“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.” (Matthew 14:15-21)
For several days I have been thinking about this moment, reflected in the Gospel of Matthew – the miracle of feeding the crowd with only 5 loaves and 2 fish.
I noticed a few interesting things:
⦁ how we sometimes tend to solve big problems
⦁ how God tests our faith
⦁ God’s way of dealing with problems
⦁ active human participation in God’s miracle
“When it was evening”
All grocery supermarkets, restaurants and eateries were about to close soon.
God always has control over every situation. Even at the end of that day, on that place, He knew very well how to take care of the people there and what would happen. But He allowed a small test of the faith of His disciples.
“Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.”
(Let’s not forget that this happened 2000 years ago, when the car was not invented and there was no public transport, taxi, intercity trains or buses, domestic flights etc. !!!)
This is how we, as Christ’s disciples, solve problems … sometimes. It’s easy! “Send the people away, Jesus. Tell them to go find food from somewhere. They will certainly find still open shops in some of the nearby villages. Yes, we know that most of them have traveled miles to come here, but that’s it. They were aware of the inconveniences of their long journey and had to think about everything … We do not have so much money to provide food for everyone present – only the men here are around 5,000, there are women and children with them. It’s about more than 10,000 people. ”
“They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
I imagine these 12 men standing in front of their tired Heavenly Master literally staring at Him. “Is He joking with us, or does He really expect that WE, we will feed this many thousands ?!” But Jesus did not burst out laughing, did not pat anyone on the shoulder, saying, “I’m kidding, people! Don’t worry! Now I’m going to think of something.”
Oh no! Jesus told them that very seriously. Reading the story below, I am left with the feeling that while some of Jesus’ followers were still standing before Him, staring at the impossible task, Peter may have pulled John and a few others aside and suggested to them to go among the crowd and gather the available food to be distributed equally to everyone.
It definitely took them a while. And it was getting darker and colder.
But here they are, returning to Jesus, out of breath. Some, I suppose, were very worried, and others were perhaps outraged by Master’s high demands and expectations, and still others were stressed and confused.
“And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”
What did they think: “Well, this is the situation! We disappointed Master again. Out of 12 people, how could one not think of talking to Him earlier and asking Him what we are going to do in the evening with all these people. Why should He always be responsible to organize everything ?! Couldn’t we take the initiative once, and not just fight over who will be the greatest in the kingdom of God … ”
“He said, “Bring them here to Me.”
Again, Jesus surprises not only His disciples but us as well. 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish are not enough even for themselves – 13 men are hungry and tired at the end of the day. Not to mention those present!
Did any of the disciples think that Jesus wanted to feed them and Himself first and with the strength they gained, send them on a secret mission to the neighboring villages to seek food? I don’t know what exactly they thought. But I know that after hearing His words, “Bring them here to Me,” they got relieved a little. Their loving and compassionate wonderful Master has a plan AGAIN … unlike them.
⦁“Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass
⦁ took the five loaves and the two fish,
⦁ looking up to heaven
⦁ He blessed
⦁ and broke
⦁ and gave the loaves to the disciples,
⦁ and the disciples gave to the multitudes. ”
God never gets in trouble. He has control in every situation. Even if there is a delay, from our point of view, it is always for the purpose of at least testing our faith. There is no chaos with God and no wonder where to start solving problems. He does not panic and does not get depressed. He never gets stressed and never blames others. God is perfectly organized and consistent in His actions. He always resolves the most confusing situation in the best way. God never does anything seeking personal gain, praise, and reward. He acts, guided not by strong emotions, but by wisdom, reason, with much love, knowing what is best for His children.
And all this He wants to give us.
But we must cooperate with Him. Just as His disciples cooperated- they went among the people there and asked one by one if there was any food.
Jesus performed the great miracle by blessing and multiplying the five loaves and the two fish. But He continues to keep the disciples involved in the miracle by sending them to distribute food to the hungry, weary people.
How the story ends:
“So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained.”
And now we see them collecting the fragments of the remained food.
12 confused, worried, with little faith disciples who collected 12 baskets with leftover food. From 5 loaves and 2 fish they collected so much. For the disbelief of each disciple – a basket full of food. I see them approaching the Savior one by one with joy and reverence after supper, each carrying a large basket of heavenly bread. 12 students and 12 baskets. 12 hearts without strong faith carrying 12 baskets full of the result of an unforgettable miracle (remember that only 5 loaves and 2 fish were from this earth, everything else Jesus created the moment He blessed the food!).
Jesus once said to them, “If you have faith as a mustard seed …” Then a miracle will happen …
If you BELIEVE…
⦁ Give the little you have to Jesus and He will multiply it
⦁ Be a part of the miracle
⦁ Be a blessing to others