Matthew 14. 13-21 The feeding of the 5,000
The truth of the matter is: John was executed as “a TERRORIST.”
The authorities saw THE SIZE of the crowds that came out to see him.
And THEY became CONCERNED.
They LISTENED to his rhetoric.
They were WORRIED.
They SAW the reaction of the crowds.
They ASSUMED he was “inciting the people” against “the empire”…or “at very least,” against the “religious establishment.”
Yep, he was coming after “THEM.”
It was an outrageous assumption.
It was BOGUS, as could be.
So, they HAD him SILENCED.
IT IS WHAT the status quo does!
They keep things “the same.”
They DO NOT knock over the APPLE CART…or the tables of the money-changers.
Jesus had just RECEIVED the word.
It was NOT a “good word, either.”
It came out of NOWHERE.
He was not HAPPY.
John the baptizer was DEAD.
Their families had been close.
Their mothers had gotten together when they were pregnant with John and Jesus.
Both John and Jesus saw themselves as being “servants” of the Most High God.
Both of them, felt compelled to preach “THEIR version” of the “GOOD NEWS.”
John had baptized JESUS.
And now just “like that,” he was GONE.
Jesus needed to ESCAPE.
He needed to GET AWAY…to pray…to reminisce.
He needed to sort things THROUGH…
IF it happened to John…(pause)
He needed a lonely place, alone…
He needed to “REGROUP.”
He needed to THINK and sort things through…
Before he knew it- the hills were alive, NOT WITH THE SOUND OF MUSIC, but with the sounds of people, ALL looking for him.
They had heard THE stories.
So they came in GREAT NUMBERS – seeking him out.
The valley was filling UP.
They kept coming and coming…streams of people
And, in the heat of the day, too!
Was it because they had HEARD about John?
Was it Jesus’ own REPUTATION?
Was it his personal CHARISMA?
Were they coming for HEALING? TEACHING? Or, did they come seeking SIGNS and WONDERS?
Like John, JESUS too, was MAGNETIC.
The people were attracked…and so, they came.
OBVIOUSLY, someone had seen where HE HAD GONE, and had tipped off the people.
And the CROWDS naturally followed.
Lots of people.
All they could SEE were their OWN NEEDS.
All they could FEEL was their OWN PAIN.
All they sensed was their OWN HURTING.
Whatever their NEED, they CAME.
Matthew doesn’t give us all the details here, but I suspect they came with their many, MANY needs.
And so, they sought HIM out!
The Rabbi, from Nazareth in Galilee.
Jesus could have sent them AWAY.
He could have told them all that happened to John.
He could have just CRIED and YELLED and HOLLERED and SCREAMED.
He could have BEGGED and PLEADED for private space, PERSONAL TIME, alone time.
He could have gotten into the boat, CONJURED UP a big ol’ storm and been DONE with them all.
But that wasn’t his WAY.
That’s not how HE OPERATED.
INSTEAD he was moved with COMPASSION for “OTHERS.”
He ALWAYS did.
He always DOES.
He was able to SEE beyond his own PAIN, and FEEL the PAIN and the HURT they were bringing to him.
And he healed them. Of course, he did!
And when he was done healing them, he fed them.
HE COULD NOT SEND THEM AWAY!
This “passage shows” so INCREDIBLY the “humanity” and the “divinity” of Jesus.
Mourning and grieving, and yet offering healing and “life” for OTHERS.
Concern for others.
A MAN for OTHERS.
CONSTANT, CONTINUAL CONCERN. NON-STOP!
Like WATER from a rock…
Like QUAILS…in the morning…
Like MANNA from heaven…
Like the WORDS of the psalmist, “he is my PORTION and my CUP…”
Like food given to the hungry…from a PANTRY…
Like TWELVE BASKETS overflowing with leftovers…
Nothing is WASTED.
Every morsel is USED and SAVORED.
And all were FED and FULL.
All were FILLED and SATISFIED.
He supplied all of their needs and all of their wants.
God is MORE.
“GIVE US THIS DAY, OUR DAILY BREAD”…
And we too, are fed.
He provides with abundance.
More than enough.
Thank you, Lord. Just for today. It is enough!