New Eyes on a Familiar Story – Jesus Feeds 5,000

Late
that afternoon or evening the disciples came to him and said “…Send the crowds
away so they can go to the nearby farms and villages and buy food and find
lodging for themselves.”Turning to Philip, [Jesus] asked, “Where can we buy
bread to feed all these people?” He was testing Philip, for he already knew
what he was going to do.

Philip
replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed
them!

But
Jesus said, “That isn’t necessary – you feed them.”

“With
what?” they asked.

“How
much bread do you have?” Jesus asked. “Go and find out.”

Then
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “There’s a young boy here with five
barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?

“Bring
them here,” [Jesus] said. “Tell [the people] to sit down on the green, grassy
slope in groups of about fifty each.” So they sat down in groups of fifty or a
hundred.

Then
Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven and gave
thanks to God. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to
the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. He also divided the
fish for everyone to share. (The men alone, not including the women and
children, numbered 5,000.)

And
they all ate as much as they wanted. After everyone was full, Jesus told his
disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.” So they
picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people
who had eaten from the five barley loaves.

When
the people saw him do this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, “Surely, he is the
Prophet we have been expecting!” When Jesus saw that they were ready to force
him to be their king, he slipped away into the hills by himself.

A Mash-up of Matthew 14:15-21, Mark 6:35-44, Luke
9:12-17, John 6:5-15 (NLT)

Let’s notice the details in this familiar story.

This is one of only a few stories recorded in all
four Gospels, indicating its importance. Each writer adds a few details that
the others don’t, so I’ve mashed together all four accounts.

I believe nothing Jesus does is left to chance. He
orchestrates every scene to reveal something about himself, ourselves, or Kingdom
values and life. Every detail teaches.

So read the story with fresh eyes, noticing the
order of events, descriptive words, Jesus’ instructions, the people involved
and their actions. Ask questions of the text. What is the importance of each
detail? Why does Jesus give an instruction? What do Jesus’ actions (and
non-actions) reveal? What happens just before and after this story?

Please share your thoughts in the comments. We’ll
continue in the next post.

Jesus
orchestrates every scene to reveal something about himself, ourselves or the
Kingdom.
(tweet this)

#SeedsofScripture #Feeds5000 #miracle

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