Summary: The fifth in a series looking at the life of Christ, this sermon compares two similar miracles: "The Feeding of the 5000" and "The Feeding of the 4000".
Intro.: Four weeks ago we began looking at this man Jesus.
1. We have looked at how our world looks at Jesus
2. We looked at Jesus’ temptation
3. We looked at Jesus teaching as we examined the Beatitudes
4. We looked at Jesus’ use of the parable
5. Today we will look at two similar, but significantly different miracles.
6. CS Lewis noted that we could look out at nature as we define it and see pock marks where God intercepted nature and did something out of the ordinary. Today we look at two such events in the life of Christ.
1. Some would have us believe that these two events are a retailing of the same event
2. Neither Matthew or Mark saw it as such.
3. Jesus declared them as separate when he chastised hie disciples for not learning the lessons of the first miracle at the time of the second
4. Because miracles are out of the ordinary – they have a way of troubling us.
5. It took God 22 years to convince me that he was still in the miracle doing business. Up till that time, I always took miracles with a grain of salt – yet my world was shook up when I was forced to realize that the same God who battled Satan (which I did believe) also could battle nature.
T.S. The miracle of the feeding of the 5000 and of the 4000 demonstrate God’s loving concern for the human race whatever their need.
I. Compassions forces us to share the good news
A. Jesus and the disciples needed to get away. They got into a boat and made their way to what appeared to be an isolated place.
B. But it was not to happen – someone had spotted them. And the crowd followed.
C. Jesus saw them – no, he really saw them. He did not see the crowd. He did not see just a bunch a people, but he saw their hearts. Scripture says “They were like sheep without a shepard”
(Ill.) Sheep are among the oldest of domesticated animals. They were valued as pets, as a source of clothing, and as a source of food. But sheep were also dumb. They needed a leader. They needed someone to follow. And so God’s people are followers of the good shepherd. And these people were “sheep without a shepherd.”
D. Jesus comes ashore and looks around. He sees the crowd – they were sheep without at shepherd. And he begins to lead them – he teaches them many things. It may not be what we remember about this incident – but this is the real miracle here – Jesus gave his audience what they needed. And they must have found it important enough – they stayed until the end of the day
E. The disciples are concerned – it is time to eat and there is a crowd. They panic and Jesus takes control
1. “You feed them” – “Give them something to eat”
2. “How many bread do you have?” “Five loaves and two fish”
3. He has the people sit down in groups of 50 and 100 and has the disciples begin passing out food
4. Plenty of food – they were all satisfied, 12 baskets of leftovers
(Appl.) Jesus is in the business of handling and doing the unexpected. He handled the unexpected crowd. He handled them in an unexpected way. Certainly the disciples were caught off guard. But he does the same in our life – he puts us into unexpected situations and then provides unexpected ways of handling them.