Jesus can fed over five thousand people with just a boy’s lunch. He can calm the wind by entering the disciples boat. He can also heal many by them simply touching the hem of His clothes. Get to know our Savior, and know that whatever you need He is capable.
30 Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. 31 And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. 32 So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.
The disciples had just gone out on this missionary journey where they were sent our in twos to go spread the good news. They are now all back together and they are retelling everything that took place. These guys are on fire and excited just about everything that is happening. Jesus tells them to come away for a time of rest and fellowship. After we have been in a season of intense serving we can think that is exactly what we need, a time of rest. There are times in which that is exactly what we will get. There are times that this is what we think we are heading for, and then we get derailed. When that happens we need to be okay with it and continue to serve.
33 But the multitudes saw them departing, and many knew Him and ran there on foot from all the cities. They arrived before them and came together to Him.
This is one of those times where they thought they were heading for rest but the multitudes came. No matter what they wanted, they needed to do the right thing and minister to the needs of the people. These people were in need. When people come and inconvenience us and change the plan that we have for that day we have a few choices we can make. Mainly we can choose to be short with them and have attitude towards them or we can choose to put our plans and wants on the back burner and minister to the needs of the people in front of us knowing that God is sovereign. When we truly need the rest God will give it to us.
34 And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.
Do we have the heart of Jesus? Will we look at the multitudes as ones without a shepherd? As ones who are lost and need direction in their life? Will we look at them with compassion and be moved to help them?
35 When the day was now far spent, His disciples came to Him and said, “This is a deserted place, and already the hour is late. 36 Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread; for they have nothing to eat.”
Remember that the disciples were told they were going away to a solitary place for rest and ministry just showed up. Now the day is nearly over and there is no place for them to get food. In the disciple logical mind it was now time for them to be sent out so everyone could eat. I am sure there was some motivation of just being spent and ready for the multitudes to be on their way so that they could have some rest.
37 But He answered and said to them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to Him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?”
They were spent and now this impossible command comes from the Lord, you give them something to eat. If I were in that situation I likely would have thrown my hands up and looked around in disbelief. The crowd is massive. Even if i could go get enough food for everyone to eat where was I to get the money to do such a thing. This request would have seem absolutely absurd. And I think tha twas the point. It was an impossible task if you are looking to fill it with man’s abilities. However, if you look at it with the Lord, everything changes. Are you facing an impossible situation? Are you looking at how you are to handle it? Are you looking for God to show up? I promise you He will show up and change everything.
38 But He said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they found out they said, “Five, and two fish.”39 Then He commanded them to make them all sit down in groups on the green grass.
I am sure that to the disciples this still seems like nothing. Other accounts tell us that this was one little boy’s lunch. We are talking about feeding thousand of people. Five thousand men, but that does not tell us anything about the number of women and children present. These disciples look at what they have and can reasonably conclude that it is not enough, but they trust Jesus. Therefore they obey. Are you faced with a situation right now in which you can reasonably look and conclude that you do not have enough? Do you hear Jesus telling you to take a step of faith in that direction anyway? Sometimes that is the answer. Sometimes we physically do not have what it takes to fill a need and we need to just follow Jesus in obedience.
40 So they sat down in ranks, in hundreds and in fifties. 41 And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all.
The disciples and the people were obedient and they sat down in the groups. The grouping was most likely to give the disciples space to walk between the people as they served them. Jesus takes what was brought and offers it up to God and God blesses it. Jesus then proceeds to break it apart and give it to the disciples. The fact that the two small fish and the five loaves can be broken with enough to give each of the 12 disciples is amazing. Then to think that the two fish were able to spread to all the people. Even if you are thinking that everyone just got a taste to break two small fish into over five thousand pieces is absurd. Clearly something miraculous was going on here.
42 So they all ate and were filled.
Five thousand men, plus their women and children not only had something to eat, but were filled? That is so the way our God works. He fills us.
43 And they took up twelve baskets full of fragments and of the fish.
He fills us to overflowing. With Him is life and life abundantly. Jesus wants us to be satisfied in Him. This is true with the food He just fed the multitude. He could have fed them enough so that they did not hunger. Instead He fed them so that they were full. We know this because there was leftovers. There were actually 12 baskets of leftovers, one for each of the 12 disciples. I wonder if they each had a basket to go out and collect what was not eaten. Regardless of how is was down it is interesting to note that what was left over was greater than what they had when they first begun.
