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Matthew 15:32-39 Jesus Feeds Thousands...Again

Search and Find: A Series on Matthew  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  36:21
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Jesus Feeds Four Thousand

32 Then Jesus called his disciples and told them, “I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry, or they will faint along the way.”

33 The disciples replied, “Where would we get enough food here in the wilderness for such a huge crowd?”

34 Jesus asked, “How much bread do you have?”

They replied, “Seven loaves, and a few small fish.”

35 So Jesus told all the people to sit down on the ground. 36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, thanked God for them, and broke them into pieces. He gave them to the disciples, who distributed the food to the crowd.

37 They all ate as much as they wanted. Afterward, the disciples picked up seven large baskets of leftover food. 38 There were 4,000 men who were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children. 39 Then Jesus sent the people home, and he got into a boat and crossed over to the region of Magadan.

This is the 2nd miracle healing that we see in Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 14:13-21). Last time I taught how the miracle in Matthew 14:13-21 is about PROVISION, POWER and PARTNERSHIP.
So why does Matthew add ANOTHER story of Jesus feeding thousands?
Repetition is the Bible lets us know that something is important so we know that this is important.
There are clear similarities in this story but also clear differences:
5000 vs. 4000
Spring versus summer feeding
Jews versus Gentile feeding
The # of resources from the disiciples
The amount of leftovers
What do we see about Jesus’ character in this story?
Compassion
Action
Jesus felt sorry for them and He took action. He did not stop at the emotion of just feeling bad. He did something.
We should take that example: the dangerous thing about aligning and abiding in relationship with God means He will open your heart and our eyes to see the pain of those around us and it is our love for Him that compels us to meet THEIR needs.
It is incredibly fitting that these two characteristics of Jesus are common characteristics that we see in mothers. I am blown away by the compassion and action that I see in the moms of our home church and the mother figure that I have in my own life. I know that Mother’s Day can be painful and a reminder of grief for some but I pray that we will not let that overshadow the celebration that this day is meant to be. A day to celebrate the mothers in our lives. It could be your biological mother or even a spiritual one. A woman who has nurtured you in your seasons of life. It could be an older woman of faith who has taken compassion and action to invest in your spiritual growth. Heck! It would even be a younger woman.
Our love for God compels to love those around us.
We continually see that in the way that Jesus loves those around Him.
And…Jesus invites the disciples to participate with Him.
Jesus is so gracious to invite us to participate in miracles. I don’t think the little that they had in food was what matter. It was the little obedience and sacrifice to share.
We often use the excuse of not having or being enough as reasons why we can’t obey the call or sacrifice as if our offerings of time/gifts/resources/abilities/talents/skills is not great enough.
Our ordinary is extraordinary in the hands of Jesus.
Our little becomes great in the hands of Jesus.
What potential miracles do we miss out on because we don’t accept the gracious invitation to bring our little to the Lord?
Can we just take a moment to acknowledge what these verses reveal about the disciples? And possibly us?
What makes this story even more incredible is the fact that the disciples were just with Jesus when He fed the 5000. Their expressed disbelief in verse 33 shows their heart.
We can easily judge the disciples for not “getting” it. But if we slow down and look at our own faith then I think we would spot our disbelief.
Miracles and signs of God’s goodness marks our life and continues to show up daily but our own expectations of natural and supernatural blind us from accepting invitation.
Lord, forgive me/forgive us for all the times that I allowed my unbelief to prevent me from how You do miracles. Help me remember all the miracles You have done.
Jesus send the people home and goes to the other side of the lake to continue his ministry.
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