Bible Story: Matthew 14, Mark 6, Luke 9, John 6
The account of Jesus feeding the 5000 is one that many people know. Jesus began his ministry with just a handful of followers, but his miracle-working gained the attention of the masses. At this time in his ministry, a large crowd followed Jesus wherever he went.
Many times after Jesus performed miracles; he would retreat to a remote place to be with God alone. In this account, though, the crowd followed Jesus to the remote place. They gathered around him, and he performed more miracles and healed more people. However, Jesus's disciples were concerned that the people would not have anything to eat. As the story unfolds, we see that Jesus was not concerned at all.
Jesus had the crowd sit, and he took a small offering of 5 loaves of bread and two fish from a boy. Then, he blessed the food and started breaking it apart. The disciples were skeptical, but as they were passing out the food, they saw that everyone had enough food. In fact, after everyone ate as much as they wanted, the disciples gathered 12 baskets full of leftovers.
Directly after this, Jesus told his disciples to prepare the boat. Jesus got on the boat and sailed to the other side to withdraw from the crowd. On the surface, this may seem strange. Jesus would often leave the crowd to be with God, but he would also leave because he did not like the reason the crowd was following him. However, the crowd's motives became impure once he started healing and feeding them. They were sticking around Jesus to benefit from his ministry, not because they loved him or believed in him as their Savior.
Jesus did not perform miracles just because he could. He wanted every sign and miracle to benefit the people but also to glorify God. He wanted God to be glorified because it is ultimately him who sustains people, not the miracles. We see this attitude when Satan tempts Jesus in the wilderness. Satan tempted Jesus to use his power for selfish reasons, but Jesus reminded him that man cannot live on bread alone.
The only thing that sustains people is God and his provisions. True life is not found in signs, food, or even health. True life can only be found in God, and the only way to have this life is to put faith in Jesus Christ. God sent Jesus as an eternal sacrifice for the sins of the world. He did this so that anyone who put their faith in Jesus would inherit eternal life. Following Jesus is not about following miracles and following things that benefit us. Following Jesus is about having faith that he is God's son who gives us true life. We certainly do receive benefits from following him, but these are all secondary compared to our relationship with him.
Jesus provides for our needs
We can not live on bread alone
Faith in Jesus gives us true life
Parents, 3treesKIDS will also be learning about Jesus feeding the five thousand this Sunday, both in-person and online.
Be sure to check out their lesson at www.3trees.com/kids.
To find service times and locations, visit https://www.3trees.com/planyourvisit