Important Lessons From The Story Of The Five Loaves And Two Fishes In The Bible
The gospel of Matthew in the Bible tells us of a beautiful story of how Jesus miraculously fed 5,000 men with five loaves of bread and two fish.
Matthew 14:13-21 says, When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, This is a remote place, and its already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.
16 Jesus replied, They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.
17 We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish, they answered.
18 Bring them here to me, he said. 19 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. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were leftover. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Here are some of the lessons we can learn from this gospel:
1) Seek first the kingdom of God
2). In God you will find your spiritual and physical blessing
3) What you have is what you need
Loaves Of Bread And 2 Fish
Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many? John 6:9
What are five small barley loaves and two small fish, and what am I, in front of such great injustice?
The abyss of injustice is dark and deep,surrounding us on every flank. We see it at the bottom of jails where forgotten convicts die of sadness. We find it behind bars where refugees and their children wait for resolution. We feel it in the cold rooms of hospitals and below bridges where brothers and sisters are ill and alone. What are five small barley loaves and two small fish for five thousand, and what am I in front of such injustice and despair?
It was an evening in spring when Jesus and his friends were sitting on a grassy hilltop. Below them was the sea of Galilee shimmering under the evening sun. The Galilean desert was flowering, and Passover was near. The multitudes were looking for Jesus, they had seen him around town, eating with friends, speaking with neighbors. Suddenly the whole town seemed to be brimming with hopefulness, and now they did not want to let him go. Jesus had seen them in the villages and had sensed their sadness. He had felt their sense of loss and despair and now as the day came to an end, he felt their hunger. As he looked at the multitude, a decision was made in his heart. Before the day ended, a great feast would take place and everyone would be invited .
Jesus listens but is unfazed.
Multiplication Often Requires Sacrifice
The boy made a great sacrifice. Much like the widow who gave two coins in the temple treasury, the boy gave all that was in his possession. The act was likely a painful one, maybe not physically painful, but mentally and, possibly, emotionally. The boy went from comfortable, having sustenance, to uncomfortable, having no sustenance.
That is how sacrifice works. Sacrifice drives out comfort. Sacrifice is uncomfortable. But sacrificial giving is what we find celebrated in Scripture. God looked favorably on Abels offering because he sacrificed his best. God blessed Abraham because he was willing to sacrifice his son. Jesus pointed out the widow with two coins because she gave all she had. Biblical giving is sacrificial. And God uses the sacrifice to shape the givers heart and advance His Kingdom. Multiplication often requires sacrifice. The boy learned this on that day.
Don’t Miss: Restaurants That Sell Chicken Pot Pie
God Is About Multiplication
As the boy handed his meal to the disciples and Jesus, he likely wondered what difference such a small amount of food could make among the large crowd. It would not be surprising if the boy assumed he and his meal would be turned away, asked to return to his friend or family. His meal was small, and the need was so great.
But then, Jesus took hold of the food and began to break it into pieces. The small meal turned into a feast that was more than enough to fill the stomachs of the crowd. He takes that which is insufficient and uses it to accomplish His purpose. He took an elderly, childless couple and made a people more numerous than the stars. He used a small group of people in a house to start His global church. Our God can take whatever is given in faith and multiply its impact in unfathomable ways for His mission. God is about multiplication. The boy learned this on that day.
Nothing But Five Loaves And Two Fish
Whats your favourite story in the gospels? Its a question I like to ask when I visit churches for informal meetings. Time and again, over the years, the story that comes to the top of the list is todays bible reading: the feeding of the five thousand. I wonder if its yours.
Its a story that begins when Jesus and the disciples are exhausted and they need to get away a good story for the beginning of August. Jesus withdraws by boat to a deserted place. But the crowds follow him, thousands and thousands of people.
Jesus has compassion on them and heals the sick. We love Jesus for his humanity. We love that he is exhausted and we love that he puts his tiredness aside for the sake of the crowds.
At the end of the day, the disciples try to take over and manage the situation. We might have done the same.
