Sermons from St Faith's     

Feeding the Five Thousand
Brenda Cottarel, Sunday, July 26th, 2015

We all have a favourite story in the Bible and this is one of mine. We heard it read from the Gospel of St John earlier in the service, the miracle of Jesus feeding five thousand people. This miracle is the only one that is recorded in all four Gospels so we can conclude that it is significant and an important occurrence.

The crowds have been following Jesus everywhere he goes, hoping to see more of Him or  hear Him preach, Jesus wants to get away to rest and pray but this is made impossible by the throngs of men women and children. Does He chase them away no, far from being irritated by them He has compassion for them and worries that they have nothing to eat. He ask His disciples where they can buy food for them. This is just like the compassion He Has for us, all we have to do is turn to Him trust in Him and He will take care of our needs, Not what we think we need but what He knows are our needs. When Jesus asks  where can they buy food to feed the crowds Philip answers “six months' wages would not pay for bread for each to have a little”. These men closest to Him and who had watched Him perform such miracles as making a paralyzed man walk and curing an official’s son who was close to death, they still don’t get it, they may not have money to buy food for the crowds but they have Jesus, the Son of God, with them, to whom all things are possible.

When Jesus asks what food do they have, they tell Him that a boy has five barley loaves and two fishes, He tells the disciples to sit the crowds down on the grass, He takes the loaves gives thanks and distributes to the seated people and does the same with the fish. They all eat and are satisfied and Jesus tells the to gather up the fragments, nothing is wasted in fact there is a basket per disciple gathered up.

This miracle offers insight into Jesus the person:

        His compassion for the bodies and souls of humans

        His power to provide for our every need.
        His orderliness in the work He does.

The reaction of man to this miracle:

        To misunderstand the will of God.

        To seek after material things of the world.

        To be dull of heart, which leads to the first two.

What will be our response to this amazing miracle?

         Let our spiritual dullness lead us to take it lightly or ignore it altogether?

        Or let it increase our faith in Him who provides our every need?

Jesus’ intention was to draw men and women to Him as the Bread of Life which nourishes our souls. May we not be so blinded by materialism that we fail to labour for that which leads to everlasting life.



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