Saturday, November 2, 2013

Abundance --Not Scarcity: The Miracle of The Loves and Fishes

This is a summary of the message that has been recorded in more detail MP3 format and attached to this post. The message is based on the scripture passage from Matthew 14:15-21.


As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a remote place, and it is 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." "We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish," they answered.

"Bring them here to me, he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. 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. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children (Matthew 14:15-21).

A similar incident is recorded in Matthew 15:29-38 in which four thousand were fed, besides women and children.

Jesus called his disciples to him and said, "I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat, I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way." (Matthew 15:29-33).

What followed was the concern that the disciples had about where would they get enough bread to feed such a large crowd in that remote place. Then Jesus (yahooshua) enquired about how many loaves there were. It was discovered that there were seven loaves and a few small fish. Jesus (Yahooshua) then directed the crowd to sit on the ground, after which he gave thanks, broke the loves and gave them to the disciples who in turn gave them to the people. The disciples afterward picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces. Four thousand, besides women and children were fed.

We should carefully note the following:
1. In the feeding of the five thousand, the disciples, out of concern, urged Yahooshua to send them away.
2. In the feeding of the four thousand, Christ (Yahooshua) was the one who initiated the concern and supplied the remedy.
3. Although Christ (Yahooshua) had fed five thousand with five loaves and two fishes only a few days before, his disciples were doubtful as to how he would feed four thousand with seven loaves and a few fish.

Some Key Observations about the Miracles

Limited provisions in the hands of Yahooshua
  • In the hands of the disciples, the provisions were utterly insufficient
  • In the hands of Yahooshua, it was enough.
The order as directed by Yahooshua
  • Directed to sit down in companies
  • There was no confusion
  • It was easy to count and observe
  • Looking to heaven and giving thanks
  • Breaking the loaves and giving them to his disciples showed honour to the disciples
The miracle process
  • In Yahooshua's hands, he broke it, in the hands of the disciples it multiplied
  • It was public, beyond doubt
Frugality (economizing)
  • Did not waste that which came about through a miracle but picked up the broken pieces.
Something strange happens when we human beings look at the world. Instead of seeing abundance we see scarcity. We convince ourselves that there really isn't enough, and we become fearful. "What if ....?" is a constant question, and we are filled with worry that we won't receive enough.....that we will run out of .....fill in the out of oil, recognition, bread, money, pension funds.

We begin to look at others as our competitors, our rivals, not our neighbours and friends. It's us against them because there isn't enough for everyone. This is especially true in our western 21st century culture consumer society where sense of scarcity is deliberately created to increase demand, to raise prices, and to bolster profits.

Application of the miracle
  • In the multitude of hungry people, we have a representation of the spiritually famished state of mankind
  • In the compassion of Christ, we see hope for the perishing sinner
  • In the disciples bearing the food to the people we see the design of Christian ministry
  • In the abundance, we see the fullness of the gospel and the all sufficiency of his divine providence for our lives.



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