Summary: The miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 and the one word Jesus doesn’t understand: ONLY and three lessons we can learn from this miracle.
I’ve entitled this message, “The ONLY Word Jesus Doesn’t Understand.” Words can be hard to understand, especially English words. For instance, someone wrote: “English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; a pineapple is neither a pine nor an apple. Quicksand works slowly and boxing rings are square. And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? People recite at plays and play at recitals. We ship cargo not by cars but by trucks and send cargo by ship. We park on driveways and drive on parkways. We have noses that run and feet that smell. How can a fat chance and a slim chance be the same, while a wise guy and a wise man are opposites? Your house can burn up as it burns down; you fill in a form by filling it out; and alarms go off by going on. When the stars are out they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. How can flammable and inflammable mean the same thing? And when a car slows up, it slows down? English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.”
When you translate English into another language, it can be confusing and even humorous. Here are some actual translations in foreign countries:
1. Next to a fire extinguisher in China the sign says, “Hand Grenade.”
2. A sign next to a scenic drop-off says, “Beware of missing foot.”
3. A sign over a Nokia store meant to say “Connecting people” but it says: “Connocing poopie.”
4. A label on a corkscrew and bottle opener says, “Manicure set.”
5. A bathroom sign with the symbol of female says: “Feman.”
6. A sign in a Chinese restaurant says: “Please keep chair on position & Keep table clean after dying. Thank you for your corporation.”
7. Translations on a bottle of milk and a container of tea say: “Non homo milk” and “Straight Tea.”
8. A sign at a tourist attraction called “Mud-filled Paradise” reads: This onsen connects directly with a geothermal source the likes of which are not to be found anywhere else. An unforgettable sensation, as if you are entering right into hell.”
Words are funny and today I’m going to be talking about the ONLY word Jesus doesn’t understand. After studying seven parables about the Kingdom in Matthew 13, we come to the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000. It’s the only miracle recorded by all four Gospel writers. Sometimes people wonder why we have four gospel accounts. There are four different accounts to lend validity to the words and works of Jesus. For instance, if only one person told me, “An elephant escaped from the Caldwell Zoo and is roaming around town,” I’d be a little skeptical about his sanity. However, if four different people came up and warned me about a runaway elephant in town, I’d be on the watch and make sure I didn’t have peanuts on my breath!
When you examine all the details of this miracle provided by all four writers, you have a better understanding of what happened. As we read the text, see if you can spot the only word Jesus doesn’t understand.
Matthew 14:13-21. “When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.’ Jesus replied, ‘They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.’ ‘We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,’ they answered. ‘Bring them here to me,’ he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Did you pick out only word Jesus doesn’t understand? This past week I asked my Facebook friends to guess what the only word Jesus didn’t understand was and I got a couple of hundred responses. Some people guessed words like, “Fear; Apathy; Doubt; Time; Impossible; and Peer-pressure.” Phil Burks wrote that the word Jesus didn’t understand was “Bazinga.” He said he didn’t know what it meant either, because he just made it up.