“As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
(Matthew 14: 15-16 NIV)
Yet another miracle among all the glorious miracles Christ performed! With the only exception of His resurrection, the miracle of His feeding the five thousand is recorded in all four Gospels, so it is safe to assume this miracle is of great and significant importance! The day was growing long… and late… and increasingly weary and tiring for all. The sky overhead was growing darker as the evening shadows of night were quickly approaching in this remote and distant place far away from any town. Earlier in the day, the great crowd heard of Jesus’ whereabouts, and decided to follow Him on foot…some even running with great intent to follow Him …and when Jesus saw the large crowd that had gathered to see Him, HE HAD COMPASSION on them and began to teach and heal them of all their afflictions. The very heart of Christ…so filled with overflowing compassion…so infused with undying love… and of a very warm and gentle unconditional affection…to all without any record of moral inventory… for those in the crowd who were lost in their fallen humanity…and wandering in the remoteness of this darkening and blinding place…sick….suffering…and searching…. “Like sheep without a Shepherd…”
This great and large crowd of five thousand was only the total written recording of the men who were present that long but miraculous day, for if one man was accompanied by his wife and only one child, this crowd quickly grows to fifteen thousand, so it is also safe to assume this crowd represented anywhere between fifteen to twenty thousand people who walked from nearby villages and towns, perhaps even more…and all were growing weary as the day grew long…and growing hungry and they were empty and cold deep inside, and some desperately searching for hope…..
The disciples realized the day was growing late as the sky grew dark… and they became more anxious about their limited food supply, and they asked Jesus to simply “send the people away.”
These disciples who only carried food enough for themselves…their anxiety and great worry intensifying in their round of questioning and human reason…how could we possibly feed the multitude of this crowd? …. It would take more than half a year’s wage to feed each person a mere one bite of food…. The empty heart of men…their frantic words representing the heart of a fallen humanity… …so void of compassion….so void and empty of love….so very void of unconditional warmth and affection… for all others….
But there found wandering in this large crowd… a small and innocent child….a very tired … weary… and hungry… although… very generous small boy willing to share his yet uneaten lunch with the others in the crowd….. And his lunch consisted only of five small barley loaves and two small fish…..But this generous small child also unknowingly carried a great and wondrous possession that was so much more than he could ever imagine…. For he possessed a Christ-like heart….so filled with overflowing compassion….so infused with undying love and warm affection for others… and so very generous to be willing to share his own small portion of food….
And so this great crowd of over fifteen thousand people were fed, but not only were they ALL satisfied of their physical hunger…. there remained an abundance of food leftover after ALL the people were served…enough pieces of food to fill twelve more baskets…their physical hunger satisfied with more than substantial abundance…and even some with a yearning desire for spiritual hunger were completely fulfilled….and the tired became more restful….the weary made more hopeful….and the weak made more strong. And there in the crowd of thousands was the One who refused to send anyone away…even those who undoubtedly openly or even secretly scoffed at His teachings….and those who doubted His miracles they had just witnessed that miraculous day….and even those who continued to resist and reject His teachings…
…. in the middle of this great and large crowd of many thousands…. Stood CHRIST….The only One who loved them all…the only One who had compassion for them all…the One who fed them all…
How do you choose to represent Christ to a fallen world?
Do you turn people away or refuse services after you take a moral inventory?
Do you accurately represent His compassion and love to all others?
Have you experienced His compassion and love?