Summary: This Jesus who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, continue to be the One who feeds us and meets our needs and fills us to the full
• Read the text. Matt.14:13-21
• Opening Prayer. Pray for Bangsar Gospel Centre
1. Purpose of Matthew’s writing. Only miracle recorded in ALL 4 Gospels
a. BGC following a series “Life’s Examples from the Life Giver”. He Provides – He can be Trusted and so on.
b. Did it occur to you that in Matthew, Matthew began the genealogy of Jesus, NOT with Abraham ( the Father of Israel) BUT with David ? Why? Because it was to David that God promised ‘I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body…...and I will establish his throne of his kingdom FOREVER’ – 2 Sam.7:12-13. Matthew’s purpose in writing a logical fashion rather than a chronological order was to present to the JEWS of his time that JESUS WAS INDEED THE PROMISED MESSIAH KING.
c. In this wider context of the Book of Matthew then, we find this miracle of the feeding of 5,000 men, the only miracle recorded in all four Gospels, a fact that speaks loudly of its importance to the early church. cf Mark 6:35-44, Luke 9:12-17, and John 6:1-14.
d. And we will do well by paying attention to what this passage in Matt.14-13-21 is trying to say to us!
2. In the Context of & In Contrast to
a. In the Context of ‘Rejection of the King’
i. Chapter 13 ends with the rejection of Jesus at Nazareth. A Prophet without honour. Matt.13:58. Matthew through his skillful arrangement of the Gospel account showed that the Jews failed to recognize Jesus as the promised Messiah King and had rejected Him by the time we come to the end of chapter 13.
ii. Chapter 14 begins with the story of the beheading of John the Baptist by Herod Antipas. In 14:1-2, Herod hears reports of Jesus and concludes that he is John the Baptist raised from the dead. While he does not say that he must now kill Jesus too, that possibility looms over these verses. 14:3-12 is a flashback, telling the story of Herod’s birthday party -- and Herodias’ scheming -- and the daughter’s dance -- and Herod’s promise -- and John’s head on a platter.
iii. So we have in the 14:13. Jesus withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place (presumable to be alone, to pray and mostly like to grieve over the news of John’s death). But the crowd didn’t allow Him to have this solitary time by Himself. V13b – they followed Him on foot from the towns.
b. In Contrast Herod’s Party vs Jesus Feeding of the 5,000 men (15-20K+ when you include women and children) What a contrast between Herod’s dinner party and the meal that Jesus provides for the five thousand!
Herod’s party Jesus’ Meal
• Attendance Selective and the Haves All & Sundries
• Characterized by Opulence & Indulgence Bread – most basic of food
• Characterized by Scheming & Hatred Compassion
• Ends in Death (John the Baptist) Sustain Life
The contrast could not be more complete and vivid.
3. Parallel to the Past & Parallel to the Present & Future
i. Moses . These feedings are reminiscent of the manna in the wilderness (Exo 16; Num 11). Like Moses, Jesus has crossed over the water to the wilderness. Like Moses, he is surrounded by hungry people.
"Matthew clearly intends to portray Jesus as parallel to Moses, yet surpassing him as the bringer of a new age"
Jesus makes this connection even more explicit when he refers to manna in his Bread from Heaven discourse following the feeding of the five thousand in John’s Gospel (John 6:31, 49).
ii. Elisha. These feedings are also reminiscent of Elisha’s feeding miracle in 2 Kings 4:42-44. In that story, Elisha had only twenty barley loaves to feed a hundred people. When he ordered his servant to distribute the bread, the servant protested, "How can I set this before a hundred people?" Elisha reaffirmed the order, promising, "They shall eat and have some left." The servant distributed the bread; the people ate -- and there was bread left over in fulfillment of the Word of God. The linkage between the stories is made even tighter by the reference to barley loaves in John 6:9.
iii. It is worth noting that both Elisha and Jesus involved others (Elisha’s servant and Jesus’ disciples) in the accomplishment of their miracles.
Parallels between Matthew’s account of the Feeding of the Five Thousand and his account of the Lord’s Supper in chapter 26. They are compelling:
14:15 "when it was evening" ---- 26:20 "when it was evening"
14:19 "sit down" (Greek: anaklithenai) ---- 26:20 "took his place" (Greek: anekeito from the same root as anaklithenai)
14:19 "Taking the five loaves" ---- 26:26 "took a loaf of bread"