Summary: It is only as we take what Christ has blessed and give to others in His name that we can really stand back and Watch God Work. Let's be His hands extended and truly "feed" the multitudes the bread of life.
WATCH GOD WORK
MATT. 14:13 21
This morning I want us to look at one of Christ's most important miracles...the feeding of the multitudes. This miracle is important because all four gospel writers tell about it. It is important because it happened before such a large crowd of people.
Jesus and the disciples were worn out from many days of hard labor. So they left the crowds and went across the sea and rested at an oasis in the desert. But they were destined not to be alone. Great multitudes followed them. There was no privacy for them.
It's a bad thing to be lonely, but it's a worse thing to have so many people following you that you can't have any private life of your own.This was true of Jesus at that time.
He had performed so many miracles and done so many wonderful things that the crowds followed Him where ever He went. The sad thing is the way they saw Him. They saw only a wonderful magician who could work miracles...a clever physician who could heal the sick.
They failed to see that He was the Savior of sinners and the Son of God. They were blind to His divine glory, just as people are today. Today people are anxious to get physical relief for themselves or their loved ones, but few of them are looking for soul healing.
But in spite of the fact that Jesus knew their hearts, He cared very deeply for them. He looked beyond His own physical and emotional needs and looked with compassion on the crowd that had come to Him.
To see such a crowd was to realize how many precious, immortal souls were there, the greatest part of which would likely perish because they failed to see Christ for who He was.
Jesus not only had compassion, but He took that to it's logical conclusion He healed them. He met the very needs the people had come for. But then He went beyond...
Verse 15 16
The disciples here come to Jesus and they bring to His attention that it's starting to get late. They've put in a full day and all things considered it has been a good days work. But now it was time to dismiss this crowd so they can head back to the villages for supper.
But look at how Jesus reacts. He also realizes that they are hungry but rather than sending them off to fend for themselves, He tells the disciples to feed them.
I see this as a real challenge to their faith. They had all seen the miracle working power of Christ, and now He was challenging them to do something that would seem to need that same type of power. How did they handle such a request? The very same way we handle something that puts our faith to the test!!
The disciples were more than willing to send these people off to take care of themselves. But after all, they weren't invited, they just came on their own. It didn't matter that they were a far distance from where they could get food and shelter for the night.
Many came a very long distance, and in their search for Jesus probably hadn't made adequate preparation. But were they to be responsible for taking care of everyone? Just how far can we take this Christianity, anyway?
Jesus would not dismiss them as hungry as they were, or keep them any longer without something to eat, or even put on them the trouble and expense of buying food for themselves when they had journeyed so far to see Him. He decided the disciples should take care of it.
In the gospel of John it says that Jesus turned to Philip and said to him, "Where can we get enough bread to feed all these?" Now Jesus knew what He was going to do, but He said this to test Philip. But Philip failed the test.
Instead of looking up to Jesus and saying, "Lord, You are the Son of God. You can do everything. You changed the water into wine. You healed a man who had been sick for 38 years. Surely you can provide bread for these people," what did he say?
He said, "Eight months wages wouldn't buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!" He saw the crowd...he saw the difficulty...he looked at the problem and not at the Lord Jesus.
We act the same way today. God has unlimited resources. He declares that His grace and His power is sufficient for all our needs, but what do we do when the need arises? We look at our own resources instead of looking toward the Redeemer.
We know that in times past God has cared for us and brought us out of many hard places. We know that He promises to keep doing that. Why do we rack our brains to find a solution to the problems of life? Why don't we just look to Jesus?