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Feed The Five Thousand (Nine Thousand) – You Can Do It

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?

Feed The Five Thousand

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…


Daily Ministration

I want to teach you a lesson. Blessed are those who are hungry in spirit, for they will have the Kingdom of God. Those that mourn will be comforted, the meek of the Earth shall inherit it.  Those of you seeking righteousness will find it and be filled. You who are merciful will reap mercy, the pure hearted will perceive God. The children of God are peacemakers! If you’re persecuted for God’s sake the Kingdom of God is yours. If you are hated for Jesus’ sake you are blessed, and you should rejoice and be glad in him, as your reward in heaven is waiting.

I don’t know how many times in the Bible God encourages us to trust in him. I do know that, those who trust in God will be rewarded – in this life and the next. I frequently receive information about missions overseas. Places where its illegal to call oneself a Christian. Where you are arrested and tortured for leading people to Christ. It reminds me of the times spoken about and written about in the Bible. It made me start thinking, is it over there where the real Christians are, or is the world developing much faster in western society? I believe both have an element of truth. I heard of Muslim converts who were killed within a week of baptism. This startled me at first. I rejoiced however at the fact that they were accepting of Christ and had a space to repent and follow God. Whether you’re the labourer of the first hour or the last hour, you’re both labouring nonetheless (Matthew 20:1-14). Rejoice when someone comes into the vineyard with you, that’s one more pair of hands to share the load. Even if it be for  thirty minutes, that is still some sizeable amount of time for you to rejoice. 

People in the east are persecuted regularly and aggressively. Do you trust God to deliver you from any and everything? I’ve had visions about places God has in his heart for me to go. At times I’m fearful in thought about what may happen to me. God continually reiterates where he has taken me from, and where can take me to. Paul was willing to travel across the world, to both teach and be killed for the Gospel of Christ, how far are you willing to go? Are you willing to leave your front door? Have you left your bedroom, better so have you left your heart yet? Not all want to hear about Jesus, and many will kill and attack you for mention his name, but are you ready? Will you fight the good fight for God?

Fasting key #4

Fasting is one of two unbelief killers in certain situations

Moving on to Matthew 17, we pick up at verse 14. This encounter is largely misinterpreted in the world, and by God’s Spirit and some simple reading, we can see what is really being said here. Jesus is approached by a man who complains to him about the disciples not being able to cast out a demon. Jesus’ reply if you focus on the words is regarding a lack of faith or unbelief.  The disciples ask why they could not cast him out and obviously something I haven’t picked up previously is that they must not have taken much attention to Jesus’ reply prior. Jesus again refers to there unbelief and proceeds to comment on this theme. He goes on to describe how this kind can only be removed by fasting and prayer. Nowhere did he mention the demon. Some chapters earlier in chapter 9, it would be foolish for Jesus to say the time to fast is not now, and then to now be angry for the disciples not fasting to cast out a demon. If that was needed he would have said earlier you must fast to cast out this kind of demon. What he is alluding to here is the unbelief, he never ever mentions the demon after the man has told him what happened.

Fasting key #1
Fasting key #2
Fasting key #3

Fasting key #3

Fasting should not be forced 

Jesus had just called Matthew to follow him, and was sitting in a house where publicans and sinners came to dwell (Matthew 9).  The Pharisees saw this and were amazed, asking why are these people not fasting as we and John’s disciples? These men obviously seemed to fast and expected others to also, Jesus however stated that this was not the time to fast. Just because the church you go to decide to call a fast, it does not mean you have to, likewise with a family member. Fasting is something solely to God. If fasting is not in your heart, don’t waste time!

Fasting key#1
Fasting key#2

Key to fasting #2

Fasting is for God alone

Many times in life I’ve been told to fast and not felt to in my heart and just gone through the motion, this isn’t  something we should dabble in. If your heart is not in a fast don’t waste your time, more importantly God is not pleased with it. You do not fast for people but fasting is for God, fasting is not more people’s smiles or for people to know that you’ve been fasting (its not a contest). In Matthew 6, as well as other things like prayer and alms, God shows us that fasting is an act for God and not for people. God even says that he would bless openly for our secret act. The early chapters in Matthew 6 highlight a personal relationship with I AM. Don’t let people tell you you can fast without fasting to God as such fasting is earthly. In Acts of the Apostles 23 we see how man bound themselves under a curse in order to kill Paul, it was accepted by those forty or so men that they placed a curse on themselves. These men must have subsequently died as they did not kill Paul. I close by saying Fast to God and no other.

Fasting key #1 https://israelikhinmwin.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/keys-to-fasting/