Feeding the Five Thousand by Roger David Aus download in pdf, ePub, iPad
It is the lesson that you and I face more often than we would like to admit. Everyone ate and was satisfied.
Words tumble out of them as they tell Jesus the whole story of their mission and adventures. He had compassion on them all, and without making inquiry or setting conditions He went about healing, and then fed them all. So the interpretation will be brief and direct, but with some hints at wider teaching. Too often we are overwhelmed with the vastness of the need and give up.
Now the disciples can easily determine how much bread should be brought to each group, and seated, the people won't be pushing and shoving in order to grab at what is being distributed. News reached Jesus of the death of John the Baptist, recorded in the preceding paragraph, although slightly rearranged in sequence.
It has been spontaneous, spur of the moment. There he went on to talk about eating His flesh and drinking His blood, surely a Eucharistic application of the divine provision for people.
To make the point to them that God's provision that day has not been merely adequate, but more than enough to meet the need. But assured that he is in God's will, Gideon sends out a call for the men of Israel to gather for battle. The proper response would have been for people to follow Him and learn from Him. After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan or Magdala. Or we insist that God perform the task by himself, without us participating in the process even in a tiny way.
Matthew does not include it because he is presenting the miracle of feeding the people on its own merits. The crowds followed Jesus on foot from the towns.
The feeding of the five thousand takes place in Jewish territory, on the western side of the division of the river Jordan flowing into the Sea of Galilee. As weary as he and his disciples are, Jesus doesn't turn them away. And Jesus, too, is dealing with grief.
So by doing the miracle there as well, Jesus was showing them that as Messiah He could provide food for the nations too. Here we have to be cautious about allegorizing the number, but twelve is used frequently for the twelve tribes of Israel. God desires that the poor and the hungry be fed.
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