Feeding the 5,000. St Peter’s – Edrick Corban-Banks.
Nine-year-old Danny came bursting out of Sunday. His eyes
were darting in every direction as he tried to locate either
mom or dad. Finally, after a quick search, he grabbed his
Daddy by the leg and yelled, “Man, that story of Moses and all
those people crossing the Red Sea was great!” His father
looked down, smiled, and asked the boy to tell him about it.
“Well, the Israelites got out of Egypt, but Pharaoh and his
army chased after them. So the Jews ran as fast as they could
until they got to the Red Sea. The Egyptian Army was getting’
closer and closer. So Moses got on his cell phone and told the
Israeli Air Force to bomb the Egyptians. While that was
happening, the Israeli Navy built a pontoon bridge so the
people could cross over. They made it!
By now old dad was shocked. “Is THAT the way they taught
you the story?”
Well, no, not exactly,” Danny admitted, “but if I told you the
way they told it to us, you’d never believe it, Dad.”
Give general discussion miracles.
Peter mentions it in one of his letters:
. . .I want to remind you that in the last days there will come
scoffers who will. . .laugh at the truth. This will be their line of
argument: “So Jesus promised to come back, did he? Then
where is he? He’ll never come! Why, as far back as I can
remember everything has remained exactly as it was since the
first day of creation” (2 Peter 3:3-4, TLB). 2 Peter 3 The
3-4 First off, you need to know that in the last days, mockers
are going to have a heyday. Reducing everything to the level
of their puny feelings, they’ll mock, “So what’s happened to
the promise of his Coming? Our ancestors are dead and
buried, and everything’s going on just as it has from the first
day of creation. Nothing’s changed.”
5-7 They conveniently forget that long ago all the galaxies and
this very planet were brought into existence out of watery
chaos by God’s word. Then God’s word brought the chaos
back in a flood that destroyed the world. The current galaxies
and earth are fuel for the final fire. God is poised, ready to
speak his word again, ready to give the signal for the judgment
and destruction of the desecrating skeptics.
We tend to ignore the miraculous and the supernatural yet to
believe scripture we musty believe in the miraculous..and, of
course, to leave no space for the miraculous. How do we even
define the miraculous when we can s easily ask why did God
not intervene…in whatever situation we want to place there.
And yet God did intervene but the faith that we have is also
And in relation the faith we have Charles Spurgeon There are
few people who think what a solemn thing it is to be a
Christian. I guess there is not a believer in the world who
knows what a miracle it is to be kept a believer.
So thi is the only miracle of Jesus repeated in all four gospels.
We know that if something is given once in the Bible, it is true
and we should believe it, yu could almost say the Holy Spirit
repeats himself, and so it must be important .
multitude came to Jesus in the wilderness, he was moved with
compassion because he saw they were tired and hungry. Late
in the day his disciples suggested that he send the people
home so they could find something to eat. Mark 6:35-37
(NKJV) tells us what happened next:
When the day was now far spent, His disciples came to Him
and said, “This is a deserted place, and already the
hour is late. Send them away, that they may go into the
surrounding country and villages and buy themselves
bread; for they have nothing to eat.”
But He answered and said to them, “You give them
something to eat.”
You know the rest of the story, how the found the lad with
five loaves and two fish and how Jesus blessed that meager
lunch so that it fed 5000 men with 12 baskets left over.
This is one of the great miracles of the Bible Suppose you had
to feed 5000 men tonight. What would you do? Well not a
problem really if you have enough paella pans. Well if it was
a spanish village they would get a 5 metre paella pan that
would feed 10000. But that’s hours of preparation hauling in
the ingredients but Jesus short circuits that.
You may know of George Muller of Bristol” I was watching last
night a short documentary on Mueller you can find it on you
tube its called a cloud of witnesses. George Muller was a
celebrated Christian evangelist and the founder of the ‘Ashley
Down Orphanage’ in Bristol, England. During his lifetime he
cared for more than 10,000 orphan children. He is considered
as one of the most revered Christian evangelists,
Mention Dickens here and his support, and his influence on
Hudson Taylor DI Moody Spurgeon etc
“ The children are dressed and ready for school. But there is
no food for them to eat,” the housemother of the orphanage
informed George Mueller. George asked her to take the 300
children into the dining room and have them sit at the tables.
He thanked God for the food and waited. George knew God
would provide food for the children as he always did. Within
minutes, a baker knocked on the door. “Mr. Mueller,” he said,
“last night I could not sleep. Somehow I knew that you would
need bread this morning. I got up and baked three batches for
you. I will bring it in.”
Soon, there was another knock at the door. It was the
milkman. His cart had broken down in front of the orphanage.
