Matthew 14:13-21 New King James Version (NKJV)
Feeding the Five Thousand
13 When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities.
14 And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.
15 When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.”
16 But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
17 And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”
18 He said, “Bring them here to Me.”
19 Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes.
20 So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained.
21 Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
God turns life's problems into His divine miracles!
--I believe in miracles, for I am one. So are you.
--Each birth is a miracle of His love. Many follow.
--May I share one, when I was about six, I almost died, as I burned with high fever for many days.
--I had diptheria. It was treated as tonsilitis.
--I recall seeing, hearing, people praying for me.
Weeks later Mother took me to Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, explaining my illness and lingered condition.
--One by one, doctors examined me, said, "This boy is suffering the effects of diptheria - not tonsilitis.
--Adding, look at the scars in his throat! For he's a miracle to be alive!" How right they were!
--What if family, friends, had not fasted and prayed?
--It is but one of the many miracle God has given me.
Matthew 14:13-21 is but one of many miracles recorded of Jesus - and of the hundreds in the Bible.
--To show there is a God! Who loves us, and cares.
--To lead us toseek His divine power in Jesus.
--That memorable day Jesus fed "about five thousand men, besides women and children." On a hillside.
--The only miracle found in all four Gospels.
How did Jesus do it? By God's power. A lad's lunch.
--All were hungry, but no food, except a lad's lunch.
--It wasn't much, "five loaves and two fish."
--Little biscuits his mother made - to feed so many?
--The crowd had been with Jesus in a "desert place."
--That is, no McDonalds or markets. A miracle needed.
--Jesus was needed. Jesus met the need. Still does.
At Pentecost Peter preached, "hear these words of Jesus .. attested by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs which God did through Him" (Acts 2:22)
--Another miracle, as the Holy Spirit came and "about three thousand souls were added to them" (Acts 2:41).
This world is a miracle, God made it "from nothing" we read in Genesis 1:1. His creation! Amazing miracle!
--God made man and woman. To know and love Him.
--God created something from nothing - evolution can't do that! By creation - not speculation of a theory.
--Also, God "hangs the earth on nothing" (Job 26:7).
--This tiny planet, hangs in space "on nothing" - but God's amazing power. Because He cares for people!
--OUr well-being. Happiness. Salvation. Purity.
Study Exodus, how God delivers His chosen people from bondage in Egypt, to the "promised land."
--A miracle the ruler let them all go as God led them.
--In a desert "forty years," providing food, water.
--God opened up the Red Sea, to "cross on dry land."
--God did the same at the Jordan River. Miracles!
--Their clothes, and shoes, lasted those forty years.
--By following God's commands we prosper every way!
Take Jesus' life on earth - it is full of miracles.
--To begin with, He was "born of a virgin." Imagine.
--No other ever was. Lived without sine as no other!
--Look at all the recorded miracles Jesus wrought!
--Then laid His life on a cross, to pay for our sins.
--Miraculously, amazingly Jesus arose! Alive again!
--O yes, I believe in miracles. I pray that you do.
Our most wonderful miracle is when Jesus saves us.
--Changes our lives, to follow, and be like Christ.
--Gives His Holy Spirit in us, to help us do so.
--Transforms folks like Paul a persecutor to a saint.
--Forgives sinners who deny the Lord, like a Peter.
--Jesus is the God of a second chance, for sinners.
The Lord Jesus is everything to me for all He's done, for me - and all the world - and can do for others.
Lord work revival miracles! Touch hearts just now!
--The Gospel, miracles, preaching, witnessing accomplishes little, unless it changes people's hearts.
--What does Jesus mean to you? He says, "Follow Me."
These disciples tried to give Jesus advice - that is, give God advice! I smile at this, in verse 15.
--"This is a desert, the hour is late, send the multitude away." Do we ever try to give God advice?
--To tell the Lord what to do? Pray for His will.
But "Jesus had compassion on them." Did the miracle.
--Some ask God to do things "their way," but our way may not be God's way, or the best for you and me.
--These disciples had no food. No ability to share.
--In fact, in the crowd, only a lad had his lunch!
--I think it was generous of him to give his lunch.
Like this lad, if we will do the possible - in God's will - God will do the impossible. Don't forget it.
I like to think of myself sort of like an old glove.
--Gloves have a purpose. Useful. But powerless!
--Without a hand in the glove, it can do nothing!
--For me, Jesus is the Hand! We are just a glove.
The whole Bible contains all kinds of miracles.
--Peter worked some. Paul worked a lot of them!
--Many others recorded some. But God did them all!
Note, right after Jesus fed the multitude, Jesus put the disciples in a boat for home - He went to pray.
--At midnight they were in a storm of Sea of Galilee.
--"Walking on the water" Jesus came to their rescue.
--Don't you think that was some miracle? Sure was.
--Peter even tried it; he did so, briefly.
--To show He is God, Jesus stilled the storm, with a "peace, be still" (Mark 4:39). Ever have storms?
--Maybe you are in a "storm." Let Jesus bless you!
The Lord has power over nature, even the spirit-world over demons, and temptations of all kinds of evil.
--Thus, dear friend, He is able to save anyone!
--He calls it the "new birth," and says we all "must be born again" by receiving Jesus as Savior (John 3).
Our Lord has power over death! Rising He defeated it.
--You recall His miracles of restoring life to folks.
--Of course, His own visible, bodily resurrection.
--"Because I live, you shall live also" (John 14:19).
There are three types of death: physical, when spirit leave the body, and life no more on earth.
--Spiritual death, when one is not saved, for heaven.
--Friend, until "born again" this is our condition.
--They may be physically alive, but spiritually dead "in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:5).
--We come alive in the Lord by "repenting of our sin and being born again" by faith to follow Christ.
--The third type is eternal death, forever too late.
I believe in miracles, I saw Jesus' empty tomb!
--Once sealed, guarded with soldiers, disciples entering it saw the "linen wrappings" of burial - but the body of Jesus was not there! He had risen!
--Risen as He said He would. And said we would!
--Authorities, soldiers - no one - can disprove!
Another tremendous miracle - Jesus' appearance!
--Seen many times, by many people, after rising; and the way He appeared to them - convinces us all.
--Even "doubting Thomas," exclaimed, "My Lord, and my God" (John 20:28), when Jesus suddenly appeared.
Or another incredible miracle - His ascension, back to heaven, before the very eyes of witnesses!
--After Jesus gave His final commission for us to go and "make disciples," He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight" (Acts 1:9).
My friend, He gives us life. Saves. Keeps, blesses.
--When you think about it, shows us so many miracles.
--In His Word. In our lives. So we may believe!
Do you need a miracle today? Of sins forgiven?
--Or some other need, the Lord may meet? Trust Him.
--The Lord is only a prayer away. Seek Him today.
--Following Jesus as Savior and Lord, is the way.
Think of the multitude on the hillside, they all ate, all they wanted, with "twelve baskets full" left.
--All that the Lord had miraculously multiplied.
--All benefitted of God's grace, and provisions.
--I wonder, how many who heard Jesus and ate, accepted His as Savior, and followed His as Lord?
Jesus is the key to needed miracles in our lives.
--How about you?
Dr. Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 878