Reading through the scriptures this morning, I read through two accounts of Jesus feeding thousands and came up with the title “You can do it – feed the five thousand.” Both accounts came in back to back chapters of the Bible (Matthew 14 & 15). Both encounters pretty much started the same way, Jesus asking his disciples what they had and his disciples swiftly returning words back to him about how there was not enough. Mixed in between these two encounters we find the disciple Peter walking on water.
Feed The Five Thousand: What Actually Happened?
Jesus had separated himself from the multitude after hearing word of John the Baptist’s death. He was then sought for by the multitudes who he then fellowshiped with. He healed their sick and fed them for good measure. While he gave his disciples the opportunity to feed the five thousand men, they did not take up his proposal. While you can clearly see from the text, Jesus said things such as “They need not depart; give ye them to eat.” It was only when his disciples declined that he said the following… “Bring them hither to me.” (Matthew 14:15-18). After this Jesus immediately tells his disciples to leave and this encounter is over. When I first read this text years ago, I missed many things and I probably still miss things today, this is the greatness of the Bible.
Conclusion of operation feed the five thousand?
Five thousand men were fed (not including women and children, this figure could easily be doubled). A number of people were healed which is not known and 12 baskets full of food were taken away.
Matthew 15 –
Feed the five thousand – Feed the four thousand…
Next chapter (maybe not the same day or the next day) we see a similar situation unfolding. Perhaps why I missed this in my early years of being a born again believer. Jesus Is in the mountains and people come to him, just like in chapter 14, where we saw him feed the five thousand. He also again healed these sick people and again had compassion on the multitude. His disciples not remembering the other occurrence again doubt and wonder how these men will be fed. Jesus asked “How many loaves have ye?” They told him and then just like before, he urged for them to be sat down. Just like when Jesus fed the five thousand he again break, gave thanks to God and distributed it out to the thousands. This time seven baskets full remained after and they all departed their ways.
Such a similar situation with similar outcomes, both situations I believe Jesus wanted his disciples to do something, instead of him needing to. Again this is four thousand men and not including women or children. This again could easily be doubled if not more. Jesus could have fed twenty thousand people between these two examples easily. The lesson I take from this scripture reading is Jesus telling me “You can do it – feed the five thousand.”
So can you…