amazing stories and wanted to see for themselves, and then there were some who were following a celebrity, kind of like today’s ‘groupies.’
In LUKE 9:12, we read where some of the disciples had come to Jesus and asked Him to send the people away because there was no food. They were looking at the problem, not the problem solver. There faith was firmly planted in the world and worldly solutions, not on Jesus and what He could do. Phillip was from that area, that is why Jesus asked him where they could buy enough bread to feed the crowd. Jesus was looking for a faith-filled answer, but again only received a worldly answer.
This shows what we do yet today. We look at the problems we are faced with and try our best to fix them using worldly means. The very first thing we should be doing in any situation is to run to God and ask Him to fix it. And then firmly hold on to our faith and expect Him to fix it.