Meals with Jesus: a Hungry Crowd

Please read: Luke 9:10-17 & Isaiah 25:6-9

This is the last feeding story in Luke’s account of His Galilean ministry.

When Jesus saw the crowd he welcomed them, the disciples panicked. Jesus is about to host a meal for 5000, and that would have been only men, so there would have been many more including the women and children. These people were gathering for the Passover celebrations. They were remembering their deliverance from slavery and hence were fiercely nationalistic. Full of compassion He must have known they were hungry. Just before this story, Jesus had sent the disciples out on a mission telling them to take no bread, (Luke 9:3) now here He was asking them to rustle up bread from nowhere. In Luke’s account they gather up the bread between themselves. In John’s account, the food is provided from a young boy’s lunch. “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” – John 6:9

*Imagine what the conversation would have been that night around the boy’s dinner table.

Jesus took the five loaves and two fish and blessed them. I wonder how that scene may have looked like today as He prayed for bread to fill the crowds. With all our allergies, preferences, fussiness and social consciences. I wonder if all would have got fed, I like to think of course because Jesus is able to meet all our needs but it might have tested his patience. I know when my family comes for tea I have to read the packets and sometimes cook up 3 different batches because of their allergies, but I love them so I do it!! All were fed that day and there were leftovers!!!!

Eight hundred years before Jesus the prophet Isaiah proclaimed this promise from God about a Great Banquet on a mountain. This was a glimpse of the Messianic Banquet to come after God’s Messiah has swallowed up death, put the world right and brought us into the very presence of God. A lavish, expensive feast but with a menu with no prices on it because the bill has already been paid through the precious blood of Jesus. Isaiah 55:1 says, Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. The Feeding of the 5000 here is not the full deal, yet, but it is a glimpse of what is to come. In v.16 Jesus gives thanks for the bread and in order, he is taking, thanking, breaking and giving, exactly the same order as in Luke 22:19, when He breaks bread with His disciples and implores them to do this in remembrance of Him. Again Luke makes a connection that Jesus is the Messiah and will be the host of the great banquet to come. The 12 leftover baskets are a sign that this feast will continue. There is one for each disciple reminding them that Jesus provides, that he asks us to use the resources that we have with faith. The disciples when He has gone will be called to feed many as they are given the impossible task to proclaim the gospel calling for forgiveness and repentance to all the nations, as are we.

PRAYER: Thank God for His provision, ask Him to increase your faith and continually equip you to take the gospel message to all who are hungry. In Jesus Name, Amen

SONG: Come, Now is the Time to Worship