Feeding the Multitude
Matthew 14:15-21 KJV - And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. (16) But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. (17) And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. (18) He said, Bring them hither to me. (19) And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. (20) And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. (21) And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.
“And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.”
How many times have we been in the “evening” lost and without direction? How many times have we been in the “evening” and then also in the “desert place” feeling tired, broken, wounded, doubtful, hungry and thirsty and needing refreshment for ourselves? And at the same time we find ourselves at night in this desert place, we are surrounded by a load of people who are in need themselves of sustenance. We come crying to the Lord about how we can’t go any longer, asking him to send these people away to get sustenance on their own.
“But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.”
In the midst of our need to feed ourselves and find direction, being so drained of all that we’ve been through thus far, having only the means in which to feed ourselves, let alone all those people surrounding us, our Provider who knows intimately our situation and provision, gently says to us, “Feed them.”
We cry out in our humanity and weakness, “What! Don’t you know I’m so spent? I only have enough energy to get to bed and you want me to go back out and feed them.” We take our eyes so easily off our Jesus and place them so conveniently on our circumstances and say, “But this is all I have, Jesus.”
“He said, Bring them hither to me.”
Jesus in His uniquely quiet, gentle patience, knowing beforehand our feelings and response says, “Bring me what you do have.” Jesus then takes what little we do have that we have willingly and voluntarily given unto Him at His request (in doubtful obedience I might add) and blesses it.
The “little” that is humanly impossible to accomplish the insurmountable task that He has set before us when He told us “Feed them”, somehow, unbeknownst to us, has now been multiplied in a humanly in-comprehendible fashion to feed the multitude that needed sustenance, more than likely, more than we personally did.
“How is this possible? How can that be? I wasn’t able to do that on my own.” So true are the words spoken in your heart when you witness the miracle that took place before you and you realize “With God all things are possible”. You finally ask yourself, “What manner of God is this that He can take my weaknesses and doubt and make the impossible possible, not only for me but for others around me.
“And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.”
After the fact, not only are you awed by the event you just witnessed, but you realize “I was a part of this miracle.” You realize God blessed what little you had, blessed and broke the meagerly means that you had to offer, and gave it back to you in multiplied fold and YOU served that blessing to others that truly needed it. The people thanked YOU and praised God! They saw YOU give them their sustenance and praised God for it. You were given the revelation from God that they needed.
“And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.”
Not only was the multitude fed, but they were “filled”. They didn’t just have a portion wanting more, they were full! And then you realize, that you started out with a scanty “five loaves, and two fishes” and when God was through with what you willing and voluntarily offered of yourself in service to Him, you ended up having for yourself, “twelve baskets full”. You had more now, then what you started with, because God blessed your obedience. You realized then, He was not only thinking of the multitude, He was thinking of you all along as well.
Bring this too remembrance next time the night comes and your in that “desert place” crying out to the Lord.
© copyright 2003 Jesus M. Ruiz