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  • Writer's pictureDeborah

Feeding Thousands

Matthew 14:1-17 (NKJV)

Luke 1:36-37 (NKJV)

Matthew 14:18-21 (NKJV)

Matthew 15:32-39 (NKJV)

Philippians 4:19 (NKJV)

In scripture we see many different kinds of miracles that show the power of God at work! Today, we will look at how God used the resources available to ‘transform and expand’ our world by His miraculous love and power!

Just prior to Jesus feeding the 5000, he heard his relative John the Baptist was beheaded by King Herod (Matthew 14:1-12). Jesus grieved the senseless death of John the Baptizer so much that in verse 13 we learn he “departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself.”

Jesus wasn’t able to hide there for long. In Matthew 14:13-14 we read,”But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities. And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.”

Even though it was getting late, the crowd did not disbursed. We read in verse 15, “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.” Even though Jesus’ disciples had been with Him, they were unable to think or see how Jesus could possibly feed the crowd. It’s no wonder, because a massive feeding like this had not been done since the children of Israel were hungry in the wilderness following their Exodus from Egypt.

However, Jesus KNEW what needed to be done. In Matthew 14:16-17, “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.” The disciples were unable to comprehend the abundance of God’s love and compassion for them. They could only see the reality of their thoughts and the scarcity of food. What Jesus (being God) knew is that the miracle of expanse was not something that is too difficult for God.

Luke in speaking about the birth of John the Baptist, we find in Luke 1:36-37, “Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” By His transforming power, Elizabeth COULD conceive in her old age the same way God transformed Sarah when she conceived Isaac at the age of 90 (Genesis 12:2) and Jesus COULD feed 5000 people by transforming and expanding five loaves of bread and two fish.

Looking back over my life, I am amazed how many times God did this same miracle for me. When my children were small, we accepted a call to pastor a church in a small town in Missouri. Prior to that time we served part-time in a rural congregation and while our salary was minimal, a second job was our main source of income. With this move to full time pastor a new congregation, our income was cut to less than half. In addition to that, without knowing it the utilities for the parsonage were very expensive. We didn’t make enough income to succeed financially. To this day, I don’t know exactly how God transformed and expanded our income, but God did not fail us. On paper it didn’t make sense, but we paid every bill on time. It was nothing short of a miracle!

In Matthew 14:18-21 we learn that Jesus took the two fish and 5 loaves, looked to God the Father, blessed them, and fed 5000 people. Plus, after the people there were full, there were 12 baskets of food left!

Nothing is impossible for God!

Then in Matthew 15:32-39 Jesus fed a large crowd again. This time the crowd had been following Him for 3 days and they had no food to eat. Jesus had compassion on them and He asked His disciples how much food they could find. This time the disciples were able to find 7 loaves and a few fish.

Jesus instructed his disciples again to bring Him the food they had available. Jesus gave thanks and blessed it in the same way He had blessed it when He fed the 5000. A second time, God expanded and transformed what they had so that it would feed the 4000 people traveling with Him. We can’t be sure why this miracle was repeated, but I suspect since repetition is a powerful tool for humans, God gave them a ‘repeat’ miracle!

Both times, God’s love and compassion were key elements in the miracles God performed.

That same miracle is available for us today. If you are in need (of anything), ask God to provide it. If you are blessed with an abundance of resources, pray for someone who needs God’s transformation and expanse. You do not need to personally know that person. All things are possible with our God, and He can bring a person or a family to your mind. We know it is God’s desire to supply our needs (Philippians 4:19).

Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Pray for A Miracle of God’s Transformation and Expanse

When you have identified a need, ask God to transform whatever resources are available and expand them to ‘fit’ that need. If you have an abundance of resources, you can also donate food or clothing to a food bank or a shelter. When you donate the items, ask God to transform and expand the items you donated. You can also ask God to expand the number of COVID-19 vaccines available. We may not SEE the response, but God will certainly answer our prayer!

Through Jesus, Deb

Deborah Ireland Douglas Jones


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