Two thousand years ago not far from the town of Bethsaida in Israel, along the shores of the Sea of Galilee, a Nazarene Man filled the stomachs of 5,000 men (total does not reflect women and children in attendance) who gathered together in a grassy area.
How did He do it?
The wondrous deed was not done through the typical process of planning and preparation of food, but was accomplished on-the-spot by the Nazarene looking into the heavens and giving thanks!
Sheep without a shepherd.
Crowds were seen traveling on foot from nearby towns to follow this Nazarene, whose name is appropriately given as Jesus (Savior).
It has been documented that Jesus considered the crowd as sheep without a shepherd, so He had compassion on them. The Nazarene lovingly healed those in the crowd that were sick along with speaking to this multitude of people regarding the kingdom of God.
As night approached and everyone grew hungry, Jesus’ previously selected group of twelve disciples urged Him to send the crowds away to find their own food and lodging. The disciples did so in knowing the shores of the Sea of Galilee offered little convenience food. And rumor had it that Judas, one of the twelve and keeper of the money bag, did not budget for the disciples to scatter into nearby villages in order to purchase quantities of food for a multitude such as this.
Large crowd too expensive to feed.
Another disciple, Philip, was overheard making a statement estimating the amount of money required to simply purchase bread for a crowd in the thousands: “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
Jesus, being the Servant that He is, went against the disciples’ decision to send the crowd away in search of food. Jesus spoke straightforwardly to the disciples and made His thoughts known to them: “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
Upon hearing their Teacher’s words, Andrew, one of the twelve who is a fisherman by trade spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
It seems apparent that negativity ran rampant among Jesus’ own closest followers. Also Biblical history reveals His hometown of Nazareth also had their doubts about Him. Yet Jesus does not submit to their uncertainty. He continues to speak often of saving all of mankind. Some of His titles are :
- JUDGE OF ISRAEL
- KING OF KINGS
- LORD OF LORDS
And the disciple called John, one of the twelve most familiar with Jesus, quoted Jesus as saying: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Crowd was organized.
Jesus then directed the people to sit down on the grass, specifically in groups of 50. There is no confirmation as to how much time was required for the task of settling the 5,000 men plus women and children into organized groups. However, immediately upon completion eyewitness again describe what the Nazarene did:
Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
On this day in Galilee, Jesus the Nazarene did what many considered to be an impossibility.
Jesus alone met both the physical and spiritual needs of a crowd of over 5,000. His actions reveal the Nazarene Man lives the power of God. Jesus not only healed their sick and shared The Word, but He was also able to fill the stomaches of a great multitude of people.
Jesus simply offered thanks.
Because Jesus simply offered thanks to The Father for what little food He had to share, God blessed those five loaves of bread and two fish. God increased their abundance to the point of twelve baskets of food to spare after everyone had eaten and was satisfied.
This biblical history reveals—when we lift up God’s name in thankfulness, blessings happen!
Friends, as you gather around the dinner table for Thanksgiving dinner, remember to thank God for all your blessings. No matter you consider your blessings as insignificant as Andrew did when he described the amount of food the boy was carrying. God gives to us for a reason and we are to work with what He gives us.
Heavenly Father, thank-you for my blessings each day. Too often I forget I am placed on this earth for your purpose only. Please forgive me for my selfishness. You alone are worthy of praise in all circumstances. Thank-you for another day to serve You. Amen.
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