Matthew 14:13 – 21

When Jesus heard the news that John the Baptist had been beheaded, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him from the cities.  And when Jesus went out, He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed the sick.

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.”  But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”     

And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”  He said, “Bring them here to Me.”  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.  

 So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

John’s message to the people was that the promised Messiah was with them.  John’s ministry was completed, and Jesus’ ministry was now being established.

Jesus said, “You give them something to eat.”

That must have been a surprising answer.  “What, do you mean us?  Do you mean we must feed all these people?”  Nevertheless, the disciples took inventory and said all they had was five loaves and two fish.

Numbers in the scriptures can have significant meaning

The number five is the number of grace and also represents the Torah; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.  Number two is seen frequently in the scriptures.  Two means witness or division.  The two houses, Judah and Israel, (sometimes called Ephraim) are mentioned often in the Scriptures. A prophecy about the two houses is in Ezekiel 37[1]. The two fish could also represent the two houses, Israel and Judah.  There are two witnesses spoken of in the book of Revelation.   The Torah teaches that two or three witnesses in any situation will establish whether anything that concerns a community or individual as true or false.[2]  The twelve baskets of fish and bread recovered after everyone had eaten represent the twelve tribes of Israel or the whole house of Israel which includes all the tribes.  The whole house of Israel (all twelve tribes) are scattered all over the world.

Had these people followed Jesus to see the signs and wonders?

After all, they had seen Him heal the sick, cause the blind to see, and the lame to walk.  After all, if He could do those things, He could feed them.

Sometimes we come to a place in our lives where spiritually we are starved for the Word of God.  Sometimes, this starvation is caused by our own doing and other times; it is because of circumstances beyond our control.  There was a time in my life when I was spiritually starving for the life-giving food found in the Word of God.   Although I was able to read the Scriptures and pray, I was unable to attend corporate worship services.  I was very, very hungry!  Not only for the Word of God through corporate worship but also to hear the man of God preach and fellowship with other like-minded people.

God still feeds us His manna

God feeds us “manna” (the Word of God) as we experience our journey through a wilderness.  Psalm 78:24 [God] “rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them the grain of heaven.”   John 6:31 “Our fathers ate manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”(John 1:1)   “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;” (1 John 1:1)

Examples of eternal principles are throughout the Scriptures. Jesus fed the multitudes.  He still feeds us today with His Word by His Spirit.  Our part is to reach out and take the food.  The Disciples represent the pastors of today who are leaders of their flocks.  Their responsibility is to feed the sheep.  Those who feed on this manna are brought into the presence of God to be broken and, in turn, feed the new believers who come after them.

It’s a circular gospel!

Hunger and thirst after His righteousness and everything you need will be given to you.

“Then He said to His disciples, ‘Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about the body, what you will wear.  Life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.  Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap and have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them.  You are much more valuable than birds!  Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?  If you are not able to do the least of this, why are you anxious about the rest?

Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  If then, God clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?  And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind.  For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows you need these things.  But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be given you.  Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”  (Luke 12:22 – 32)

Be Blessed,

Jane Owens

© 2018

[1] See 1 Kings 12 – the separation of the tribes into two houses; Judah and Israel, sometimes called Ephraim; Jer 2:4;Jer 3:8; Jer 5:11;Jer 11:10;Jer 11:17;Jer 13:11; Jer 3:18; Jer 11:10; Eze 37:16 (read the whole chapter); Hos 11:12, Heb 8:8.  There are many more verses about the House of Judah and the house  of Israel (Ephraim)

[2] Deut 19:15