CHRIST FEEDS THE 5,000 AND WALKS ON THE SEA

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    [Matthew:14:13-36].

    Lesson No.: 
    93
    Class: 
    Senior
    Memory Verse: 

    "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him;  for he careth for you" (I Peter 5:6, 7).

    Cross References: 

    I The 5,000 Fed
    1. Jesus invites the Apostles to the desert to rest, On their return from a missionary tour, [Matthew:14:13]; [Mark:6:30-32]; [Luke:9:10].
    2. The multitude follow and interrupt their rest, [Matthew:14:13]; [Mark:6:33].
    3. Jesus, moved with compassion, heals their sick and speaks unto them of the Kingdom of God, [Matthew:14:14]; [Mark:6:34]; [Luke:9:11].
    4. Jesus proves Philip, [John:6:5-7].
    5. Andrew locates a lad with five loaves and two fishes, [John:6:8-9]; [Mark:6:38]; [Matthew:14:17].
    6. The disciples would send the crowd away, but Jesus says, "Give ye them to eat," [Matthew:14:15-16]; [Mark:6:35-37]; [Luke:9:12].
    7. Jesus commands the people to sit down in orderly fashion, [Matthew:14:19]; [Mark:6:39-40]; [Luke:9:14-15]; [John:6:10].
    8. Jesus blesses the bread and fish and gives to the disciples to serve to the multitude, [Matthew:14:18-19]; [Mark:6:41]; [Luke:9:16]; [John:6:11].
    9. The multitude eat, are filled, and 12 baskets remain, [Matthew:14:20]; [Mark:6:42-43]; [Luke:9:17]; [John:6:12-13].

    II Jesus Walks on the Water
    1. The disciples go by ship while Jesus sends the multitude away, [Matthew:14:22]; [Mark:6:45].
    2. Jesus goes alone to pray, [Matthew:14:23]; [Mark:6:46-47]; [John:6:14-15].
    3. The disciples are afraid when they see Jesus walking on the water, [Matthew:14:24-26]; [Mark:6:48-50]; [John:6:18-19].
    4. Jesus gives the assurance, "It is I; be not afraid," [Matthew:14:27]; [Mark:6:50]; [John:6:20-21].
    5. Peter walks on the water, [Matthew:14:28-33].
    6. The sick are healed, [Matthew:14:34-36]; [Mark:6:53-56].

    Notes: 

    Rest for the Weary
    After the Apostles had completed their missionary tour they returned and reported to Jesus what had been accomplished. Jesus, realizing their need for physical relaxation, extended the invitation, "Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while" (Mark:6:31). The heart of Jesus goes out to the weary. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew:11:28). A change by getting away from the crowd furnishes rest for the tired body and nerves, but rest for the soul comes only when sin is cleansed from the heart. Many people are running to the desert, the mountains, or the seashore for relief, when they should come to Jesus for release from the burden of sin.

    Compassion and Action
    Although Jesus left to get away from the multitudes, He was not angry nor impatient when they found His retreat, but was moved with compassion toward them. His deep feeling for them was followed by action "He healed their sick." Later when the disciples would send them away to buy bread, Jesus said, "Give ye them to eat." Compassion amounts to nothing if it does not bring forth action. James said, "If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?" (James:2:15, 16).
    "They need not depart," were the words of Christ when the disciples would send the multitude away. The hungry soul that comes to Jesus will not be sent away empty. "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled" (Matthew:5:6). Jesus not only took care of their temporal needs but ''spake unto them of the kingdom of God" (Luke:9:11). This was His desire, that men might repent and be born into the Kingdom of God. The message of John the Baptist, who had just been beheaded, had been, "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew:3:2).

