Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: A sermon based on the feeding of the 5000 that reveals how nothing is ever too big when we live in tandem with God

Today we start a new sermon series in Tandem with God.

When you hear the word tandem what comes to mind?

What are some other words that come to mind?

How about synergy?

Working together, cooperating, partnership.

Working in tandem is important and often means we receive far greater benefits than when we try to do things on our own.

I came across a story of a horse pulling contest.

Where owners of horses entered a competition to see which horse could pull the most.

The winning horse pulled 450 slabs.

Whilst the runner up pulled 400 slabs.

The same person owned both horses.

So he wanted to see what the horses could pull together.

Amazingly when the two horses worked together they pulled 1200 slabs.

By themselves they could only pull 850 slabs combined but together they were able to pull 1200 slabs.

Working together has benefits.

And it is also true that "A dwarf standing on the shoulders of a giant may see farther than the giant himself."

And as disciples of Jesus Christ we are called to work together.

We are called to work together as part of this congregation,

as part of the North Tasmania Lutheran Parish

as part of the LCA

as part of the church.

And we are called to work together with God.

As disciples of Jesus Christ we are called to be in partnership with each other and with God.

And we do nothing is ever too big.

Now this is not necessarily an equal partnership.

Unfortunately when people here partnership they assume that everyone is equal.

However as disciples of Jesus Christ we are called to listen to God, to trust God and to shine God’s light in the world.

And today’s gospel reading is a story of the disciples working together with Jesus

so people could see how compassionate God is.

And that is our calling to work together with Jesus so people can see how compassionate God is.

Now let’s explore this further at Matthew 14 beginning at verse 13/

Now imagine the scene.

What we didn’t hear is what just happened prior to the events of the feeding of the 5000men plus their women and children.

Jesus had just heard that his good friend, cousin , the one who had baptised him

John the Baptist had just been killed by Herod the ruler.

And so now he heads off for some time alone.

When you here someone close to you has died how do you feel?

Often I want a little time by myself.

And this is exactly what Jesus does.

However there is a problem

Jesus is about to spend time alone with around 5000 men plus their women and children

Some suggest that this could be up to 20000 people

Now imagine going bush for some time alone with 20000 people, the population of Burnie.

Do you think Jesus would have had much peace and quiet here.

This was not what he intended.

However listen to how Jesus reacted.

From verse 14

1st thing we can learn.

Often we can intend one thing for ourselves but God presents us with something else.

Jesus could have said…

Look my best mate has just died I need some peace.

But he didn’t

Listen what he did

Verse 14

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

Jesus always has time for those in need.

But ever had that happen to you.

Ever been focused on doing something.

Something for yourself and been interrupted by someone.

Maybe that was God interrupting your life with someone in need.

Someone who needed to see and experience God’s compassion.

Maybe they needed a little of your time, a chat, some help, some food, some money etc.

What did you do?

Continued doing what you wanted or gone and helped.

Next time someone interrupts your life…

Keep in mind it may in fact be God interrupting your life with someone who needs his compassion.

So lesson number one: Working with God at times involves allowing God to interrupt our lives with people…

Working with God at times involves allowing God to interrupt our lives with people…

But this is not all that happens in today’s reading.

These people didn’t even bring food.

How crazy is that?

Imagine 20000 people going bush with no food

Now listen to how the disciples responded.


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."

What do you reckon?

Far enough response?

But that is not God’s way.

Listen to what Jesus says in v 16

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

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