Summary: Feeding 5,000+ (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: Matthew chapter 14 verses 13-21.
• Bread Test
• Bread (in some form or other) is the basic diet of people all over the world;
• Two reasons: first it is cheap & therefore accessible for the poor.
• Second it satisfies it fills you up.
Psychologist, Charles Allen tells this story in one of his books:
• As World War II was drawing to a close,
• The Allied armies gathered up many hungry orphans.
• They placed them in camps where they were safe and well-fed.
• Yet despite the excellent care they received, the orphans slept badly.
• They seemed nervous and afraid.
• Finally, a psychologist came up with the solution.
• Each child was given a piece of bread to hold after he or she was put to bed.
• This particular piece of bread was just to be held—not eaten.
• This extra piece of bread produced wonderful results.
• And the children started to sleep undisturbed through out the night.
• The extra piece of bread had a wonderful effect on the children because;
• As they went to bed they instinctively knew they would have food to eat the next day.
In the same way that each of us has PHYSICAL appetites that need satisfying.
• We also have spiritual appetites that need satisfying;
• And Jesus demonstrates in this passage that he alone can meet those appetites.
(1). The PURSUIT of the crowd (vs 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”
• Have you ever been so tired that you are just not sure you can go on?
• If the answer is yes, you might appreciate this story.
• A woman who had recently moved into a small village in Wiltshire,
• Was in the backyard hanging out the washing on the line.
• When an old, tired-looking dog wandered into the yard.
• She could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home.
• As she walked into the house, the dog followed her in,
• Sat down under the kitchen table and fell sound asleep.
• An hour later, he woke up;
• Went over to the door and she let him out.
• The next day he was back.
• He took up the same position under the kitchen table and slept for an hour.
• This continued for several weeks. Curious, she pinned a note to his collar:
• "Every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap."
• The next day the dog arrived with a different note pinned to his collar:
• "He lives in a home with 6 children - he’s trying to catch up on his sleep."
We know from the other gospels that record this story:
• That Jesus was looking for a break,
• He wanted to go somewhere quiet to get some rest, to recharge his physical batteries.
• People had been following Jesus and the disciples incessantly;