34. Five thousand fed
WHEN Jesus saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip,
Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?
This he said to prove Philip, for he himself knew what he would do. Jesus’ disciples said, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?
Philip answered, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient.
¶When the day began to wear away, then came the twelve and said, This is a desert place: send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and villages round about, and lodge, and buy themselves victuals: for they have nothing to eat. Jesus answered,
They need not depart; give ye them to eat. How many loaves have ye? Go and see.
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith, A lad here hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? Jesus said,
Bring them hither to me. Make the men sit down by fifties in a company.
Now there was much green grass in the place. So the men sat down, in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.
Jesus took the loaves, and when, looking up to heaven, he had given thanks, he blessed and brake, and distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes.
They did all eat. And when they were filled, Jesus said unto his disciples,
Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.
They filled twelve baskets. They that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.
Scripture: John 6:1-15
Meditation 1 of 1:
Can anything on this earth truly satisfy the deepest longing and hunger we experience? A great multitude had gathered to hear Jesus, no doubt because they were hungry for the word of life. Jesus’ disciples wanted to send them away at the end of the day because they did not have the resources to feed them. They even complained how much money it would take to feed such a crowd — at least six month’s wages! Jesus, the Bread of Life, took the little they had — five loaves and two fish — and giving thanks to his heavenly Father, distributed to all until they were satisfied of their hunger. The people of Israel had been waiting for the prophet whom Moses had promised: The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brethren — him shall you heed (Deuteronomy 18:15). The signs which Jesus did, including the miraculous feeding of the five thousand signified that God has indeed sent him as anointed Prophet and King. Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand is the only miracle recorded in all four gospels. What is the significance of this miracle? The miraculous feeding of such a great multitude pointed to God’s provision of manna in the wilderness for the people of Israel under Moses’ leadership. This food foreshadowed the true heavenly bread which Jesus would offer his followers.
Jesus makes a claim only God can make: He is the true bread of heaven that can satisfy the deepest hunger we experience. The feeding of the five thousand shows the remarkable generosity of God and his great kindness towards us. When God gives, he gives abundantly. He gives more than we need for ourselves that we may have something to share with others, especially those who lack what they need. God takes the little we have and multiplies it for the good of others. Do you trust in God’s provision for you and do you share freely with others, especially those who lack?
“Lord, you satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts and you feed us with the finest of wheat (Ps 81:16). Fill me with gratitude and give me a generous heart that I may freely share with others what you have given to me.”