Feeding of the 5000... And other Thoughts

This miracle - no one was looking for it. Yet, the crowd followed Jesus wherever he went, because of the miracles he performed. Not since Elijah and Elisha had Israel seen miracles like this. Elijah and Elisha lived during the rule of Ahab, a period of great spiritual darkness. Jesus ministered during another time of spiritual darkness. In the last three verses of John chapter 5 Jesus said to the religious leaders, "Moses predicted my coming, but because you don't believe Moses, you won't believe me." Their minds were darkened.

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Jesus broke bread and fed the people. When we allow ourselves to be broken like the bread he will multiply us, and our effectiveness. As he touches us, as he puts his hands on us, he blesses us before the father, thanking the Father for us. Then we go out to the crowd and bring God's nourishment, his life, to a lost world.

The crowd consisted of spectators, seeking Jesus to see him work miracles. Yet they all were invited to participate. His hands and blessing had been on every piece of bread. As it is on each of us... If we allow him.

All of creation was spoken into existence by God. The scriptures are God-breathed. The word brings life. In the scriptures the word is equated with bread. Jesus gave thanks and his hands broke the bread, and until there was enough and more for everyone present, the supply did not cease. Not quite something from nothing. It is as if he took a molecule of bread and created a loaf. He takes a molecule of our faith and uses it for his purpose. To feed the crowd, so they might meet Jesus and leave satisfied. His blessings are "pressed down, shaken, running over." God is not stingy. No one even asked to be fed. To be with Jesus was food enough. God is unconventional. Conventional wisdom, Man's wisdom was, "Lets buy bread." Gods wisdom is, "Lets ask God, He will supply."

With man's wisdom there is no way we can meet this need. Jesus asks us, "How will you meet the needs of this crowd." We respond, "It's hopeless. It is too vast a problem." Jesus tests our faith constantly. When will we see he is not bound by the laws of nature. He made them to provide order and consistency to our lives. He transcends them. He wants us to see that don't apply to him and his work. The laws of nature are like a box. We live in that box and can't see outside of it. God lives outside of the box, and when he enters in it is like he brings inside a whole new set of rules. His rules do not resemble those inside the box. It is like we are in a bubble, as he steps inside, the membrane of heaven surrounds him. He lives among us, but he is not of this world. He is still existing in a heavenly world where heavenly rules of nature apply, not earthly ones.

When Jesus shows up, he brings with him something that was lost when Adam sinned. Most earthly rules only began to be applied after the fall. Before that God and man co-existed. There was a close fellowship. Everything was possible, we saw no limitations.

When we walk with Jesus, there are no limitations. Jesus makes the impossible - possible. When we walk with him live in a heavenly realm, a new Eden, we leave behind the earthly realm, but alas, not completely.

As we follow Jesus expectantly he will reveal his power and he will transcend all earthly limitations. To live without expectations is to put God in the box with us. The pharisees did not see him for who he was. Their lack of faith, the spiritual darkness that had seeped into their souls, limited his work among them. He was unwilling to have the Father's power scorned, mocked and unappreciated.

The people heard where Jesus was. They sought him out. They wanted to be near him. For wherever he went they saw the power of God manifest. They expected a revival. They expected deliverance. Deliverance over sickness and disease. Their lives were no longer the same. His teachings were like a fresh, clean, spring breeze. The pharisees, and all legalism, bring the stench of death.

His teachings still resonate with his hearers. Something deep within, that is implanted in each of us at the dawn of creation. Like a newborn recognizes his mother's voice, the one who carried him for nine months, or like John the Baptist in Elizabeth's womb recognized the voice of his creator and savior. When people hear Jesus, see Jesus, they will embrace him, for the creator and savior he is. The prodigal though far away and living in a pig pen - destitute, abandoned, broken - heard his Father's heart cry. Though far away we respond to our Father's anguished cry as he weeps over us as we wallow in our sin. He reminds us it is we who keep ourselves living in a dirty, stinking, pig pen. He longs to embrace us and lavish his love on us, to deliver us from our sins. His heart is broken as he sees us in our poverty of soul and spirit. His tears splash on us reviving us, bring us to our senses. We say, "I don't need to live like this. In my Father's house I will live within the embrace of his love and provision. He will never abandon me."


The crowds came to see Jesus perform. They came to be amazed to be entertained. But some came out of desperation. He was their last hope. The woman with the issue of blood, and Jairus were but two in a huge crowd that day, but we know their story for they sought him intensely. Though they sought physical healing, in a sense it is little different than the prodigal. His father was his last hope, his last chance to be saved. He knew his father would apply salve to his wounded soul and spirit. Though the prodigal feared rejection, his father quickly reassured him that he loved him unconditionally.

The prodigal abandoned his father to embrace the world. The world embraced him, only to abandoned him when he was no of further value or use. When he was poured out, broken and abandoned, he came to his senses and returned to his father, the only one who had ever valued him for who he was - a beloved son - not for what he had or owned. Though he was broken, and worthless in his own eyes, he was highly valued, and though still stinking of the pig pen, was embraced by his father.

lmv 5/2/2000