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The day Jesus fed the five thousand John 6:1 - 14

Updated on January 18, 2014

John 6: 1 - 14

Matthew 14: 1 - 21

Mark 6: 6 - 13, 30 - 44

Luke 9: 1 - 17

Our excitement was hard to contain. We had just gotten back from our first assignment. Jesus had sent us out to preach about the kingdom of God. We had the authority to drive out demons and cure the sick. It was an amazing experience! We couldn’t wait to tell Jesus about it.

It was busy where Jesus was, but we hardly noticed all the people coming and going. There was so much happening, and we were so busy trying to talk over one another that we didn’t realize that something was wrong at first. Then we learned the terrible news; John the Baptist had been beheaded. Our joy turned to despair and grief overwhelmed us. Jesus, realizing that we had not even had a chance to eat, suggested that we find a quiet place to rest. We agreed and set sail for a solitary place we knew about on the way to Bethsaida.

You can imagine how discouraged we were when we landed and found the crowds of people already there waiting for us. Couldn’t they understand that we had just experienced a tragedy? Couldn’t they let us alone for even a minute? We wished Jesus would send them away or take us somewhere else, but no, he had to have compassion on them. He had to take the time to heal their sick and teach them many things. We were tired and hungry, overwhelmed and sad. We didn’t care about these people; we just wanted to be left alone with Jesus.

It got later and later, something had to be done. Finally we decided to remind Jesus that these people had to go home to eat. We were in a very remote place and if they didn’t head home soon, it would be too dark for them to be out. Imagine our frustration when he told us to feed them! Even if we were near a town, we wouldn’t have enough money to get food for everyone. There were over 5000 men there, plus women and children. Had Jesus lost his mind? Grumbling, we followed his instructions to find some bread among the crowd. Andrew found a little boy with 5 small loaves and two fish. We brought it back to Jesus. Surely he would realize this was an impossible task.

Instead, Jesus had us seat the people in groups. After Jesus prayed over the small offering, he had us distribute the bread and fish. It just kept coming and coming. We should have appreciated the miracle, but we were numb, exhausted, and we just wanted to be left alone to mourn our friend and share our experiences. Jesus knew how we were feeling. As soon as we gathered up the leftovers -12 large baskets, all from a handful of loaves and fish-he sent us on ahead while he took care of the crowds. It was a relief to get away.

Perhaps you will look down on us for our attitude. After all, we had Jesus with us most of the time; it was selfish of us to want to keep him to ourselves. The world is so full of needy people; it can be overwhelming, especially when we have our own problems to worry about. But that wasn’t what Jesus wanted from us. He wanted us to help the needy. He made us feed them. We didn’t find much to give, we were running on empty inside and out, but with Jesus’ help everyone left satisfied. It was a miracle in spite of us. Thank goodness Jesus isn’t like us. He never grew tired of showing compassion. He loved the people and gave himself up for them every day. We were lucky to learn from him, I hope you do the same.

Take a look behind the story to find deeper meaning in the miracle by reading my next hub "Behind the Story, a deeper look at Jesus feeding the 5000 in John 6".


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