Matthew 14:13-21 (The Feeding of the 5000, part 2)

Who did Jesus ask where they would be able to find food for the multitude in that desolate place?  See Joh 6:5.  Why does John say that He asked him?  See Joh 6:6.  Was it in their power or ability to be able to provide food for such a large crowd?  See Joh 6:7.  What food did they have?  See Mat 14:17.  Who specifically reported to Jesus what food they had available, and from where in fact did it come?  See Joh 6:8-9.  What sort of loaves did the boy have?  See Joh 6:9.  What was the difference between a barley loaf and a wheat loaf, and what does this teach us about the social status of the boy and the nature of God’s provision for the multitudes?  See Rev 6:6, Jdg 7:13, and think:  Does God multiply the higher quality bread of those who are more versed in their understanding of doctrine and more eloquent and lofty in their teaching to provide for the multitudes, or does He multiply the inferior but more common bread of those who are perhaps not as versed in their understanding of doctrine and more simple in their teaching to feed them?  Cf. 1Co 2:1-5.  In this light, why is it significant that the bread Jesus multiplied to feed the multitude belonged to a child?  Cf. Mat 18:1-4, 19:13-14.  What encouragement should this give those who suppose they are not as gifted as others in their understanding or sharing of the gospel?  What does this teach us is most important in our service to God and sharing the gospel with others: ability, or availability?  Observe that availability always trumps ability when it comes to serving God.  What does the multiplication of the barley loaves teach us about what can result by just being faithful with whatever humble gifts we have to share the simple gospel?

How many people does the Bible say Jesus fed from the five loaves and two fish?  See Mat 14:21.  How would they have been able to count so many?  See Mar 6:40, Luk 9:14.  How and why would they have been able to count the men as distinct from the women and children?  See Joh 6:10 and observe that the men (Greek = males) sat down; the women and children likely assisted in the serving of so many.  Why was the location where Jesus fed the five thousand conducive for such an occasion?  See Joh 6:10; cf. Mar 6:39.

Did Jesus personally deliver the bread He multiplied to all the people?  See Mat 14:19.  In what way is this a picture of the way He feeds people spiritually?  Are we true disciples in the sense of receiving bread from Jesus and distributing it to others?  What is the significance that He “kept giving” (Mar 6:41) to the disciples to set before the people until “they all ate and were satisfied” (Mar 6:42)?  Is there any danger that Jesus will run out of bread for all He has to feed, or that the bread He provides won’t meet the need or leave the people unsatisfied?  What does this teach us about how the word of God is able to meet our every need and satisfy all our hunger?

What does the fact that Jesus “commanded” or “ordered” the people to sit down in order that they might be fed teach us about what is necessary on our part to receive of the heavenly manna?  Are we obedient to take time each day to sit and listen as He would feed us from His word?  Or are our lives so busy because we love the world and the things in the world more than we love God that we won’t obey Jesus’ command to sit and eat?  What do all three synoptic gospels record that Jesus did after having the people sit down and before distributing to the people?  See Mat 14:19, Mar 6:41, Luk 9:16.  What does it mean to “bless” the food?  See Joh 6:11, 1Ti 4:3-5, and cf. the traditional Hebrew blessing for bread, “Blessed art Thou, O LORD our God, King of the universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth.”  Are we as grateful and faithful in blessing God for the abundance of His daily provisions for us?

In the Lord’s feeding of the multitude, was there just enough in order to tide the people over until they could get home and get a real meal?  See Mat 14:20.  What did He command the disciples after the people were “filled” and had “as much as they wanted”, and why?  See Joh 6:11-12.  What does the fact that Jesus was concerned that “nothing may be lost” indicate about how God views wastefulness?  How much was left over?  What is the significance that there were twelve baskets left over and they were full?  See Mat 14:19 and think: how many disciples did Jesus have (Mat 10:1)?  Is there a danger for us as Jesus’ disciples that if we empty our basket in service to Him that there will be none left over for ourselves?  How does this exemplify the truth of Luk 6:38?

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