    Miracles
    Jesus, desiring to prove Philip, asked, "Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?" (John:6:5). It seemed an almost impossible task to Philip, but Jesus wanted him to know that "With God all things are possible" (Matthew:19:26). One of the hard things today is for people to believe that God still performs miracles. Some say the days of miracles are past; others try to deny the miracles that God wrought in Bible times. But it was the miracle working power that marked the Gospel in the beginning, and the same signs are following the preaching of the true Gospel today. If it were not for the miracle working power of God, the 5000 could not have been fed with five loaves and two fishes. Unless the Word of God, which is the Bread of Life, is given forth with the power of the Holy Ghost, it will be inadequate to fill the hungry souls of men.

    Bring It to Jesus
    Andrew said, "There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?"
    Jesus' reply was, "Bring them hither to me." If everybody could only learn that lesson take it to Jesus! If your efforts seem inadequate, your talents small, Jesus invites you, "Bring them hither to me." He who took the five loaves and two fishes and fed the five thousand "is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Ephesians:3:20). There was sufficient food, and twelve baskets remained after all had eaten and were filled.

    Order
    Miracles are wrought by divine power and are not a product of hysteria. Jesus commanded the multitude to sit down by companies of 50 and 100 upon the green grass. He then looked up to Heaven and blessed the loaves. What a wonderful blessing that was! and what a difference it made as the food was given to the disciples to serve to the multitude! It is only as we receive from the Lord that we are able to give out. Some may wonder why we ask the blessing, or return thanks, at every meal; but why should we not be grateful that He who was able to feed 5000 from five loaves and two fishes is the same Jesus who cares for us?

    Those Who Serve
    The Apostles were the ones who served. Jesus said, "The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister" (Matthew:20:28). So the children of God today are called to serve. We are told to "mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate" (Romans:12:16). "For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth?" asked Jesus. He then came forth with the statement, "I am among you as he that serveth" (Luke:22:27). To follow the Master means a life of service and humility.

    Time to Pray
    The day that Jesus intended for rest turned out to be a busy day crowded with healings, preaching, and feeding the multitude. Although Jesus had no time to rest, He took time to go up "into a mountain apart to pray." Our days may be crowded, our strength nearly exhausted, but let us follow the example of Jesus and take time to pray. Oftentimes tired bodies are strengthened after a season of prayer. Jesus, no doubt, felt refreshed for His journey upon the waters of the stormy sea after He had prayed. We, too, will be better able to go through stormy seas after we have prayed.

    It was in the fourth watch, or between three and six in the morning, that the disciples saw Jesus walking on the sea. At first they did not recognise Him, but when they cried out in their fright, Jesus calmed them with the words, "Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid." Many times in trouble or sickness we do not realize that the Saviour is near; but if we cry out to Him in our distress we will hear His voice, "It is I; be not afraid."

    Eyes on Jesus
    Peter wanted to walk upon the water to Jesus, and was able to stay on top of the water as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus. But when he looked upon the rough sea. he was afraid and began to sink. As long as we keep our eyes upon the goal we can make it through; but if we start to look at the things about us, we shall be overwhelmed and sink in despair. The testimony of Paul was, "I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the price of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians:3:13,14).

    Peter's Prayer
    When Peter began to sink, he had simply to cry, "Lord, save me," and immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand and caught him. That was a short prayer, but it came from the earnestness of a drowning man. Many a soul in desperation has cried, "Lord, save me," and has felt that hand stretched forth to deliver.

    Faith
    "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" Faith will bear one above the waters; doubt will sink one beneath the flood. Paul gives us a wonderful account of the accomplishments of faith in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. Miracles are performed today through faith the incurable are healed; sin's captives are delivered. The old time faith brings the old time power.

    Questions: 

    1. Why did Jesus and His disciples go to the desert?
    2. What was the attitude of Jesus when He saw the multitude coming?
    3. What did He do?
    4. How did the disciples want to handle the feeding of the multitude? and what was Jesus' reply?
    5. Who did the serving? and how was the crowd arranged?
    6. What did Jesus do that night before joining the disciples?
    7. What were Jesus' words when the disciples cried out for fear?
    8. What was the cry of Peter when he began to sink?
    9. What did those in the ship say concerning Jesus? and what caused them to make that statement?
    10. Name the various miracles of Jesus in this lesson.