Jesus Feeds Five Thousand

| | | | |
Five loaves and Two fish
Image source: LUMO Project

Today’s Bible reading includes the story of Jesus’ feeding over five thousand people with only two fish and five loaves of bread. Matthew 14:13-21) Mark and Luke also include the story in their Gospel.

It’s sad that people can read this story and dismiss it as a fairytale, something that never happened, something that could never have happened. They dismiss the story because it includes a miracle, and their theology doesn’t have room for a supernatural element. All of us are theologians. All of us. The question is how good and faithful to the Text are we going to be? I honestly think that to dismiss miraculous stories takes more “faith” than believing the story as presented.

So, I just take the story as it’s given: Jesus takes a couple of fish and some bread and feeds five thousand men, their wives, and children. And the disciples collect twelve baskets full of leftovers.

It’s been a long day. The disciples are tired and hungry. They probably just want a little peace and quiet. So they ask Jesus to send the crowds away so they can have some “down-time” together — and perhaps silently gloat that they’re special because they don’t have to leave and go home.

Jesus tells them to have the crowds sit down. He takes a small contribution, blesses it and feeds a multitude. But I find it interesting that Jesus doesn’t just feed the people a little bit. He doesn’t add to their own sack lunches. He feeds them and they collect twelve baskets of leftovers. Note that the leftovers are from the original contribution. There is nothing in the story that indicates that anyone adds to the two fish and five loaves of bread. None of the Gospel writers tells us how big the baskets were. But it’s clear that they had more left over than what they started with!

Yes, over five thousand men (plus women and kids) ate. They even had leftovers. But note that they were satisfied. (Matthew 14:20)


Each of us comes to Jesus with a hunger that only He can satisfy. Let me restate that.

Each of us comes to Jesus with a need. We may think we need any number of things from him. But our biggest need is a hunger for Him. And only He can satisfy that hunger. And He does it so well, if we will only ask.

CS Lewis said that our problem isn’t that we seek to fulfill our desires; our problem is that we are far too easily satisfied!

Are you satisfied with Jesus?

Again, I’d like to challenge you to embrace Christian Hedonism!