Poem: Five Loaves and Two Fishes
Matthew 14:15-21: Feeding the Five Thousand
When it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, “This place is desolate and the hour is already late; so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!” They said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” And He said, “Bring them here to Me.” Ordering the people to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds, and they all ate and were satisfied. They picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets. There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children.
Matthew 15:32-38: Feeding the Four Thousand
And Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, “I feel compassion for the people, because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.” The disciples said to Him, “Where would we get so many loaves in this desolate place to satisfy such a large crowd?” And Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” And He directed the people to sit down on the ground; and
He took the seven loaves and the fish; and giving thanks, He broke them and started giving them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. And they all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, seven large baskets full. And those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children.
But Jesus, aware of this, said, “You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread? Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets full you picked up? Or the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many large baskets full you picked up?”
(One way of interpreting this is by way of ‘supply and demand’. What the Lord is saying is that the provision or supply is so great (‘the unsearchable riches of Christ’, Eph 3:8): ‘How many large baskets full you picked up?’ Then again, as regards the demand, the Lord Jesus Christ as the ‘Bread of Life’ is sufficient for the whole world (‘My God shall supply all your needs….Phil 4:19). The poem is based on this interpretation.)
Poem: Loaves and Fishes
‘Are you so anxious for your life? ’ The problem of hunger.
‘What shall you eat? ’ Now listen and ponder.
Remember He took five loaves in His hands
And looking up to heaven, gave thanks,
And broke and kept on giving,
And in His hands, in the very act of breaking,
The bread multiplied
And they all ate and were satisfied.
Each of the twelve picked up a small basket
To take home, a divine token,
Of fish fragments and bread broken.
Another time He took a few small fish and seven
Loaves, and looking up to heaven,
Blessed, and kept breaking;
And the disciples taking
The food to the multitude
Wondered how it multiplied;
And again they all ate and were satisfied.
From each loaf a large basket (a total of seven) ,
Speaking of the overflowing abundance of heaven.
When questioned about the miracles, they replied
Childishly, and He dissatisfied
Said, ‘Do you not yet understand? '
This is a divine illustration of supply and demand:
Twelve small baskets for each disciple's need;
And from seven loaves, the baskets broad
Display the bounteous provision of God.
© Tom Prato/Pratonix