Send the crowds away so that they might go into the villages and buy food for themselves. But Jesus gives his disciples a seemingly impossible challenge. They need not go away. You yourselves give them something to eat. The problem is set.
The disciples look around at the vast crowd. Five thousand men with women and children. There is nothing for miles around. They see the sun beginning to set over the western hills. They look at one another.
Their response is a curious mixture of honesty and hope.
We have nothing here.thats the honesty. We have nothing here but.five loaves and two fish. Did you hear the but? Thats the hope.
Read Also: Pies And Pints Charleston Wv
A Summary And Analysis Of The Feeding Of The Five Thousand
Lets begin with a quiz question. How many people did Jesus feed with the bread and fishes in the famous miracle recounted in the New Testament?
a) 5,000 peopleb) 4,000 menc) more than 5,000 people
The answer is, depending on which part of the New Testament you consult, either b) or c), but not a). Why 5,000 people cannot be an acceptable answer is, at least in part, the subject of the following analysis. Well also explore what all of this has to do with a little-known place named Bethsaida.
In everyday speech we refer to Jesus and the feeding of the five thousand, so lets take a closer look at what the Bible actually says.
Feeding of the Five Thousand: summary
Jesus heard that John the Baptist had been killed, and feared that Herod Antipas, who had had John killed, would be after him next. So he took a ship into a desert place near the city of Bethsaida, on the Sea of Galilee. Bethsaida literally means house of the fishers . Fish, of course, will be significant for this story.
In his fascinating Asimovs Guide to the Bible: The New Testament: 002, the novelist and all-round polymath Isaac Asimov points out that Jesus choice of location has another significance: Bethsaida was in Iturea rather than Galilee, and so was outside of the jurisdiction of Herod Antipas.
Feeding of the Five Thousand: analysis
The Feeding Of The 4000
This story, which appears only in Mark and Matthew, is also known as the miracle of the seven loaves and fish, as the Gospel of Matthew refers to seven loaves and a few small fish used by Jesus to feed a multitude. According to the Gospels, a large crowd had gathered and was following Jesus. Jesus called his disciples to him and said:
“I have compassion for these people they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.”
His disciples answered:
“Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?”
“How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked.
“Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.”
Jesus told the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward, the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were leftover. The number of those who ate was four thousand men, besides women and children. After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan .
Don’t Miss: Where To Buy The Best Boston Cream Pie In Boston
I The Compassion Of The God
In referring to the divine attributes, we tend to use language that humanizes the idea of God in order to aid comprehension. For example, God is often described as expressing His wrath or His mercy, when in reality He not only possesses the virtues, but is each one of them. Accordingly, God is not only good, but is Goodness, and is, in turn, the essence of the entire succession of virtues. A merely theoretical notion, however, is insufficient for us to comprehend that God is Goodness it becomes necessary to experience His activity in our soul, as the Psalmist counsels: Gustate et videte quoniam suavis est Dominus O taste and see that the Lord is good! . The Gospel and the other readings of the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time prepare the faithful to open themselves to contemplate the infinite Goodness that is God.
It delighted Jesus, as Man, to pray to God
13a When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist, He withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.
After the death of the Precursor, Jesus set out for a region situated beyond the jurisdiction of Herod, who was becoming rankled by Jesus work and might begin to persecute Him . However, it was not for fear of Herod that Jesus left, but because His hour had not yet come . He was also prompted by the desire to withdraw with His disciples for a time of prayer, at the close of the first evangelizing mission He had assigned to them .
