If you grew up in church or spent any time in Sunday School, I’d bet money (not literally, but you get my point) that you know the story where Jesus fed the 5000 with what amounted to a fish dinner 🙂 Two fish and five loaves of bread. I’ve always seen the miracle in the story, but as I’ve been studying and listening to sermons, I’m seeing some other ah-ha moments in the story that I’d like to share.
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. 33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. 36 Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”
37 But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”
They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wagese ! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”
38 “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.”
When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.”
39 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.
- The miracle is bigger than I initially thought because the Bible says 5000 men and we know the men where there with women and children. So it was really more than 5000 people who ate that fish dinner.
- Before Jesus fed them, He made them sit down in green grass. I see a couple things in this point. Jesus required order before He blessed them. They had to prepare themselves to receive. And in the midst of their hunger, He had them sit in green grass. To have green grass meant that the grass was alive. It was flourishing. So in the midst of them having a need they still had prosperity under their feet. Did they even realize that? So, Jesus prepared them to receive from Him in a place that was already prosperous. Because to be prosperous simply means to be healthy and to flourish.
- Before Jesus bestowed the blessing of the meal on them, they had to be obedient. They had to sit down in the grass in groups of 50 and 100. So the blessing required their obedience in order for them to receive. (Which means the blessings of God are not about “naming it and claiming it”. There is always something we have to do on our part to be in position to receive from God).
- Not only did Jesus stretch what shouldn’t have been enough into enough. He actually made it more than enough. Because when everyone had eaten AND was full, He had the disciples gather up the crumbs.
- Jesus saw something in the leftovers that they probably missed. When He had them gather up the pieces, the pieces filled 12 baskets. I see this as speaking to waste. Sometimes we toss the pennies because we aren’t thinking about the dollars that can come from the pennies. We see things as pieces when God sees that all the pieces together make a whole! Jesus didn’t need the pieces. But He wanted them to see what the pieces made.
This story, this miracle, shows so much more than the miracle we see when we read it at a surface level. This story is one of obedience, order, planning, abundance, overflow, and frugality. Wow, we get all of this from a story that looks like it’s just about a fish dinner.
What an awesome God we serve! Amen!! 🙂
Be Blessed and Have A Fantastic Day!
– I am not a minister, preacher, evangelist, etc. I am just a woman who has a heart for God.
Coming this Christmas: Blogging with Monica: 31 Days of Inspiration to Help You Live Your Best Life
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