Thursday, September 27, 2018

Miraculous Supper

The story of the five loaves and two fish is an amazing miracle. Jesus took the disciples up in a mountain place for a season of rest. That didn't happen because the people followed Jesus. Some were sick and desired healing, others, heard that Jesus healed, and wanted to see the show. Some believed, most didn't. Lost, like sheep without a shepherd, the people wandered to Jesus and he had compassion. He healed and taught, but nightfall approached and the disciples figured it was time for everyone to go home. A hungry crowd in a desert place in the wilderness without the ability get something to eat is a logistical nightmare. If Jesus sent them home now, they could make it to a town or back home in time to find something to eat.

Not only did Jesus not send the crowd home, but told Philip to feed them. Philip, being very practical mentioned that even if they found someplace to buy food, they didn't have enough money between them to buy enough food to feed so many people – 5,000 men not counting the women and children. That's a lot of mouths to feed, especially if there were any teenage boys in the crowd. Five loaves. Two fish. Jesus sat everyone down and divided them up into groups. He took the food, prayed and blessed the food, then distributed what they had to the disciples, then instructed the disciples to pass it out to the crowd. Peter reached into his basket, and gave some food to the first man and did the same for the second. And the third. And the fourth. And he looked in his basket, and there was still bread and fish. And then he kept going. To the 50th man, through the 100th man, through the 1000th man and Peter's basket still had bread and fish. By the time the disciples were finished, and everyone ate and was satisfied, with 12 baskets leftover.

What an amazing act of divine power! It is impossible to imagine how it happened because it was a miracle and the only explanation is God’s miraculous power. Chesterton wrote, “The believers in miracles accept them (rightly or wrongly) because they have evidence for them. The disbelievers in miracles deny them (rightly or wrongly) because they have a doctrine against them.” We have this story so you would believe in Jesus. Not just believe it happened, or believe in the supernatural, but believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world. To believe Jesus came to seek and save the lost. To believe in this man, who had the power to heal the sick and feed the multitude has the power to forgive sins. The tragedy of this story is in John’s account, we learn the people ate the bread and the fish, but did not “eat” the Bread of Life, desiring physical healing, and a full belly, but did not  Christ nor his salvation.

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