I do not know why in our human minds, we misjudge the power of Jesus time and time again. The disciples had faith enough to follow Jesus, but it was not until they saw Him change water into wine that they fully understood the capacity of their belief. When we place our faith and trust in Christ, there will be days we think He is not big enough to handle our needs. There will be days when we feel overwhelmed by His power and there will even be days when we read and marvel at all He can do. Jesus feeding the five thousand is one of those stories to me.
In Matthew 14: 13-21, Jesus shocks His disciples yet again by doing an amazing feat. The story begins with Jesus learning of the death of John the Baptist, His dear friend. John had been beheaded by King Herod and Jesus wanted to be alone. As He departed by boat, crowds heard of His location and followed Him. When He arrived to shore, Jesus was met by the large crowds and it says in verse 14 that “He had compassion on them and healed their sick.” Even though Jesus was weary and heavy in heart about the death of John, He did not withhold blessings to bestow on those who desperately needed healing. As the day progressed, the disciples came to Jesus and urged Him to send the crowds away so they could buy food for themselves in the villages. Starting in verse 16, things get awesome.
“But Jesus said, ‘They need not go away; you give them something to eat.’ They said to Him, ‘We have only five loaves here and two fish.’ And He said, ‘Bring them here to me.’”
What the disciples failed to recognize is the importance of providing both for the spiritual and physical needs of the people. Sure, we can preach the gospel, but when someone is physically in need, the bible says in Matthew 25:40, “As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” I believe Jesus wanted His power to be again displayed for the disciples who are so much like we are, fickle in our faith.
The story goes on in Matthew 14: 18-21:
“And He said, ‘Bring them here to me.’ Then He ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and two fish, He looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.”
This story literally gives me chills every time I read it. The disciples wanted to walk away and let the people deal with their hunger themselves. Jesus did waiver in is desire to help. He immediately took action. Again, JESUS. TOOK. ACTION. He did not hope they would come up with a better plan. He asked for the fish and bread, gazed up to His Heavenly Father and blessed it. He anticipated greatness as He looked to heaven. He did not doubt and He did not wavier in His thoughts. He immediately took action.
We also know the crowds needing food exceeded five thousand because that number only accounted for the men present. There is absolutely no other way anything on this scale could be physically possible. Jesus did a miracle and the people’s needs were met.
Two takeaways for me I want to share with you from this story are as follows; Jesus took action and He anticipated a great blessing.
It can be incredibly difficult as a believer to not struggle with bending to the temptations of the world or assuming God will not provide for your needs in whatever capacity you are needing them. It is crucial for us as children of God, to trust and believe the big things in this world He can make happen. We also need to live in such a way as with great expectations. When we do not trust God will deliver, we tune our radar out and miss amazing blessings. When we pray, we ought to pray with joy, all the while knowing He has great blessings for us just as He anticipated the great blessings from above to provide food when realistically it was impossible.
In “The Miracles of Jesus-Part 1,” Mary the mother of Jesus was told by an angel she would conceive that which was from the Holy Spirit. Before departing, the angel left her with these incredible words in Luke 1:37, “For nothing will be impossible with God.”