Summary: If we have a need God can work a miracle!

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The feeding of the 5,000

From the four gospels

That evening the disciples came to him and said, "This is a desolate place, and it is getting late. Send the crowds away to the nearby villages and farms, so they can find food and lodging for the night. There is nothing to eat here in this deserted place. But Jesus replied, "That isn’t necessary, "You feed them. “Impossible!" they protested. “With what?" they asked. "It would take a small fortune to buy food for this entire crowd!" For there were about five thousand men therein the crowd. Turning to Philip, he asked, "Philip, where can we buy bread to feed all these people?" He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do. Philip replied, "It would take a small fortune to feed them! "How much food do you have?" he asked. "Go and find out." Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. "There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd? "Just tell them to sit down on the ground in groups of about fifty each," Jesus replied. So the people all sat down. Then Jesus told the crowd to sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat in groups of fifty or a hundred. They sat down on the grassy slopes. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, Breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread and fish to the disciples to give to the people. They all ate until they were full; now gather the leftovers," Jesus told his disciples, "so that nothing is wasted." There were only five barley loaves to start with, but twelve baskets were filled with the pieces of bread the people did not eat! And they picked up twelve baskets of leftover bread and fish. About five thousand men had eaten from those five loaves, in addition to all the women and children!

Let us see what is going on here. Jesus had heard about his cousin, John the Baptist, being killed. He has gone off to be by himself with his followers but the crowd came to where he was so instead of taking a rest to grieve He spent the day teaching a large crowd. It came

time to eat. Man’s solution was to send them away so they could find something to eat. Jesus looked at His 12 followers and said no let us feed them. It is amazing to me that no one had brought their lunch but a small boy. What was that boy’s mother thinking when she sent him out there? What were all the others thinking that they did not bring something to eat? Let us take a long sentence here to bring meaning to what the lesson is that we need to learn.


1. WHEN THERE IS A NEED. We see here many people who have a hunger need. Not only were they hungry physically but also spiritually. Why else would they travel a far distance to listen to Jesus speak and for such a long time? I received a message that the average message of preachers today is 31 minutes. Now if you are charismatic the message is 40 minutes and Methodists is only 20 minutes. Is an average of 31 minutes of hearing God’s Word preached enough to last for a week? Many sit for an hour or more in front of a TV or a movie or a baseball game more than once a week and fill their minds with those things and can they still be satisfied with only ½ hour of God’s word on Sunday. I know that there are ones who miss coming every Sunday.


Why can’t I worship God in the comfort of my home, enjoying the best preaching and music TV has to offer? Why can’t I just enjoy being alone out in the woods just God and I and the pine trees? Why can’t I meet God at the water’s edge, wiggling my toes in the warm sand? Why do I really need church? I need church because it’s a family reunion. Jesus said, "Who is My family, those who do My will" MK 3:33, 35. We are a family rejoicing with one another, crying with one another, helping each other. We need each other’s support. I need church because it’s a classroom. I’m preparing for a mission; I’m on an extended course of study. For the rest of my life I’m enrolled in a course of Christian discipleship. I need church because it’s a refuge. The sanctuary is a place to get away from the busyness of the world. It’s a mini-retreat. It’s a place to focus my thoughts on things above, to worship. I need church because it’s like a billboard. As my neighbors see me go down to that building on the corner week after week, they can tell what is important in my life. I need church because it’s a memorial service. Imagine that I had been in a war and one of my buddies threw himself on an enemy hand grenade to save me and it killed him. Suppose I learned there was to be a memorial service for him in my hometown. Would I be there? Of course! And since Jesus died for me, it’s to honor Him that I attend His memorial service. I need church because it’s a victory celebration. Jesus left an empty tomb. We can celebrate His resurrection together. At least one day a week should be set aside for remembering Jesus’ triumph over death and Satan. I need church because it’s a time to spend with my Father. I’m a child of God, he is my Father a remote dictator. He delights in spending time with me, and I want to be with Him. God wants to reveal His plans to me. I want to get in on the details, to cooperate with Him. Jesus said that when two or three are gathered together in His name, He is there. God has warned to not to forsake gathering with other believers. I need church because I’m a part of a family, I have lots to learn. I know what my priorities are. I esteem Christ’s death and am overjoyed by His resurrection. I want to spend time with my Father and other believers. That is why I need church.

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