Summary: A sermon for the 11th Sunday after Pentecost Proper 13 Jesus and the loaves and fish
11th Sunday after Pentecost
Matthew 14: 13-21
"The Fish and the Loaves"
13* ¶ Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a lonely place apart. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns.
14* As he went ashore he saw a great throng; and he had compassion on them, and healed their sick.
15* When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a lonely place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves."
16* Jesus said, "They need not go away; you give them something to eat."
17* They said to him, "We have only five loaves here and two fish."
18* And he said, "Bring them here to me."
19* Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass; and taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.
20* And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over.
21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
John 6: 8-9
8* One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him,
9* "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are they among so many?"
Grace and Peace to you from Our Lord Jesus who is the Christ.
Our gospel lesson this morning is the familiar story of Jesus feeding the 5000. We all know the story well as it is found in all 4 of the gospels. And since this story is so familiar to all of us, I would like to approach it from a different perspective this morning. And since it is only in John’s gospel that we have mentioned the little boy with the loaves, I am including that text for this sermon.
I would like you to imagine that you are that little boy with the fish and the loaves.
Your days starts out pretty normally as you are wandering around the hillsides and you see this crowd gathering.
"Hey, I wonder what is going on? I don’t have anything else better to do, and Mom did make me a lunch of fish and loaves so I don’t have to go home soon, so maybe I will just tag along and see what is happening."
The little boy follows the crowd as they gather around the shore looking for Jesus. The little boy pushes his way to the front of the crowd so that he can see better. Then he sees this man in a boat get out and begins to talk to the crowd.
The thinks to himself:
"Hey I know who that is, it is the Jesus fellow. I heard him preach once before. I even saw Him heal a few people. Maybe this won’t be such a dull afternoon after all."
So the boy sits down on the grass and gets comfortable as he listens to Jesus.
Jesus begins to teach the people about the kingdom of God. The boys listens and thinks to himself:
"Jesus is talking about the love of God for all people including me. He is not like those in the temple or our little place of worship that is always telling us what we have to do or what we shouldn’t do. Jesus is telling us that God loves us just the way we are."
The boy listens some more and thinks to himself:
"Jesus is telling us that He is the Son of Man the saviour and that we should believe in Him and he will give us salvation."
The boy starts to get a little tired from sitting so he gets up and walks around a bit carrying his basket of food with him.
He sees many people in the crowd we are sick, ill, or who have form of infirmity. Then he sees that Jesus is calling all the people who are sick and ill to come forward. He watches as Jesus heals these people.
And he thinks to himself as he watches:
"This Jesus is really powerful. He can heal the sick and the ill. Why I even heard that He raised someone from the dead. I really am believing that this Jesus is from God."
The boy starts to walk around some more. He notices some of Jesus’ disciples in the crowd helping people to come forward to get healed. Then he looks to the sky and notices that it is getting late. Why he had not even eaten his lunch in all the excitement of the day.