Five Loaves and Two Fishes
September 22, 2012
This week as I have been studying and preparing for this lesson, my heart has rejoiced so much at the wander that is JESUS! He takes the weak things in life and makes them strong. He takes the foolish things and confounds the wise. He produces children from barren women, and a Son from a virgin. He makes deaf men hear, and blind men see. He parts the sea so His children can walk through on dry ground. He sends manna from heaven and causes water to flow from a stone! He fed a multitude with five loaves of bread and two fish, and lame men leap and dance at His command. He is God of all and what is impossible with us, is VERY possible with Him! Yes, beloved ALL things are possible with Christ Jesus! Praise You LORD! Little is much when God is in it and in the lesson today we will see Jesus as He is. He is Compassionate, Loving, A True Friend, and Provider. The Lord can take our smallest efforts and turn them into more than we could ever imagine when we just surrender our will to His and allow Him to use us however He wants to.
Handout: Five Loaves and Two Fishes
Teacher's Guide: Five Loaves and Two Fishes
Every single week, as I start to write the lessons that God has given me to pen down. Satan whispers in my ear. He says, why are you doing this? No one reads anyway. You are not helping anyone. You are not a writer. You are wasting your time. What can you do? You can’t do anything. Why don’t you just quit. He says, do you think this little thing you do is going to help anyone? He says, You’re a nobody, no one cares what you write. He is consistent. Every week by the help and grace of Christ I say, get out of my thoughts satan you have no business here. I write for my Lord, I am His servant. Only He is allowed to tell me when to stop writing. Dear one I know that if you are working for the Lord, satan whispers these sorts of things to you as well when you try to serve God. There are times when we can confidently tell him to leave us alone, but then there are times when we are discouraged and we start to listen to his lies. It’s in those times when we MUST go to God in prayer and go to His word. He encourages us through His word and we can move on knowing that EVERYTHING we do for Him is NEVER in vain. When we do it with right heart unto God, He will honor it no matter how big or small it is and He can use it for His glory. The lesson for today we see one of the most wonderful miracles that Jesus did that is recorded in the gospels. One little boy fully surrenders the small portion he has to Jesus. What seemed nothing to everyone else, Jesus multiplied and used it to feed the multitude. Thank You Lord!
1After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. 2And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. 3And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. 4And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.
5When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?
6And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.7Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.
8One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him,9There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?10And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.11And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.
12When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.13Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.14Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.15When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.
There are so many wonderful lessons to learn from this event in the life of Jesus. It is wonderful what He did here and continues to do everyday in different ways. All four gospels in the Bible record this miracle. Can you imagine what lives the twelve disciples who got to tag along with Jesus when He was walking upon the earth had? Wow. By reading this event in the other three gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, we see that this miracle happened just after John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin had been beheaded/murdered. The disciples had taken his body and buried it and then they had went back to Jesus and told him all the things that had happened. Jesus and His disciples then left by boat to go to a secluded place. Mark 6:31 tells us that they went to rest after everything that had been happening they barely had time to even eat.
Mark 6:30-33 30And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told Him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught. 31And He said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. 32And they departed into a desert place by ship privately. 33And the people saw them departing, and many knew Him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto Him.
Can you imagine just standing face to face with the Master of all, after this tragic murder of a beloved friend, and pouring out your heart to Him about it all and then He looks into your eyes and says, let’s just get away. Let’s just go somewhere away from everything. You need to rest and just be with me. As I think about this, I hear the words echo in my heart from Matthew 11.
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Jesus had already knew what would befall John the Baptist because He knows all things. He went away with His disciples because they needed rest. They needed time alone with Him. They needed comforting and strengthening. Jesus does the same for you and I if we belong to Him. He says come to me, when life happens and tragedy strikes our hearts. We can get alone with Him and tell Him all about it. He already knows but it helps our souls to tell Him about it and to tell Him all of our hearts. It is healing for us. He is our comfort and our strength. We can rest in Him.
So Jesus and the twelve disciples had gone away but there was a multitude of people who followed them. They were drawn to Jesus and what He had to say. In Matthew 14:14 we read that when Jesus saw the multitude that He had compassion on them and He healed their sick. In Mark it says that Jesus also taught them many things. It was getting late but one of the greatest lessons was about to be taught through demonstration!
