October 1, 2019
“And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.” – Matthew 14:19-21
One of the most amazing and powerful scenes in all the Gospels is the feeding of the 5000 (Matthew 14:13-21). This miracle shows the compassion and power of Jesus as he provides food for the large crowed who had followed him into the wilderness. The Disciples wanted to send the crowd away so that they could feed themselves. The crowd followed Jesus from the city and they brought little to no provisions with them. All that was found was fives loaves of bread and two fish.
The feeding of the five thousand does not just reflect Jesus’ compassion and power, it also shows his humanity. Matthew 14 starts with the death of John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus. After hearing about John’s death, Jesus withdraws by himself. I can only imagine that Jesus was deeply saddened at John’s passing. The feeding of the multitude happens while Jesus mourns the loss of someone special.
In the middle of Jesus mourning the loss of John, and the feeding his followers, Jesus demonstrates an important lesson to us all. Matthew 14:19 says Jesus, “Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.” Jesus stopped and expressed thanksgiving to God. In the middle of sadness and being chased by crowds Jesus demonstrated that there is always something to give thanks for, no matter what the circumstances.
We often find ourselves in the middle of difficult situations. Sometimes trouble surrounds us, but even during trials there are so many reasons we have to be thankful. Primarily, God is with us. We are not alone. Today, when life gets busy and trouble surrounds you, take a moment stop and give thanks. It is a way to remind ourselves we already have all that we need.
-Rev. Keith King, Pastor of Worship