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  • Writer's pictureOlufunmilayo Adekusibe

FEEDING OF FIVE THOUSAND BY JESUS


 

Today’s Reading:

John 6:1-15

"Jesus said, “Have the people sit down, "Now there was much grass in the place. So, the men sat down, about five thousand in number. (v. 10)

 

The story however is simply memorable in its own right. We all sit back in wonder when we hear of this miracle, wondering exactly when and where the fish and the loaves were multiplied. Did they increase in number just as Jesus was handing them out, or more likely as they were being passed around? The accounts of the Gospels do not tell us these specifics, but they certainly tell us that this was a miracle. We can have nothing of the attempts to downplay this event as something less than miraculous, for “When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, ‘This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!”


Jesus travelled to the other side of the Sea of Galilee; a large crowd has begun to follow him. They followed him “because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick.” They do not follow him because he is the Son of God, but because of his miracles. The crowds were thrill-seekers who failed the grasp the true significance of Jesus’ miraculous signs. They flocked to see his works but refused to accept his words.” Are you in the crowd or a disciple of Jesus Christ? Jesus goes up on a mountain and sits down with his disciples. This is where it seems he (in his human nature) may have wanted some peace and quiet. But the crowd was coming toward him. Jesus quickly adapts to the situation. As the crowd approaches Jesus, He has concern enough for their physical welfare that He asks his disciple Philip “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” “He said this to test him, for He himself knew what he would do.” I wonder if perhaps Philip was the treasurer of the group. He answered Jesus saying “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” This was a large crowd indeed. Two hundred denarii are two hundred days wages. But two hundred days wages can’t feed five thousand men plus likely thousands more women and children.


He found a boy with five barley loaves and two fish. But like Philip, Andrew concluded that they were far short of what was necessary to feed the crowd. He says of the fish and loves, “What are they for so many?” The chance to find food was nearing the end of the day and all would have to go to sleep hungry if nothing became available. Have you had a time like this? Certainly, there is a parallel here in John’s account with the Exodus account. There the people said to Moses “Did you take us out to the desert to die?” “There was food aplenty in Egypt.” But, as God provided manna (small bread-like wafers) to those following Moses, so he would miraculously provide food to the crowd now following Jesus. Jesus, very calmly says “Have the people sit down.” “Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten” (vv. 11-13). Not only was there then sufficient food but abundance! Jesus simply had performed a miracle. It calls it “a sign.”


And this sign so impressed the people that they called Jesus “the Prophet” and had their sights set on making him king. When they speak of “The Prophet” (and not just a regular prophet) they had in mind Deuteronomy 18:15-19 (cf. Acts 3:20-22) when Moses said to the people: “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers, it is to him you shall listen.” Jesus surely was this prophet. And he in fact is king also. The king of kings, so the people perceived him correctly … but only to a point, for they wanted to set Jesus over an earthly kingdom. But Christ’s kingdom is not of this world. They wanted someone to deliver them from the Romans, but they needed someone to deliver them from their sins. They wanted an earthly deliverer, but Christ is delivers eternal life. And that is what Jesus brings. He brings eternal life. The miracle of the multiplication of the fish and loaves is merely a sign pointing to the greater reality that Christ can spiritually feed his people eternally. They wanted food, and in his kindness, Christ provided it. But it was to point to the truth that Christ brings eternal food. It is just like when Jesus said to the Samaritan woman “whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.” We could make a parallel and say “whoever eats of the bread of life will never be hungry again.”


Have you been in a desperate situation, unable to see any way out? Have you found that the Lord provided a way out that you did not know existed!!? How many times have you thought “my life is over.” Did He not have a better plan? Did He not bring you through your troubles? Let us not seek our own earthly kingdoms but let us seek the heavenly kingdom of Christ. Trust in the Lord. Trust in Jesus who alone feeds the needs of men.

OLAJIDE OGUNFUWA


 

Prayer:

  1. Oh Lord, you that feed the multitudes of people with five loaves and two fish, come in Your mercy, and supply all my needs, in Jesus’ name.

  2. Father, bless my life and every member of my family with the miracle of multiplication. Bless the work of my hands, and make me a channel of blessing to others, in Jesus’ name.

  3. Lord, give me your peace that surpasses all human understanding that will catapult me into uncommon breakthroughs in wealth, riches, connections, and elevations, in Jesus’ name.

  4. Father, magnify Your name in the life of Your servants (Christian Leaders), and perform signs and wonders through them, in Jesus’ name.

  5. Lord Jesus, deliver our Nation Nigeria from her enemies and save her from those who hate her without cause, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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