|Matthew 14:13-21||Read Online||Mark 6:30-44||Read Online||Luke 9:10-17||Read Online||John 6:1-13||Read Online|
So as he stepped ashore, he saw a huge crowd and had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Then he began to teach them many things.
Not so long ago, my house was a gathering place for all things boy. Surrounded by a husband, three sons, and a dog named Jack, life was a whirlwind of noise, dirt, and activity. Slamming doors, laughter, footsteps in, and footsteps out was the melody of life.
The incoming little boy feet brought in a constant trail of dirt, rocks, crumbs, and usually, some unidentified puddle of water. I always had to quickly assess the water situation. Was it creek water, sink water, or something that needed a disinfectant?
Who would clean it up? Me. Who would need an emergency room visit because he fell in it if I didn't clean it up in the next three seconds? Michael.
As the footsteps entered the house, I checked the faces that ran by for friends or strangers so I could meet the latest additions to the crowd. New or familiar, the guys had one thing in mind—the next adventure!
It’s a guarantee that these boys would’ve loved spending time with Jesus! Our passage today highlights the fact that huge crowds followed Jesus. People loved being around him. The Gospel of Mark says that on this day, people recognized him and ran on foot to him from all the towns.
From the sound of things, they didn't take the time to plan their visit—they just took off! It was almost as if they were compelled to spend time with Jesus.
Some came to hear him teach since we learn from the Bible that he taught as one who had authority. Others came because illness had broken their bodies and their hearts and drained their resources. They were desperate. And surely some came out of curiosity. They wanted to see this man they heard so much about.
We’re told in the gospel accounts that this was a large crowd—5,000 men. There were also women and children. This was the perfect spot for boys! Loud, dusty and full of wonder. One of the boys who came brought some bread and fish with him in anticipation of a long day.
If we’d been there that day, we would’ve seen Jesus healing those who were sick. We would’ve noticed the noise of the crowd, but we might have focused in on the low murmur of people sharing their stories with him.
The kindness of His face would have been apparent as He listened carefully. When He spoke, it was as one with authority. His was the voice of God. The word of God became flesh—Immanuel, God with us.
Jesus heard the needs of the people who came and answered their requests. Yes, He healed them physically but He also offered them words that provided healing for their souls—words that would give them abundant life.
And then as darkness began to fall and their stomachs began to rumble, Jesus asked them to sit down in groups while he and his friends passed out food. What is this—a man whose words gave healing and life to their souls was now giving them food?
This wasn’t anticipated. It’s beyond what they had imagined would happen on this day! It all started with a boy's fish and bread. Jesus gave thanks and used it to feed thousands. Following His footsteps, we get to see a miracle!
By providing an abundant supply of food, with leftovers, Jesus gave the people that day and people from that day forward, a visible picture of what he had just done for them. He offered them life. He was the bread of life. All they had to do was take it.
Jesus offers us life—full life. Are we prepared for the noise and dirt that might come with this life? Probably not, but He’ll give us all we need. And people to love and share the abundance with.
- The account of the feeding of the five thousand is in all four gospels. God must have felt that it was important for us to read it so that He could speak to us through it. What is He saying to you as you read these verses?
- How is God compelling you to come to him? How are you responding?
- Think of ways that God has blessed you beyond what you could have imagined.
- Read Ephesians 3:20, 21.