The milk would spoil by the time the wheel was fixed. He
asked George if he could use some free milk. George smiled as
the milkman brought in ten large cans of milk. It was just
enough for the 300 thirsty children.
Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is
no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith
begins where man’s power ends.
So its late pizza deliveries haven’t been invented yet,The
disciples make a very practical suggestion: “Send them away
and let them find food.” That’s logical. The suggestion is not
made from bad motives. In themselves the disciples had no
resources to meet this enormous need. What else could they
All they saw 5000 problems they couldn’t solve.
but they forgot that the Son of God was standing right there
The Grand Adventure of Helping Others
Then Jesus says, “You give them something to eat” (verse
37). It’s funny because the disciples have just gotten through
explaining why they can’t feed this massive crowd. One
wonders if they were thinking something like this: “You want
us to feed this crowd? You must be joking ! We don’t have
any money and we don’t have any food.
This is how Jesus often works with us Over and over again he
puts us in positions where we are helpless, and then he says,
“Do something!” In our desperation we cry out to heaven,
“How?” and he replies, “I’m glad you asked.” It’s not that
Jesus wants us to fail, but he does want us to know that
without him Our success depends totally upon him, John’s
account of this miracle tells us that it was Andrew who found
the young boy with the five loaves and two fish and brought
him to Jesus. We should not miss the obvious lesson
here: Don’t ever despise the day of small things. Just because
something is small or seemingly insignificant doesn’t mean
God can’t use it. David used one smooth stone to defeat
mighty Goliath. Now Jesus is about to feed 5000 men with five
biscuits and two fish. Size doesn’t matter with God. He can use
anything we offer to him.
One commentary covers the moral of the story If you like, call
this the moral of the story: God often puts us in situations
where we are doomed to failure in order to force us to
depend totally on him so that when the miracle comes, he
alone gets the credit. the story of Gideon whose army was
reduced from 3000 , which in numerical numbers would have
given him certain victory but was reduced by God to 300
which, as strange as it may sound gave him even more certain
of a victory. This is a divine strategy repeated many times in
the Bible and in our own experience. We often find ourselves
in desperate straits with no way out, no good options, and no
human way of remedying our situation. God allows this to
happen so that we will cry out to him. And when the
deliverance comes, we are obliged to give God the total credit.
You know one thing we were never taught in our ministry
training, and I reflect on this a lot, Sooner or later we will
come to the end of our knowledge, our wisdom, our skill, your
strength, our eloquence, our creativity. ministry has a way of
stripping away our self-sufficiency and showing us how weak
we really are.
When that happens, you will discover what you really believe.
Some people have a faith crisis, some just totally succumb to
despair, some cant cope with responsibility and marriages
break up. I have seen that happen with so many of my
colleagues. One particular friend, has now gone through 3
marriages and three changes of denomination. He was one of
the most brilliant students at College. We only got theology
from our teachers , but we discover what we actually believe
when the moment of crisis comes and Jesus says to you, “Give
them something to eat.”
The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning
of true faith is the end of anxiety.
Lesson 1: The fact that something is impossible is no excuse
for not trying to do it. All too often we conclude that
something can’t be done so we don’t bother trying to do it. If
Moses had taken that attitude, the Jews would still be in
Egypt. If Joshua had felt that way, the walls of Jericho would
still be standing. If David had adopted that opinion, Goliath
would still be terrorizing the Israelites. We never know in
advance what God may do so don’t rule out the possibility of a
miracle coming your way.
Lesson 2: God asks us to do the impossible and then he gives
whatever we need to do the impossible… obey his
command. Jesus often told people to do impossible things. To
a lame man he said, “Rise, pick up your bed, and walk.” To a
dead man, he cried out, “Lazarus, come forth.” There is a
sense in which every command of God is impossible for us to
obey. We always lack what we need to obey God’s commands.
But God is faithful to give us whatever we need when we ask
him. What God demands, he supplies. He “bids us fly and gives
Lesson 3: When we offer our meager resources to God, we
discover that the impossible isn’t. Ive used this quote from J.
Hudson Taylor, a great man of faith whose missionary efforts
helped open China to the gospel. Time and again he saw God
do amazing things in the face of hopeless circumstances .
Reflecting on his experiences, he remarked that “there are
three stages in any work attempted for God: Impossible,
Difficult, Done.” I am very encouraged by that because there
are many moments when we all seem to be stuck in the
“impossible” stage of life. Cheer up, you never know but your
impossibility may simply be “Stage 1” of a mighty miracle God
will perform on your behalf.
One commenator summed it up this weay God will give you
whatever you need in order to do his will. And he will do it . .
In his own time,
In his own way,
According to his own will.
So using the analogy When he says, “Give them something to
eat,” he will give us whatever we need so that “no one goes
away hungry”. Exactly how he will do that, no one can say in