Unmindful of self, Christ is concerned with others
Five Loaves And Two Fishes
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
I come before you, my brothers, sisters, and friends, with the sincere hope that you will extend to me your faith and prayers as I humbly seek in the next few minutes to acknowledge the hand of the Lord our God in our lives. I extend to Sister Norma Ashton our love and prayers in the passing of our beloved associate, Elder Marvin J. Ashton of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Some months ago, as Elder Spencer J. Condie and I were in the Salt Lake airport, we unexpectedly met a devoted and faithful couple who have been friends for long years. This couple has spent a lifetime of service, meekly, faithfully, and effectively trying to build up the Church in many places in the world. Elder Condie noted, âIsnât it remarkable what people with five loaves and two fishes do to build up the kingdom of God.â This kind of quiet, devoted service to me is surely a fulfillment of the word of God âthat the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before kings and rulersâ . Today I would like to speak of those of us who have only talents equal to five loaves and two fishes to offer the Savior to help feed the multitudes.
âWhen Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?
âAnd this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would doâ .
âAnd they did all eat, and were filled.
Recommended Reading: Oreo Cookies And Cream Cake
Jesus Feeds 5000 Story Summary
While going about his ministry, Jesus Christ received some terrible news. John the Baptist, his friend, kinsman, and the prophet who proclaimed him as the Messiah, had been beheaded by Herod Antipas, ruler of Galilee and Perea.
Jesus’ 12 disciples had just returned from a missionary journey he had sent them on. After they told him all they had done and taught, he took them with him in a boat on the Sea of Galilee to a remote place, for rest and prayer.
Great crowds of people in the area heard that Jesus was near. They ran to see him, bringing their sick friends and relatives. When the boat landed, Jesus saw all the men, women and children and had compassion on them. He taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those who were sick.
Looking at the crowd, which numbered about 5,000 men, not counting women and children, Jesus asked his disciple Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” Jesus knew what he was going to do, but he asked Philip to test him. Philip replied that even eight months’ wages would not be enough to give each person even one bite of bread.
The crowd was so overwhelmed by this miracle that they understood Jesus was the prophet who had been promised. Knowing they would want to force him to become their king, Jesus fled from them.
Second The Mentality Of Ten Spoonfuls Make A Bowl
The Babfor Project has the mentality of the old proverb, “Ten spoonfuls make a bowl.” This means a spoonful of rice of rice may be one bite to a person, but when multiple spoonfuls are combined, it makes a bowl of rice that can be shared by many. By combining individual “spoonfuls,” we can build an everlasting bowl of rice that will feed the hungry all over the world. Your “spoon” can be a spoonful of rice, a spoonful of time, or a spoonful of labor. Generous donations are greatly appreciated, but you can participate in this project in other ways such as donating your time to cook and prepare meals or to serve and volunteer at the center. We await your participation in giving your “spoonful” to the community.
Also Check: Chocolate Cake With Philadelphia Cream Cheese
Scripture Reading: John : 1
6 After this Jesus went across the Galilee Sea . 2 A large crowd followed him, because they had seen the miraculous signs he had done among the sick. 3 Jesus went up a mountain and sat there with his disciples. 4 It was nearly time for Passover, the Jewish festival.
5 Jesus looked up and saw the large crowd coming toward him. He asked Philip, Where will we buy food to feed these people? 6 Jesus said this to test him, for he already knew what he was going to do.
7 Philip replied, More than a half years salary worth of food wouldnt be enough for each person to have even a little bit.
8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peters brother, said, 9 A youth here has five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that for a crowd like this?
10 Jesus said, Have the people sit down. There was plenty of grass there. They sat down, about five thousand of them. 11 Then Jesus took the bread. When he had given thanks, he distributed it to those who were sitting there. He did the same with the fish, each getting as much as they wanted. 12 When they had plenty to eat, he said to his disciples, Gather up the leftover pieces, so that nothing will be wasted. 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves that had been left over by those who had eaten.
Meeting Jesus: The Boy With Five Loaves And Two Fish
After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias. 2 A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. 3 Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. 4 Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. 5 When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat? 6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. 7 Philip answered him, Six months wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little. 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peters brother, said to him, 9 There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people? 10 Jesus said, Make the people sit down. Now there was a great deal of grass in the place so they sat down, about five thousand in all. 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated so also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost. 13 So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. 14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.
You May Like: How To Make Pie Dough From Scratch