Part Nine. Jesus Teaching continues, Feeding of the five thousand

Part Nine. Jesus Teaching continues, Feeding of the five thousand

It is said that Jesus travelled round Galilee, preaching, healing the sick and doing many miracles.

But what is a miracle?

Miracle | Definition of miracle in English by Oxford Dictionaries

An extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency....'People with traditional religious beliefs may view psychic phenomena as miracles or divine interventions by God.

One of Jesus’s miracles is the feeding of the five thousand. This is mentioned in all four gospels

Mathew, chapter 14 verse 13 to 21. Mark, chapter 6 verse 30 to 44 Luke, chapter 9 verse 10 to 17 and lastly John chapter 6 verse 1 to 15.

All the versions are more or less the same, the crowd who came to hear Jesus speak, to see him heal the sick and perform other miracles. The location was remote; it was late in the day. Jesus felt compassion for the crown and felt that they should be fed before they dispersed and went their separate ways.

The response of the disciples was; how can we feed all these people? We have little food for them? It will cost a lot of money to buy the food, even if food was available to buy?

Luke in verse 13 to 15. Gives some idea how Jesus did this miracle.

But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They replied, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all these people.” (Now about five thousand men were there.) Then he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” So they did as Jesus directed, and the people all sat down.

John, chapter 6 verse 1 to 15. John tells the how the events happen and all these people are fed. The people say what he did was a miracle and Jesus is certainly a prophet who as comes into the world.

The Feeding of the Five Thousand

After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (also called the Sea of Tiberias). A large crowd was following him because they were observing the miraculous signs he was performing on the sick. So Jesus went on up the mountainside and sat down there with his disciples. (Now the Jewish feast of the Passover was near.) Then Jesus, when he looked up and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, said to Philip, “Where can we buy bread so that these people may eat?” (Now Jesus said this to test him, for he knew what he was going to do.) Philip replied, “Two hundred silver coins worth of bread would not be enough for them, for each one to get a little.” One of Jesus’ disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “Here is a boy who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what good are these for so many people?”

Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” (Now there was a lot of grass in that place.) So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed the bread to those who were seated. He then did the same with the fish, as much as they wanted. When they were all satisfied, Jesus said to his disciples, “Gather up the broken pieces that are left over, so that nothing is wasted.” So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with broken pieces from the five barley loaves left over by the people who had eaten.

Now when the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus performed, they began to say to one another, “This is certainly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Then Jesus, because he knew they were going to come and seize him by force to make him king, withdrew again up the mountainside alone.

Now how did he perform this miracle? Was it indeed a miracle?

Some theologians state that he, Jesus was able to miraculously create more bread and fishes out of thin air. Which if Jesus is the Son of God, or God who as taken human form to live amongst us [then this is perfectly possible] but if the true purpose is to set an example of how we should live together. Then there is another solution.

Firstly he got the crowd to sit down in groups of fifty. Most of the crowd may have been strangers, but some would have been friends, or even family members. By having groups of fifty you bring the mass of people [5000] into a manageable size. Makes it more personal, the crowd is no longer a sea of faces, but faces with names who you can speak and relate to.

Next he, Jesus, take the gift of five barley loaves and two fish. Gave thanks for them and distributed the bread and fishes to those who wanted them. After the meal they gathered up the leavings and filled twelve baskets.

How? As I see it. Most people who go on a journey take a certain amount of food and water with them. [I don’t believe that KFC and Subway were around then] Next Jesus showed the crowd that this small boy was prepared to share what little he had.

So by a combination of using the boy as an example and the fact that the people were in small groups, with people that they had gotten to know. The people who had food with them were prepared to share with those who had no food.

Few people in this world have the ability to change the world alone. What we can do is change our own attitude, it is possible then to change the attitudes of some of the people we know, our neighbours and friends. These people may just be able to do the same. But change as to start somewhere, why not with us?

Now that is the beginning of a miracle, God as to start with someone?