I’m going to briefly tell you this Bible story, but you really need to hear the whole story to understand it. The Feeding of the 5,000 is only one of two narratives told in the Bible in every one of the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, so it must be very important for us to hear. (The other one is the Resurrection just so you know.)
Jesus and His disciples were all tired from traveling, teaching, and healing the people, so they decided to get into a boat and sail off to be alone, rest, and talk. But the crowds who were following Jesus saw them leave and went to where they landed in the boat. The Bible tells us that Jesus had compassion for the people even though He was tired and needed to rest, so He taught them about the kingdom. Towards the end of the day, the disciples told Jesus that he had better send them away because everyone was getting hungry, and the disciples nor Jesus had food or enough money to buy food for all of them. Jesus asked His disciples to see just how much food was available. Soon they had found only five loaves of bread and two fish.
Jesus asked the crowd to sit down. Then He took the bread and the fish, looked up to heaven, gave thanks, and broke the bread and divided the fish. Guess what happened. There was enough bread and fish to not only feed all the people until they were full, but there were even twelve baskets of food left over!
Nice story isn’t it? But you know what? Jesus’ stories are more than just stories in the Bible. Jesus always wanted to teach us about how we could be better Christians, and this one is no exception. The Bible says Jesus had compassion for these people. Jesus knew they needed His help, so we should also try to help people who need us too.
Secondly, we always need to have faith in Christ that He will provide what we need, when we need it. Not only that, but in this teaching, did you notice that the people were all fed until they were full and there was even lots of food left over? Jesus gives us not just what we need, but more than we could ever need if we trust Him and ask for His help.
So let’s remember to always try to help those who need our help and have faith that Jesus will help us do just that!
Let’s say a prayer together. Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Bible lessons that also teach us about how we can be better Christians. Help us to always want to help others and have faith in You to help us do what we need to do to accomplish that. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Ann Moody is pastor of Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church and the Middleport First Presbyterian Church.