Summary: The response of Jesus to the suggestion of His disciples to send the multitudes away is touching. He saw the needs and planned to take care of it.
God sees your need and makes plans to take care of them. He is touched with your needs. He has compassion for you
Does something happen to you when you see people hungry? What if they are in the wilderness? Does something happen to you when you see people lost and away from Jesus? Something happened to Paul (Romans 9:2). Are you touched with the needs of other people or you leave it to be their responsibility. As a leader at your church, what touches your heart? What moves you? It is powerful when that which touches you is just what touches the heart of Jesus.
There is a clear difference between Jesus and His disciples. Jesus wants to help the people but His disciples think the people should help themselves (see Matt. 14:15-16). The implication is that while others advance an argument to keep you in bondage, Jesus looks for ways of relieving your pain and suffering. This is what happened at the feeding of the 5000.
The feeding of the 5000 is the only miracle recorded by all four gospel writers. Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:31–44; Luke 9:11–17; John 6:1–13. After this miracle, Jesus taught the multitudes that He is the Bread of Life in the John account.
God is the God of order. Jesus commanded that they should make the people sit down. So there will be order at the place. Else, it would have been chaos. Imagine that number of people standing and being served food. There would have been so much confusion. People do not get to that number at major events and yet the fight over food can be so much.
THE HEART OF JESUS
The key to effective ministry is to have the heart of Jesus. What kind of heart did He have? Jesus is looking for people who will be His hands extended and who will have His heartbeat. I have cried on many occasions saying, 'Lord, give me Your heartbeat'.
a. Compassion and deep Desire for the Multitude
Splankzomahi (hee) is the Greek word for compassion used in the passage. It portrays that the very bowels were moved. One thing that moves our Lord Jesus is when He sees the multitudes. When He sees their need, it moves Him greatly. In the same way, Your needs move Him greatly. Your vulnerability moves Him. When you see so many people moving to a deserted place and stay there till it is very late in the evening, you know they have real needs. The people who went over to Him had real needs.
Jesus paid the price for our needs to be met. Our salvation, our food, our healing have all been paid for on the cross. It is the compassion for the people that moved Him to say that "you give them something to eat" (verse 16). Paul had that compassion for people. In Romans 9:2, he wrote "... I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart".
b. The Heart of a Shepherd – Ezekiel 34
Jesus' heart was to make sure that the sheep are not prey to the enemy. The protection of the sheep was His passion. He came to feed the sheep as the Bread of Life. That is why you and I are worshipping Him today – His protection, His love, His provisions, the wisdom and the guidance He gives us. Imagine worshipping a god that does not care about your needs. This heart is what drew the people to Him.
THE ARGUMENT OF HIS DISCIPLES
The disciples came to Him and made an argument in verse 15 of Matthew 14. Let us look a bit closely at their argument. First of all, they said 'this is a deserted place', as though Jesus did not know this. Secondly, they said 'the hour is late'. Thirdly, the disciples continued their argument and said that Jesus should 'send them away'. Send them away? It is like we cannot handle this problem. Just let them go. Let them go away. They further advised that He should 'let them go into the villages'. Fourthly, they suggested where the people should be sent to – the villages. Not one villages but to the villageS. Maybe all the food in one village may not be enough to feed all these people. The disciples figured out that the people will need to go all over the place. Finally and fifthly, the disciples said Jesus should 'let them buy food for themselves'. It is like saying 'let them help themselves'. They seem to be saying that 'in fact, we do not want to make the problems of these people our problems'.
I wonder why the disciples waited till evening before realising that it was late and the people will need food. The disciples demonstrated a number of things. Let us consider three of them.