February 20th The 5,000 fed
30: And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught. 31: And 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. 32: And they departed into a desert place by ship privately. 33: And 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. 34: And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things. 35: And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed: 36: Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat. 37: He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat? 38: He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes. 39: And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass. 40: And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties. 41: And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. 42: And they did all eat, and were filled. 43: And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes. 44: And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.
Jesus returns to his own
45: And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people. 46: And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. 47: And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. 48: And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. 49: But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: 50: For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. 51: And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. 52: For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.
Jesus heals in Galilee
53: And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore. 54: And when they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew him, 55: And ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was. 56: And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.
After hearing the news of John’s dead the Lord takes the disciples aside so that they might rest at the end of their labours and so that they might report what God had been doing through them. The people followed them seeking Christ out and Christ had great compassion on the common people because they were like sheep having no shepherd and he began to teach them. We might ask why? Because sheep need food and more than any other thing, the sheep need to be fed. After quite a while of teaching, the Lord feeds them. This event is recorded by every Gospel writer and in this way they demonstrate the Messiahs ability to feed men to provide for all their needs. At the end Christ sends the Disciples away and then he dismisses the people. In Johns Gospel this constitutes the centre of the Gospel and the heart of the signs of Christ. It describes a period in which Christ is absent from his people and they are on Gentiles waters and the wind is against them. The next event in Israel’s history is that Christ will come to them in their troubles and when he is welcomed into the boat he will calm the storm and bring universal peace. On their arrival the cities and villages are greatly stirred when they hear of Christ’s coming and they bring their sick and Christ heals them. The narrative gives the impression that there is sickness everywhere and of course there was. This sickness was a discipline of God on Israel and of course wherever Christ went he reversed the effect of their backslidings.
- What was the significance of feeding the 5,000?
- What is the significance of Christ coming to the disciples walking on the lake?
- How extensive was the healing ministry of the Lord?