January 21st Christ feeds the 5,000
13: When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities. 14: And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick. 15: And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. 16: But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. 17: And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. 18: He said, Bring them hither to me. 19: And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. 20: And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. 21: And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.
Christ walks on water
22: And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. 23: And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. 24: But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. 25: And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. 26: And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27: But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 28: And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29: And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30: But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31: And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? 32: And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. 33: Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.
Christ heals all the people
34: And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret. 35: And when the men of that place had knowledge of him, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto him all that were diseased; 36: And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole.
Matthew continues to describe the huge popularity of Christ. When Christ sees the crowds he is moved with compassion for them and heals their sick. And so Christ reverses the physical effects of the discipline of God on a nation that is spiritually way from the Lord. At the end of the day the disciples of Christ come to him and say, ‘send the people home’. They were on the high moorland of Israel and there was nothing to eat. There were probably as many as 20,000 people there or more. (5000 men) Christ simply says, ‘they don’t have to go - you give them food’. They find their only recourses is a young boys lunch of five barley loaves and two small fish. Christ commanded the multitude sit down in groups of people. Then Christ takes the bread and blesses it in true Jewish fashion and then he gives it to his disciples to distribute. When everyone had had their full, they took up twelve baskets full (One for each disciple) Jesus told the disciples to go away, by ship, straight away, while he sent the people away. (According to John’s Gospel this is now the heart of Christ Messianic ministry) Christ goes away from his people into the mountain. He has made provision for everyman and his little faithful ones are on a ship and the wind is against them. This is the current situation in the church age. But Christ is going to go to his faithful walking on the waters. Christ comes to them and says, ‘it’s me! don’t be afraid’. Peter says Lord, ‘if it is really you, let me come to you’. And Christ says, ‘Come!’ Peter steps out of the boat to walk to Jesus. However half way to Christ he is distracted by the wind and he is afraid and he begins to sink. Then Peter calls out, ‘LORD save me!’ And the Lord puts out his hand. Then the Lord says, ‘Peter why did you doubt?’ The storm ceased and the disciples worshipped Christ. They said, ‘you truly are the Son of God’. When they arrived at the other side huge crowds brought their sick and everyone was made perfectly whole.
- What is Christ demonstrating when he fed the 5,000 families?
- Is the account different to the feeding of the 4,000?
- What is significant about the storm on the lake?