The ways that Jesus fed a crowd, part one.

Last week, we started talking about the story we know as “the feeding of the five thousand. On the next couple days, we’ll add more to the story. 


That day on that hillside, Jesus took care of feeding people who didn’t have money. But his words and actions show us that the feeding, and the words from Isaiah 55, aren’t just about Arby’s for everyone.

First, there is the obvious: Jesus fed food to the physically hungry. In this moment, there was a miracle of the lunch for one teen being enough for 15,000 people. We don’t know exactly what happened, other than Jesus saying “thank you” to God for this food, and then starting to break it up.

There was enough. And sometimes there is enough food and it is a miracle. People are devoted to pursuing Jesus, spending their time on what matters. And there isn’t food.

That said, there are moments where we look around and we say “But what about all the starving people in the world? Where is Jesus?”

It’s possible that He is there. He’s waiting for us to bring our small meal to him. (Like we’ve done for 22 kids on the other side of the world. Our small acts leading to God’s big change.)

Second, Jesus fed knowledge to the intellectually hungry.

We don’t know what he taught that day on the hillside. We do know what Jesus taught in general. And it’s likely that he taught about the things we already know.

He’s always willing to feed us those words. In fact, they are written down in the Bible for our reflection, for our conversation, for our application.

We can take the words of Jesus from Matthew 5-7, from John 13-17, from parables and explanations of parables, and we can listen diligently to them and eat what is good. As Isaiah records, “Hear, that your soul may live.”


(More tomorrow).

3 thoughts on “The ways that Jesus fed a crowd, part one.

  1. Pingback: The ways that Jesus fed a crowd, part two. – 300 words a day

  2. Jenni Wilson Bartling

    Hey Jon! I meditated on this a couple weeks ago. What do you think was done with the leftovers? Or what should we understand from the fact there were leftovers?


    1. Jon Swanson

      Sorry I’m slow in getting to this. It’s a great couple of questions. I mean, I’m guessing that the disciples carried them to the boat which they then had with them when Jesus came on the water. Though it’s possible that they got soggy.

      And I’m guessing that the leftovers were evidence that the blessing of the food wasn’t merely sufficient, it was overflowing. Enough that everyone was full.

      I’ve always talked about it in the sense that the twelve, as they carried big baskets, were reminded about the provision, but I’m not sure that’s necessarily the lesson.

      But at the moment, I’m pretty excited about the more than the bare minimum thing. And, a boat full of soggy food.



Comments are closed