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How Do You Feed Five Thousand?

A great crowd of people has followed Jesus because they have seen the miraculous signs He has performed on the sick. And here they are, thousands of them, all needing to be fed. Jesus already knows what He is planning to do. But He asks Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” (John 6:5).

Philip is thinking about the impossible cost this will entail: “Eight months’ wages won’t be enough. Can’t do it. That project’s dead in the water. No money. Outside the budget. Forget it.”

Andrew says, “Here is a boy with five loaves and two fish”. Andrew is alert to what might be a possibility. It is a slim chance.

I love the way Andrew notices the boy and wonders whether Jesus can do anything with what the boy has. And the boy is happy to donate his lunch to Jesus.

Then Jesus does the miracle no-one had imagined. Every last person is fed. And when the crowd have had their fill, Jesus instructs that all left-over food must be gathered up and nothing be wasted.

I think those leftovers were taken to the elderly and destitute, to the beggars in the town, those whom they knew who had nothing. This was a day of blessings and bounty for all!

The special thing about Andrew is that, although he had never seen Jesus perform a miracle of multiplying bread, he had seen Jesus healing the sick, calming the storm, and making water into wine. Andrew had faith. He knew Jesus had the authority of God. While Philip, at this point in his experience of Jesus, couldn’t imagine what Jesus might, or could, do to feed five thousand people. So, he thought it was hopeless.

Isn’t it amazing that, when we trust God, we see Him doing things we cannot imagine? We don’t have to know how He’ll do it, but we come knowing that He is able. It is like Andrew bringing the boy with the five loaves and two fish to Jesus – and Jesus responding by doing His amazing miracle of multiplication beyond what anyone had ever seen or could ever have imagined as possible.

Prayer: Father, thank You for who You are. Thank You that You answer our prayers in ways that are often outside the box. When I trust You as God, and trust You for who you are, I don’t have to work out how You will answer my prayers. And thank You that You are a God of miracles, and You have all authority. Amen.


 

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Scripture

Philip answered him, ‘Eight months’ wages wouldn’t buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!’ Another of his disciples, Andrew ... spoke up, ‘Here’s a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?’
John 6:7-9, NIV

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Today's Writer

Sue Griffiths Sue found deep inner healing through the teaching and ministry at Ellel ministries and is now part of the associate ministry team at Ellel Grange. Previously, Sue was a specialist in English Literature and a vicar’s wife. Her passion is to see others coming into freedom in Christ in their personal lives. Sue’s an outdoors person, loves gardening, walking, and many creative things. She and Richard, her husband, now live in Northumberland and enjoy a great family of 3 grown up kids and some grandkids.

Sue Griffiths


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