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Summary: Bringing food to a hungry world.

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THE FEEDING OF THE 5000

Matthew 14:13-21

1. The creativity of feeding over 5000 hungry mouths.

The feeding of the 5000 is recorded in all four Gospels. Like the Creation, it is a significant historical event. Both events are a demonstration of the Divine prerogative.

In the beginning, we are told in the ancient account, God created all things of nothing. Ex nihilio! But we are also told that man (as one example) was formed of the dust of the ground.

So why do people have difficulty believing in the historicity of the miracle of the feeding of the 5000? It is because they fail to see the divine nature of Jesus.

Because He is God, He is able as God to make a small amount of food go much further than is humanly possible. That which He first created is also formed into what it was not hitherto. It is multiplied!

2. Bringing food to a hungry world.

Jesus was moved with compassion towards the multitude which followed Him, and healed their sick (Matthew 14:14) They were, after all, like sheep without a shepherd!

That compassion reached out indiscriminately to the whole crowd, 5000 men plus women and children, when He fed them with but five loaves and two fishes. Some would prove hypocritical, following Him only to fill their bellies (John 6:26) - but that was not His concern here. They were all fed to the full by Jesus, and there was still a sufficiency in reserve when they had finished.

Such is the abundance of His compassion. But what of ours? I need not enter into the statistics: we all know that there is an inequality in this world which is to our very shame if we have more than enough and are content to let the majority of humankind starve!

3. Christ's sufficiency and our call.

The miraculous feeding of the 5000 in the Gospel is not an everyday occurrence, but it does carry a spiritual message for those with eyes to see.

This is not to take away from the historicity of the event, nor to needlessly allegorise. However, in light of Jesus' own teaching of Himself as the Bread of life, we cannot fail to acknowledge that the miracle stands as a sign of His own sufficiency as discovered in the Cross.

In our own experience as Christians we are also made very much aware of the events of Calvary in partaking of bread (and wine) in the Communion.

This also lays upon us an obligation. Just as we must have a care to the physical poverty in our global village, we must also seek to bring the spiritual food of life to a world that hungers not only for bread, but for the very Word of God (Amos 8:11-12).


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