Five Loaves and Two Fish

Posted by admin on 19 May 2019 in John, Luke, Mark, Matthew, The Book of Gospel |

Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17, and John 6:1-13

The title of message today is “Five loaves and two fish”. This is what Jesus fed 5000 people with. When you live in the world where people are competing for good things, only this miracle may give you the true hope – God can give unlimited goodies. Your mind may be influenced by negativity before this study, but after this study, your mind may be filled with positivity and bright hope.

This event was written in all 4 books of Gospel: Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17, and John 6:1-13. Only 10 events are written in all 4 books of Gospel. Five loaves and two fish is one the those 10 events. So, we can know how important and special this event is amongst all events!!

This “Five Loaves and Two Fish” miracle is still happening now-a-days all over the world. There are many people who experienced this miracle and are testifying it. For an example, some restaurateurs closed their usual restaurant businesses but started “Five Loaves and Two Fish” free restaurants. And they can keep on providing free food continuously year by year. But this miracle does not have to be food only. This miracle can happen to education, job, accommodation or any other.

Let’s study the details of the miracle to learn how this can be applied to your life.

As shown in Mark 6:5b-13 and Luke 9:1-9, Jesus had sent his 12 disciples out for mission before this miracle took place.

See Mark 6:12, 13.

12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed with oil many people who were ill and healed them.

After mission trip, they had mission conference to report what they have done and taught (Mark 6:30, Luke 9:10). Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat (Mark 6:31a), Jesus said to them in Mark 6:31,

‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’

It says they didn’t have a chance to eat. You know sometimes you don’t have even time to eat. Then you know how busy the disciples were during the mission trip. Jesus knew they had been exhausted and so took them for rest.

We also need rest like today Sunday after hard works of the week. And this is one of the reasons why we go to camping during the Easter. Let us work hard until then and take some clean break during the Easter. I pray in Jesus name that God may help us to make some clean break possible during the Easter so that we may have rest. Amen.

So, they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place (Mark 6:32). But many who saw them leaving recognised them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them (Mark 6:33).

Probably there might be still a lot of people wishing for healing from their diseases and looking for Jesus. Probably some might simply want to see Him and listen to Him. Jesus and His disciples were so popular and on demand, and so they couldn’t get away with the crowd even during their holiday!

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So (Mark 6:34a) He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing. (Luke 9:11b)

Jesus didn’t feel annoyed. Instead Jesus taught them and healed them. This is what we have to do even when sheep interrupt our holiday.

They had parents, brothers and sisters. But they didn’t have a shepherd who understand their problems and guide them. They were like sheep without a shepherd. Sheep need a shepherd. Sheep  are mild animal. But they are short-sighted, stubborn, easy to fall down, hard to get up by themselves, and vulnerable to predators.  Without a shepherd, their lives are under threats. We are like sheep before God. We can’t even foresee a few hours in future. But God knows all. We need God’s help. It is important to ask God, rely on God and wait for God. Jesus is a good shepherd who cares about us. He wants to give what is best for us. He loved us till the end even at the cost of His life.

Life is not only parents and children, brothers and sisters, or husband and wife relationship. There is shepherd and sheep relationship. If you are not a Christian yet, I pray you may be guided to good Shepherd, Jesus. If you are a Christian, I pray that you may take care of sheep as Jesus did. And bring them to Jesus. Your friends, classmates, relatives or family members may be your sheep for you to take care of. Our club name ‘Come & See’ indicates our emphasis to invite our sheep to Jesus. So, it is encouraged to bring your friend with you.

As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, (Matthew 14:15a)

‘This is a remote place, and it’s already very late. Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.’ (Mark 6:35b, 36)

It was time to go home. But it seemed Jesus wouldn’t stop helping them. So, the disciples asked Jesus to send them away. What was the response of Jesus? See Matthew 14:16.

Jesus replied, ‘They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.'

Here we learn that the disciples of Jesus should not only teach and heal them but also feed them in a situation like this.

What was response of the disciples?

Philip answered him, ‘It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite! (John 6:7) Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?’ (Mark 6:37d)

This new challenge to feed the crowd required a lot of money to buy food. Philip estimated the minimum cost of “half a year’s wages”.

Jesus asked in Mark 6:38,

‘How many loaves do you have? Go and see.’

What Jesus said rapidly changed their focus from “buy what they don’t have” to “find what they have”!

At this, another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, (John 6:8)

‘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)

They went and found food, but it was with a boy, probably just enough for the boy – five small barley loaves and two small fish. It was clearly not enough as Andrew said, “how far will they go among so many?” Food is consumed and as consumed, food is run out. And some would be filled but most would starve. This is limitation. This is how life works. This is scientifically correct. This is mathematically correct. There is no exception and no better way. In real life, there are not enough jobs. So, some got jobs, and others are unemployed. People compete. Some win but others lose. This world looks promising. But it produces a lot of helpless people. But Jesus is the Game Changer.

How does Jesus solve this problem? See Luke 9:14.

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Make them sit down in groups of about fifty each.'

As always, Jesus first requested them to set the environment for the miracle. Luke 9:15 says that

The disciples did so, and everyone sat down.

It is important that we believe Jesus and obey His command even when we don’t understand. Because He is going to perform His miracle after our obedience is completed. Imagine what would happen if they disobeyed☹. Obey His command and He is going to perform His miracle that will change the game in your life!

Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples (Luke 9:16a)

We shouldn’t look at the large crowd and despair. We shouldn’t look at how few we have. Instead, we should look up to heaven where the almighty God is listening to your prayer done in the name of Jesus.

And as Jesus gave thanks to God, we should thank God for “what we have”, “opportunity to feed the crowd”, and “what God is going to do by miracle”.

They distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted (John 6:11b). They all ate and were satisfied (Luke 9:17a),

The result was what we never saw in life. Even with the extremely limited resource and despite of extremely high demand, they could receive as much as they wanted, and they all were satisfied.

The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand according to Mark 6:44 and Luke 9:14. Matthew 14:21 says this number did not include women and children.

Finally, Jesus asked them to gather the pieces that were left over and let nothing be wasted (John 6:12).

So, they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. (John 6:13)

This shows that this miracle provided them sufficiently so as to be left over. This shows God provides more than enough rather than just enough. This shows God’s method. This shows God’s abundance. Also, we can learn how we should do the mission from God, sufficiently & to be left over!

Today, we learnt we should bring our small things to Jesus, thank God and they can be used for multitudes sufficiently & to be left over!

Who are sheep without a shepherd?

What 5 loaves and 2 fish do you have?

Jesus commands you, “You give them something to eat!”

Bring 5 loaves and 2 fish to Jesus.

Simply obey to set the environment for the miracle.

And, distribute 5 loaves and 2 fish to the crowd.

Gather what are left.

Give glory to God.


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