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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…
And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
My daily morning reading had me reading a few verses from the Bible. The message here is simple. And It applies across many fields of life. Once I started reading this, I was immediately thinking about how the things we do stand the test of others. What Paul is writing about here is not talking to people in a way that convinces them. He referred to showing people! If I say something to you, you may take it one way. You may even believe what I am saying. What I do know however, is if I demonstrated to you, you would most likely be more believing. This is the simplicity of what Paul is writing here.
Ask yourself an honest question now, how easy is it to convince you of something you believe in? If someone came to you today and delivered a mouth-watering presentation, refuting your most cherished belief. How would you react? The sad fact is many would waver and then perhaps stop believing. The route of this article comes to what you believe in and why you believe in it. I know people who believe because others do. Do you go to work every day because others have told you this is the right thing to do. Do you worship the God you believe in, or not worship because this is what you see? Have you never questioned those people who gave you these beliefs from childhood? If you haven’t, I strongly urge you to do so swiftly.
How much stock is invested in your every decision? Do you really make the decisions in your life or is someone else driving the car?
One thing I like about reading people’s books, is seeing the scripture inside them, although many do not quote them. I’m reading a book currently which places much emphasis on TODAY. The whole book in its essence is centred around biblical principles which the Bible forewarned thousands of years ago. The importance of today should be ample in your minds, other the years, people have taken their stock out of today and placed their stock in tomorrow. Tomorrow isn’t promised but today is, we are not entitled to get carried away justly, as one tomorrow will never come at some point. We can never say today will not come because we’re here, MAKE THE MOST OF IT…
The first piece of text I want to refer to is from the words of Jesus, after teaching the people many wise lessons, he highlighted to us which day was the most important. “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Tomorrow is something Jesus said here we should take NO thought for, why do you think he would say that? I believe Jesus knew people would do what they have done today in regards to value. They have devalued today (which is the most important), and raised tomorrow. Today alone is enough to change the world. Jesus changed things for eternity by deciding to go through with one day of his life. Many days of being obedient, compounded for Jesus into the ultimate day of obedience. His first day being obedient was not the greatest, it was the last day.
The next piece of text I want to refer to is from the book of James, the Lord’s brother. James urged people to not think vainly about the future but to see that is was God who should determine future things. “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” James is going even further here and highlighting some people’s today as the problem. For many, people are focused on the wrong thing today, wasting time on trivial actions, wasting time with trivial people and so forth. This makes them do the wrong thing daily and they ultimately remain in that cycle.
Lastly, lets look at some text from Hebrews, which although is in the New Testament, highlights an Old Testament event. “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.” Exhorting each other today is the only day which is promised for exhortation. In one day which is referred to as the provocation here, the children of Israel did a terrible crime, not only were they not mindful of today, they focused on the negative parts of their past. This was dangerous and kept a whole generation from entering into their great wealth.
With God all things are possible. Joseph was strengthened in Egypt because God was his maker. God kept Joseph in all he did because he was faithful to what he believed in. Even when Joseph was thrown in prison, God still favoured him and this result was Joseph being selected before others to be the captain of the prisons favourite inmate. These are situations people would look upon and think things are going bad. Not actually knowing that Joseph was kept safe and God was with him.
Jesus spoke about the strong man having to be bound before his house can be ransacked. Joseph was strong, so all the things which happened to him were not able to defeat him or spoil him. God gave us power to succeed, not to fail, and we fail because we do not take up the mantle most of the time. So many times in the past I allowed people to waste me and defeat me because I did not walk in the true power of Christ, our Lord and Saviour. The Bible says to as many as believed on him, to as many he gave power to become the Sons of God. What Jesus did was set something up which allowed us to execute in this realm whenever we pleased…How many of us actually use it though. When you feel strong and empowered you want to stay there, this is why I know many people are not tapping in to it.
There are days you wake up and despite thanking God of a new day, there is nothing you may feel to say. What do you do? Do you get on with life, or do you stop and say something just to say it. The Bible talks about Peter speaking out of term when God roared from the heavens. There are many people who ignore God altogether.
Finding your own action to do is part o your walk. I want to talk to God, do instead of me asking him to talk to me everyday, I learned from him that I need to talk to him regardless. Regardless of whether I hear his voice in the morning or not. I want to get his attention. I want to build my faith. I know from my experiences that trying with God builds character. Trying with God allows out faith to increase.
Faith is a choice we choose to work on or let whither. Christ spoke about the sower, who sowed seed in several different surroundings. The surrounding that produced best was the good ground. The ground that was willing to grow.