Summary: The Feeding of the 5,000 is a miraculous example of how our God can take what little we have and make much of it, if only we place it in HIS hands! Link included to formatted text, audio & video, and PowerPoint Presentation.
the SUPERSIZED Happy Meal
Our God is a God of miracles, and nothing is impossible with Him! He can meet every need that arises. Feeding tens of thousands with a couple of fish and chips was a small thing for Jesus. How did He do it? It was a McMiracle! And He can meet your needs today, and is working miracles today in the church that trusts in Him!
1. The Multitude
v. 14 Multitudes today are hungry.
a. Physical hunger
1/3rd of the world is underfed, 1/3rd is starving, and the other 1/3rd are here today. But many even in America, and certainly many in our town, go to bed hungry, and when they awake, they are no better. We are bombarded w/ images of starving people on tv…we should be careful not to allow ourselves to be desensitized to the very real epidemic of hungry people. Did you read the bulletin about the food pantry needs? What did you decide to do? We have great opportunities every week to help the hungry in our area, and sometimes in our church. Jesus met physical needs before spiritual needs.
What a ‘happy meal’ this was to that enormous crowd on that hillside. They couldn’t focus on their eternal needs until their temporal needs were met. Their bellies cried out so loudly that their spirits could not focus on their need. But Jesus met their physical need and included a prize inside far better. It was the bread of heaven, and a living water thru which they would never thirst again…and He supersized it for all who would accept it that day!
b. Emotional hunger
They are hungry for acceptance, understanding, and unconditional love. They are looking for meaning in life and a purpose for their life. Self help books are best sellers by the thousands as people search for something real. They are ‘without natural affection’ and we need to share the love of Jesus with them…He’s the one who can help them. An entire generation exists today who has not been truly loved. They grew up something less than acceptance and unconditional love, and no wonder they don’t know how to love or be loved.
c. Spiritual hunger
This is the need in our lives for forgiveness…to be cleansed of sin. Remember the time in your life before you were saved? Remember the spiritual hunger? Remember the emptiness and the void in your soul? God filled it when you were born again!
Ill.—a man had a passion for precious stones which led him to a barren desert known for being rich in gems. But he got lost and soon ran out of water. He was dying of thirst, and got to the place where he could barely crawl…he was on death’s doorstep. Just then he saw a canteen that must have been dropped by someone else. He mustered up enough strength to crawl to the canteen, picked it up, and it was heavy, oh what a relief this will be he said as he opened it up, only to find it had been filled not with water, but with rubies. He dumped them out, threw the canteen aside and died. The very thing in life he thought he needed the most meant absolutely nothing to him in the face of death.
Rich people commit suicide at the same rate as the poor, because THINGS don’t satisfy, and nothing can fill the void properly except Jesus. They may have plenty of food, but they are starving spiritually, and their hunger can only be satisfied thru Christ!
People live for power and pleasure and prestige but they find them empty, and we need to be waiting in the wings to bring them real sustenance for their souls in the desert of their days.
Now this multitude was not present for the right reasons. They were there simply to see a miracle. “Show us your tricks we have heard about,” they said. Time went by and they got hungry, and Jesus saw His opportunity to give them what they wanted, and it led to an opportunity to give them what they needed.
The point: this crowd didn’t deserve to be fed, but Jesus fed them anyway. And you and I don’t deserve to be saved, but Jesus saved us anyway. Our church doesn’t deserve God’s blessings, but He gives them to us anyway!
Well, the book of John says Matthew calculated that it would take 6 month’s wages to feed this crowd one meal. But he was making a critical mistake…he was looking at the multitude, when He should have been looking at the Master!
2. The Master
a. A Personal Master
v. 17-18 It was Andrew who found a little lad w/ a little lunch. But little is much when God is in it, and v. 18 is where it gets personal, when Jesus says, “bring them to me.”