September 27th 2010

Who Fed The Five Thousand?

“And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.”
Matthew 14:19 (NIV)

What a question! Who fed the five thousand? Jesus did, of course. Yes, that’s the heading in my bible for this passage as well; but did he? Let’s look at that section more closely. Verse 16: “Jesus replied, ‘They do not need to go away. You (italics added for emphasis) give them something to eat.’”

Then continuing the quote from verse 19, above, “Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.” So Jesus didn’t actually feed the people himself, the disciples did. Jesus supplied the food, but he didn’t give it to the people personally.

Then following on the story in verse 20, “They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.” Again, the disciples did the work. Even when Jesus was alive he didn’t do all the work of preaching the gospel himself. Matthew 10:5-8 tells us, “These twelve Jesus sent out [to]…preach this message…[and] heal the sick,…” Later, not only the disciples, but all the members were used to spread the word. “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went” (Acts 8:4).

Just as Jesus supplied the physical food to feed the people he also supplied, and still supplies, the spiritual food the people need today. But he used, and still uses, physical human beings such as you and me to do the work today.

Peter tells us all Christians are part of a “…chosen generation… (so that we should) shew forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” (1 Peter 2:9 KJV). We must ask ourselves if we are fulfilling the responsibility God has given us of revealing his glorious light to this world.

Thank you Father, for the responsibility you have given me of taking the good news of Jesus to those who are near to me. Help me to step out of my comfort zone and make use of the opportunities you present for me to be a witness to those in darkness.

Study by David Bedford

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