I wonder what the expression looked like on Jesus’ face when He turned to Philip and said, where are we going to buy all the bread? Philip was from Bethsaida, a city about nine miles away (John 1:44). Jesus wanted to teach them not to put limits on God. God is the great provider and sometimes we forget that nothing is impossible with Him. They had saw the miracles that Jesus had performed, they knew that He had provided wine at the wedding when they had ran out by using water and turning it into wine. I’m sure they had all heard how God had provided manna from Heaven to feed Moses and the children of Israel in the days after they were freed from bondage. Still, instead of saying, you know Lord, Philip in His humanity, began to assess the cost and how they could possibly feed this great multitude of people. Then Andrew seeing that there was no way says, there is a boy here with five loaves and two fishes and there is no possible way that we can feed everyone with that. Beloved so many times we do the same things. We have read in God’s word how He is the great comfort and provider, and we have seen Him work miracles in our own lives, yet when times get stressful, and tough, if we are not very careful we will start to worry and figure out how we are going to get through this next trial, instead of automatically leaning on the Lord and saying, Lord I trust You and I know that you are going to make a way. You are going to provide. Jesus wanted to teach them all that we must not lean on our own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5-6) We must not put JESUS in a box. When we do that, we limit the way He wants to work in us and we limit ourselves. In Matthew 13 at the end of the chapter we read that Jesus own people would not believe and have faith in Him. It says that He did not do many miracles because of their unbelief.
Matthew 13:58 “And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”
Oh what they must have missed out on simply because they would not have faith. Are we missing out on great works because of unbelief? I don’t want to do that, do you? I don’t want to miss the wander because I am trusting in myself more than God and being to stubborn to surrender to Him. I want everything God has in store don’t you? We can have it when we only believe! Thank You LORD!
So all these people need to be fed and everyone there is wondering what to do. Thank God there was one little boy. Are you in a situation that seems hopeless and impossible? Don’t worry Dear one, You keep trusting God and praying and there will be one “little boy”! God knows your need and He has already planned to make a way. God will provide for you. Keep trusting and obeying.
God had a plan for that little boy didn’t He! He had planned for that little boy to be there on that specific day with his lunch. What seemed just like a normal everyday thing, God had planned perfectly since before the foundations of the world and it’s Amazing! I wonder if satan tried to hinder that little boy that day from being there? I tend to think he did. Perhaps he told the little boy to be quiet that his food could not possibly feed all those people and to just run away and eat it himself or he would have to go hungry. Perhaps he whispered, do not give them your small amount they will laugh at you! Do you think your little bit can help? Don’t be foolish there’s no way this will do any good. You should just be quiet and keep this to yourself. Sound familiar? Thank God that little boy just gave what he had. He just surrendered it to the hands of Jesus!
Remember in Mark chapter 12 when Jesus was in the temple and they were taking up the offering and He watched as the rich men put in vast amounts but then the widow woman cast in only 2 mites. A mite was a small brass coin that was equal to about 1/5 of a cent, yet Jesus said that this woman even though she was very poor had put in more than anyone in the place because she had surrendered all that she had.
You may be rich or poor, that is not the matter. The matter is, are you surrendering all you have to Christ? That little boy, he could have kept his bread and fish, but he would have missed the blessing and the others might have suffered. When we close our hands tightly around the small amount we have in fear that we must take care of ourselves because we are not trusting God to provide, we will get just that small amount. The little boy surrendered his small amount and received more than what he could ever have dreamed of. When our hands are open to give to God, they are open to receive from God as well. When our hands are closed in greed and selfishness, they are closed to God’s blessing too. Don’t ever think that what you have to give is too small. No gift is to small for God to use and multiply. You may not ever see how God uses your efforts, but still give! It doesn’t matter what your status is in life. You may be rich, poor, big, small, young or old. God uses all that will surrender to Him. Man, woman, boy or girl, do not limit God through disobedience, you may be the very one that gives what God will use to provide for a multitude!
Dear Righteous Heavenly Father,
I bow before You today once again thanking You for who You are. You are ALMIGHTY! Father I thank You today for always providing for me. Lord I thank You for dying on the cross for my sins and that you rose again to set me free from sin. Jesus today I ask that You help me to always surrender everything that I have to You no matter how great or small. Help me to always remember that You can do all things and that You can take what I give and use it for far more than I could ever even imagine. Lord take my five loaves and two fishes and feed Your people for Your glory. Thank You for providing what I have, so that I can give it back to You. Thank You for being my comfort and my strength. Thank You for loving me. Lord I love You too so much. Help me to always show that and help me to love You more and more everyday the way that you want and deserve to be loved. You are my Savior, My Redeemer and the Lover of my Soul. I praise You today for all that You have done, for all that You are doing, and for all that You will do. I know that I can always trust You to do the right thing in all situations. You are good and You will always be good and Your mercy does indeed endure forever. I love you Lord. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
September 22, 2012