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Summary: Message about the feedings of the 5,000 & 4,000. Focused mainly on the provision of God in our lives.

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I Wonder If It was a Friday?

Matthew 14:13-21; 15:29-39

October 30, 2006

Introduction

How many of you are from large families, either natural or extended?

And as we approach the holidays, do you find yourself hoping that they don’t decide to come to your place because you don’t know how you’re going to feed them all?

And even if they bring a lot of the food, you’re not always sure just what you’ll get, right?

Maybe Aunt Greta found a wonderful “holiday” recipe for pigs feet and chicken gizzards that she insists be part of the meal.

And while you’ve never intentionally prayed for someone to have car trouble, you’re thinking about doing that now…

Well, Jesus knows what it’s like to feed an army of people. And He did it in a way that not only met the need, it displayed His glory so that the disciples would see the power of God in Him.

Today we pick up where we left off in the gospel according to Matthew, as we look at one of the more famous episodes in the life of Jesus, as well as an episode that closely relates to it, and those are the feedings of the five thousand and four thousand.

These are great stories about how Jesus made a bunch of food from a little bit of food, but I think we can find some things to bring into our own lives as we read through them.

I’d invite you to turn with me to Matthew 14:13-21 and also chapter 15:29-39. If you’re reading from the Bibles under the seats, you can find these on pages 692-693.

I’m going to read through both passages, since there are a couple differences that you night notice as we go through them.

14:13-21 –

13 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. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food."

16 Jesus replied, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat."

17 "We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish," they answered.

18 "Bring them here to me," he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

15:29-39 –

29 Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. 30 Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. 31 The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

32 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, "I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way."

33 His disciples answered, "Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?"

34 "How many loaves do you have?" Jesus asked.

"Seven," they replied, "and a few small fish."

35 He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. 36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. 37 They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 38 The number of those who ate was four thousand, besides women and children. 39 After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan.

You’re probably wondering where I could have come up with a title like, “I Wonder If It Was a Friday?”

Actually, it has little to do with the passage, but more to do with my Catholic upbringing.

Growing up Catholic, we ate fish every Friday during Lent – that period between Ash Wednesday and Easter.

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