7647 - Multiplication

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In his earthly ministry Jesus performed many miracles today we look at one that impacted the lives of thousands of people.

In our study through the book of Luke we come to the passage about Jesus feeding the five thousand from Luke 9, verses 10-17:

When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.

Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, "Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here."

He replied, "You give them something to eat."

They answered, "We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd." (About five thousand men were there.)

But he said to his disciples, "Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each." The disciples did so, and everybody sat down. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.


When the twelve apostles returned from their teaching and training mission, they accompanied Jesus to an area near the town of Bethsaida.

The people who wanted to talk to Jesus or who wanted to experience his healing touch figured out where they were going and pursued them. We observe another indication of the compassion of God as Jesus welcomed these people.

Remember, God is not willing that any should perish, so Jesus opened up his heart and shared God’s truth with the multitude. He even healed those who needed his touch. We’re told there were about 5,000 men, plus women and children.

As the shadows lengthened the Twelve approached Jesus and suggested it was time to close the meeting so all these people could find their way to the nearby villages where they could get food and lodging.

Jesus suggested another solution — you give them something to eat.

Perhaps a little stunned they responded that among them they had only five loaves and two fish. And friend, these loaves were more like our biscuits than like a loaf of bread. They could see no way for this to go around. Someone even asked, “shall we go buy food for this crowd?”

Jesus had in mind an advanced lesson in multiplication. True, by human standards this picnic lunch would not feed many, but the power of God could multiply these bites so that every one present could have some food.

Jesus first had the crowd to be seated in small groups of about fifty each. This orderly process assured no one pushing and shoving to get served first. No one would be injured by the pressing crowd.

The servant apostles were free to walk among them and share the food.

Jesus took the meager supply in his hands and gave thanks to God for what he was going to do. The miracle should have been evident to everyone — the food kept multiplying and did not run out.

It is amazing to see that all ate enough to satisfy their hungry appetites. No one wanted more. The apostles picked up more than they had started with. When all the broken pieces were gathered they filled twelve baskets. I’m sure the apostles were amazed by the entire meal. They would not soon forget what God had done that day.

It just goes to show us that the Lord’s arm is not too short to fill any need (Numbers 11:23); and no task exists which is too hard for the Lord to fulfill (Gen. 18:14). The angel said to young, virgin Mary, “nothing is impossible with God,” and the same is true today. God hasn’t changed.

On another day the disciples of Jesus were puzzling about something which seemed to them to be impossible, and Jesus said, “all things are possible with God (Mark 10:27).” Our mathematics may be overridden by God’s power.