13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
15 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.”
16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 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. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Jesus provides for 5,000 people in miraculous fashion. 12 baskets of food being left over accounts for the bounty of God’s provision for his people. The disciples lack faith and initiative, but in their ignorance they are obedient. Jesus, then provides the power to compensate for their fledgling faith. Disciples should not seek to exercise power in Jesus’ name for kicks. We should not want Jesus, through His Spirit, to provide cheap entertainment. Jesus’ miracles are most often about provision. He is capable of providing for all our needs and delivering more than we expect. The posture of the disciple is one of faith in action.
- What did the disciples think must happen as evening approached?
- What did Jesus tell them to do?
- What do you think the significance of 12 baskets left over is?
- What areas has God provided for in your life?
- What do you need to relinquish control or fear about and trust God?