Exodus 1-3, Matthew 14:1-21 • Key Verses: Matthew 14:16-18
An indication of the importance of the feeding of the 5,000 is the fact that it is the only miracle of Jesus recorded in all four Gospels. The account in John 6 gives so much emphasis to the meaning of the miracle, presenting it as a sermon in action.
The timing of this event is significant. It is the beginning of a phase in Jesus’ ministry in which His primary focus was on His disciples. Jesus used this occasion to stretch their understanding of what He expected of them. They were to undertake responsibilities that looked beyond their ability, things they could accomplish when their inability was coupled with Jesus’ ability.
The crowd needed to eat. The disciples’ suggestion was to send them to the villages nearby to buy food for themselves. But Jesus said that was not necessary. Instead, He instructed His men to give them something to eat—an overwhelming task for a group with limited resources.
The disciples then saw that what they had, when placed in the hands of Jesus, could be used to accomplish what looked impossible.
One of the lessons of the loaves is that we must look past our inability and see His ability. When Jesus works through us, we can accomplish the tasks He gives us.
“God, help me rely on Your ability. The tasks You set before me can appear overwhelming until I see them through Your eyes.”
Woodrow Kroll & Tony Beckett