Feeding Program

Posted: September 20, 2015 in TLCC
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The disciples were sent out then as they come back, they were talking about what happened. People were healed. Demons flee. The authorities were disturbed. There is indeed something big happening. Lives are changed.

Now, we will see that Jesus met not only the spiritual needs but the physical as well.

People were flocking to see Him. They would walk just to hear Jesus speak. They want to see Him personally. They would walk for days.

There are three things we can learn from the feeding of the five thousand. This is one of the miracles recorded in the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John). So we can read all the accounts and glean from it.

#1 Compassion

When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. (Matthew 14:14)

When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. (Mark 6:34)

When Jesus saw the crowd, He had compassion on them. This is something worth noting. We can be working in church and be the most compassion-less person on earth. We can do Bible studies and small groups but have no heart for the people.

Why should we imitate Christ and have compassion for people? Wayne Grudem said…

We can bring him glory as we imitate him by exhibiting likeness to his attributes.

This means that when we show Christ-likeness, God is glorified. It’s not that we add to God’s glory, but that God is pleased when we imitate Him.

The crowd was like “sheep without a shepherd”. We have to look around. There are a lot of people who are lost. Do we feel compassion towards them?

It’s hard to be compassionate.

A few days ago, we were doing our small group in a nearby campus. There were streetkids who were asking for money for food. They were about five of them. As the owner of the meeting place met with them and played ball with them, they were enjoying their time. A few minutes later, they went to a slot machine computer station and played a computer game.

A few minutes ago they were saying they have no money for food, yet when it comes to addictions, they actually could afford to play.

Indeed, it’s hard to be compassionate. This is something we can work on.

#2 Faith

Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?”

He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. (John 6:5-6)

They just got back from their assignment but the test isn’t over. Jesus knew what He was going to do but He allows a test for the disciples. Do they really believe in Him? Jon Bloom said…

Apparently, uncertain seasons are often some of the most powerful moments we experience with God in this age. More than seasons of security and prosperity, they demonstrate that ‘God exists and rewards those who seek him’ (Heb. 11:6).

There’s no way we measure faith. We can’t say that we have one kilo of faith, or one liter of faith. This is something that we need to learn. We can claim to have faith, but it is when we are placed in a situation where we exercise faith. True faith leads to…

#3 Action

One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him,

“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?”

Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number.

Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted.

And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.”

So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. (John 6:8-13)

Philip did accounting and knew that in their own capacity, they can’t really feed the large crowd. Andrew, on the other hand, pointed out what was there. Using their limited resources, Jesus used it as a lesson of faith for the disciples.

In fact, that’s very similar to us. We look at ourselves and say…

I’m not equipped enough.

I’m not ready yet.

I’m not rich. or I don’t have enough resources.

Jesus teaches us to rely on Him! If it was up to us, then we won’t rely on God. We need to come to a point of understanding it’s never about us. We make a choice to do things for God. William James said…

When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice.

Don’t rely on what you don’t have. Rely on God. Err on the side of action. When we believe Him, there is no room for doubt or worries. Christ is indeed enough for us. (2 Cor. 9:8)


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