Summary: We can learn a lot about our role in God's kingdom from this miracle.
The feeding of the 5,000
A. The miracle of the feeding of the 5000 is one of the most significant of all the miracles
1. Because it is recorded in all four Gospels
2. Because of the tremendous truth it teaches us.
3. It may seem weird to you but I think you can take away something from this passage for the coming year as to what God might do through this church.
B. Miracles play an important role in the scripture.
1. Mark has recorded 5 up to this point in this book
2. The book of John was written around 8 specific miracles John 28:30-31.
C. Miracles defined
1. A miracle can be defined as a supernatural act in which natural laws and processes are superceded.
a) These natural laws and processed are superceded by the direct intervention of God.
b) A natural law is simply the normal way that God had designed things to operate in nature.
2. The purpose of miracles
a) To authenticate men of God in certain periods of history.
(1) Moses was the first – marking the beginning of the Jewish nation.
(2) Elijah and Elisha – when the cause of true religion was at a low ebb
(3) Christ – The establishment of His Claims Jn. 3:2
(4) The Apostles – the establishment of the Church.
b) They were to catch the attention of people in order that they may hear the truth. Jn. 20:31.
c) Merrill Unger – “Miracles are to arrest the attention of men and aid in winning their acceptance of revealed truth and so far as the sacred record shows us they were wrought only when most needed in the greatest crisis of revealed religion”.
3. Tests for true miracles.
a) Not all miracles are of God.
(1) Matt. 24:24
(2) 2Thess. 2:9
b) Two tests
(1) The character of the one doing the miracles.
(2) The message the miracle introduces
(3) Ro. 15:17-21
4. Kinds of miracles performed by Christ.
a) Restoration – Lk. 7:22
b) Punitive – The barren fig tree - Mk. 11.
c) Transforming – Water into wine Jn. 2.
d) Creative – 5 loaves and 2 fishes.
5. The continuation of miracles – are they valid today?
a) According to what we know from scripture miracles are only manifest during specific periods of time.
(1) Crucial times.
(2) The next crucial time is the Tribulation.
(3) The Church age is not, according to scripture characterized by miracles. It is characterized by the preaching of the Gospel. – And LOVE Jn. 13:34-35.
b) God still performs miracles today according to His good pleasure and His plan.
c) The great emphasis on the working of miracles by men today stems from a lack of faith rather than a great abundance of it.
d) It is an unwillingness to believe God’s Word and/or unwillingness to accept God’s will in one’s life that causes us to “Look” for miracles.
e) This in no way limits the impact and importance of the miracles recorded in scripture.
f) Our responsibility should not be to try to reproduce them but to find out what the Lord is trying to teach us through them.
II. The feeding of the 5000
A. Back ground
a) Close to the Passover feast.
b) As a result there was a great amount of activity in the land
c) John the Baptizer had just been put to death.
d) Jesus ministry is very popular at the moment.
a) The disciples had just returned from their first assignment as apostles.
b) Jesus takes them to a quiet place in the wilderness for fellowship, rest and instruction.
c) Some people caught wind of it and soon a multitude had formed to hear Jesus teach.
III. Three things to notice
A. The great compassion of Christ.
1. The word compassion has with it the idea of piety or sympathy. To feel the need to come to some one’s aid.
2. This is the pure demonstration of God in human flesh.
3. It is further defined by describing it from a shepherd’s point of view.
a) Christ called Himself the Good Shepherd – Jn 10.
b) A shepherd is one whose whole job is to take care of the needs of his sheep. He is responsible for
4. Christ’s compassion extends to all people.
a) His disciples – vs. 31
b) Others – vs. 34
c) Lamentations 3:21-23 This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. The LORD’S loving kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness.
5. Christ’s compassion was revealed in a very practical way.
a) He taught them vs. 34
b) Luke 9 tells us that he healed the sick among them.