6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: God's Eternal Plan shown through the feeding of the 5000

Loaves and Fishes

CCCAG May 13th, 2018

Scripture- John 6:1-13

Promise Keepers food line

In 1996 a bunch of guys packed ourselves into church vans and drove down to Indianapolis for a Promise Keepers event at was at that time the Indianapolis Superdome. The Superdome could hold over 68,000 people if you opened up the field for seating, and it was sold out as men from all over the country came to hear some of the biggest names in Christianity speak into their lives about being Godly men, husband, and fathers.

One of the things that impressed me is how the organizers of the event fed over 60,000 men. We had multiple food lines in which we picked up a box lunch and just found a place to sit outside and eat it. Inside the box lunch was a sandwich, a bag of chips, an apple and then we picked up a soda can or a water at the end of the tables.

As I was sitting there eating my lunch, I started to think about having to organize something like this. It’s just the way my brain works- I have to figure out how something like this can be pulled off.

In the goal of feeing 60000 men in 90 minutes

Someone had to buy the food months in advance on faith that they would have enough money

They had to find someone to make that many sandwiches. If I remember right it was Subway that made them. They would have had to have every single Subway restaurant in the city making sandwiches for 1000’s of employee hours to fulfill this order. I have no idea how many Subways there were in 1996, but today there are 20 in the greater Indianapolis area, which means if they did that today each restaurant would have to make 3,400 sandwiches.

In case you wonder what I do with my time during the week….I figure stuff like this out.

Someone had to fold the boxes

Someone had to bring the food from where it was prepared to the site.

Dozens of volunteers than had to pack the boxes

28 pallets containing 2400 cans of soda and water would have to be transported and kept cold and ready for lunch.

60,000 apples and various bags of chips.

Then the cleanup. That would be monstrous in it self keeping the garbage and recycling separate.

Yet it went through without a hitch because of great leadership within the PK organization.

Keep this in mind the planning it took and the logistics necessary to pull this off of this as we study today’s scripture.

Sometimes we look at the historical accounts in the bible and think that God organizes things on the fly instead of seeing God’s sovereign plan at work within the confines of a story.

This event from John 6 is certainly miraculous. Jesus takes a poor boys lunch and uses it to feed 5000 men, and if you consider the woman and children that were most certainly there, the number increases to probably 20-25,000 people.

I want to take a few of the people involved in this story and a few points within this biblical account this morning and help you see how God uses seemingly unrelated details to unfold His will in this instance.

Because If we can see His hand in this story, we can trust it for our lives.


I. Phillip

A. Phillip shows us God’s sovereignty and plan

The disciples were not picked at random. It wasn’t like Jesus grabbed the first 12 guys he knew or saw and made them disciples. The disciples were chosen in eternity past to be the men who would take the Gospel to their known world.

Phillip was one of these men. When I was studying this account, I asked the question- why did Jesus ask Phillip how he was going to feed these people?

Phillips is not part of the inner circle of Peter, James, and John.

He isn’t an accountant like Matthew who probably could have tossed the number right off the top of his head.

Jesus didn’t ask Judas how much money they had if they could afford it.

He didn’t use it to teach doubting Thomas a lesson of faith.

He asked Phillip. Why?

It turns out that they are in the area of Bethsaida on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee- Phillips hometown. The majority of the disciples were from the Western side of Galilee, and he would have been their local expert in this area.

When Tammie and I moved here, the Phillipson’s (I know, appropriate for this part of the sermon) were our primary point of contact and our local area experts. We pestered them with dozens of emails asking about various things within the city prior to moving here, and even afterward- things like, “What the heck is this blue bag thing for garbage”- in Kenosha blue bags are only used for recycling, and then only put on the curb during certain days. You can laugh about that, but it was really hard for us city folk to wrap our mind around that is how we pay for Tri-County Sanitation to take care of our garbage.

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