44 Now those who had eaten the loaves were about five thousand men.
That was a lot of people who were affected by this miracle.
45 Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away. 46 And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray.
Finally the disciples are getting the rest from serving that they were needing. The disciple got into boats to pass back over again. Jesus spent a little more time with the multitudes sending them on their way. Then Jesus did the thing He does to recharge. He went up on a mountain and prayed. Pray should be the thing we turn to. I know I for one do not pray like I should. That is an area of my walk that needs to grow. Getting alone and praying to God is so important to our walks, and I think it is the one thing that lacks the most.
47 Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. 48 Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by.
This break did not really turn out to be a break either. The disciples were in the middle of the sea rowing with all their might, but they were making very little progress. The wind was contrary to them, it was in their face against them. Do we ever feel like that in life. Are we trying so hard to get somewhere and to make progress but seemingly going nowhere? That can be a really frustrating place to be. But we do not give up, we keep rowing with all we have. Even if you do not seem like you are making progress in the battle that you are in, you are at least holding your ground. You are not going backwards and getting off track. Whatever the wind that is contrary to you is by name, keep pushing against it, keep fighting. This is now the fourth watch of the night, so it is about 3 am. The disciples were likely exhausted from the rowing. Maybe even feeling alone in the midst of the sea. I wonder if some had started to wonder where Jesus was and wishing He was in the boat with them. But Jesus saw them in the middle of the sea and saw their struggle. Whatever we are facing I promise that Jesus is right there, He sees. Not every situation does He intervene in, and that is a mystery that we just have to choose to trust that He is sovereign and sees more than we do, and knows better than us. Jesus was again not phases by the wind, He walked right out onto the sea. In fact He could have walked by, that is how casual this walking on the sea was for Him.
49 And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; 50 for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
When the disciples acknowledge Him, even though they wrongly assumed He was a ghost, that is when He stops and speaks with them. Are you crying out to God? Even if that crying out is fear and disbelief. Jesus hears and responds. Jesus often has to tell us to be of good cheer and not fret or worry. That is because fret and worry are common natural responses.
51 Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled.
This is crazy and it is so true in our lives as well. Jesus stepped into the boat and the wind ceased. When we allow Jesus into our hearts the winds cease, it changes everything. Their may still be storms that we face, just the other day we read about the storm Jesus was on the boat for. The thing that changes for us is our response in the midst of the storms of life. What use to be over the top way too stressful to handle we can now handle with a calm and peaceful spirit.
52 For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.
That is a sad reality for each of us. We can both see the miracle and miss it all together. They saw the multitudes fed by a single boys lunch, but they missed the miracle behind it. If they had been thinking properly about what just took place their astonishment would not have been as great. They would have known that if Jesus was able to multiply and spread the food like He did then calming the wind would have been no problem. Plus they had already seen His power over the storms not that far back. We need to remember who Christ is, and what we have seen Him do in our lives and the lives of those around us already. We need to consider the miraculous things in our lives as things that have come straight from the hand of God. Do not let your heart grow hard, look at Christ and who is truly is.
53 When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret and anchored there. 54 And when they came out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him, 55 ran through that whole surrounding region, and began to carry about on beds those who were sick to wherever they heard He was. 56 Wherever He entered, into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might just touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well.
The people in these towns recognized Jesus. Their response was to go get the sick they knew and bring them to wherever they knew Jesus was. Those that are sick and lost in our lives are we doing the same thing? Do we know who Jesus is? Have we recognized Him as the only one that can heal and save? If so, we need to be bringing those we know to Him. That may not always be possible to do physically. We do need to be inviting people to church, inviting them to come and see. But even when that is not possible, even when they reject the invitation. We should be bringing them before God in prayer. That is one way we should always be willing to bring people to Jesus. This region was constantly laying their sic before Jesus and asking that they simply be allowed to touch the hem of His clothes. All who did touch were healed. How awesome is that? Just a simple touch of the clothes and they are healed. Do we believer that God can heal with such a little simple thing as a touch? Or are we looking for the experience? Are we looking for the spectacular? Remember from 1 kings 19:11-13 that God was not in the earthquake, or the other big things. God was in the still small voice. Do not look for the spectacular and miss the still small voice of God.