CHRIST FEEDS THE 5,000 AND WALKS ON THE SEA

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    [Matthew:14:13-36].

    Lesson No.: 
    93
    Class: 
    Junior
    Memory Verse: 

    "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying,  All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth"  (Matthew 28:18).

    Notes: 

    Followed by Multitudes
    When Jesus heard of the cruel death of John the Baptist, He wanted to be alone, so He went by ship across the Sea of Galilee into a desert place. John the Baptist was not only Jesus' relative, but he had held a special place in the spreading of the Gospel. He was a minister sent by God to prepare the way for Jesus Christ. He spoke against sin, even in the life of the king. He declared the truth when he said that it was unlawful for Herod to take his brother's wife. For that reason John the Baptist was beheaded.

    Jesus had been teaching and healing many people, and with the sad news of John's death, needed a rest. But when He reached the shore, He found a multitude, which had followed Him. Jesus was never too tired nor too busy to help anyone. He did not tell the people to stop following Him, or to leave until they were satisfied and filled. When He saw the people 5,000 men besides women and children He pitied them, and began to heal the sick.

    Care for the Needy
    When it was near evening, the disciples suggested that Jesus dismiss the people so that they could go to the town to buy food. Instead of doing that, Jesus told the disciples to feed the people, but all the food they had was five loaves and two fishes. Nevertheless, they were instructed to bring them to Jesus.

    In the hands of Jesus, even small things can be used to be a blessing to many people. He can take our lives and our talents, no matter how small, and bless them to be a blessing to others. Just as the five loaves and two fishes in themselves could do little to feed such a multitude, so we, in ourselves, can do little, but when dedicated to Jesus our lives can become just such miracles. The disciples could have said that such a small amount could do nothing toward feeding the people. Perhaps you feel that your talents are so few that there is no use for them in the Gospel. But whether they be talents, loaves and fishes, or any small and ordinary things, Jesus can use them to bring honour and glory to Himself. Even though the disciples were doubtful because of the small amount of food, they obeyed Jesus. They did not know what Jesus would do, but they found out that He can do all things. He cared, and still cares, for those in need; He healed the sick, and miraculously provided food for them. Just as He fed the hungry that day, He feeds the spiritually hungry today.

    Breaking the Bread
    As the multitude sat upon the grass, Jesus took the food and blessed it, perhaps in very much the same way a Christian asks God to bless his food before he eats. Jesus then broke the food into pieces and gave it to the disciples, who took the bread and fish from Him and handed them out to the people.

    That day the disciples gave out temporal food but in the days that followed they gave out spiritual food, for they were called to preach the Gospel. They received both the temporal and spiritual food from Jesus. "Without me ye can do nothing" (John:15:5). We read in John:1:14 that "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us"; and in John:6:48, Jesus said, "I am that bread of life." When we speak of spiritual food, we mean the Bible, or the Word of God. Many times when we pray we ask the Lord to bless the Word, and also to bless the one who breaks unto us the Bread of Life the minister who reads from the Bible and hands out to the people spiritual food which feeds the soul.

    An Abundance
    After Jesus blessed the food, there was enough for all the people, and some left over, too. The five loaves and two fishes were turned into more than plenty. So it is with spiritual food there is an abundance in the Bible for all people and for all times. In it we find what we need and some left for another time, too. The supply of spiritual food is never exhausted.

    Praying Alone
    When the people went away, Jesus sent the disciples to go ahead of Him to the other side of the sea. He set an example here for us to be alone in prayer. If Jesus, the Son of God, felt His need of praying, how much more do we need to be alone with God in prayer?

    Not only when Jesus was burdened did He pray. On many occasions, as well as different times of the day, Jesus prayed. Sometimes He prayed all alone; at other times the disciples were nearby. "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed" (Mark:1:35). "And great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities. And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed" (Luke:5:15, 16). "And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God" (Luke:6:12). At other times Jesus prayed when there were many people about Him. When He was baptised, He prayed ([Luke:3:21]). When He stood by Lazarus' grave, He prayed ([John:11:41]).

    A Christian cannot always go away by himself to pray, but from the depths of his heart he breathes a prayer. Many times during the day, at his work, in the schoolroom, or wherever he is, a Christian looks to the Lord, not only for help or guidance but also with praises and thanks. Sometimes he prays all alone, and at other times he prays when many people are with him. How often do you pray?

    Tossed by the Wind
    As the disciples were crossing the sea, there came a wind, and the ship was tossed about by the waves. Jesus knew that they were in danger, so He went to them. Just so, He knows today when His people need Him, and Jesus is there to help them.

    Upon another occasion, when the disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee to the land of the Gadarenes ([Mark:4:35-41]), a storm arose. That time Jesus was asleep in the boat. When they called to Him He arose and calmed the storm. They were amazed at Jesus' power, but they still had not learned that He had all power in Heaven and in earth ([Matthew:28:18]). This time as Jesus, walking on the water, drew near the wind tossed boat, the disciples were filled with fear, for they did not recognise Him.

    Of Good Cheer
    There may be times in the life of a person when he is afraid, because he does not recognise Jesus. There was no need for the disciples to fear, for Jesus was there to help them. Today Jesus is near to help, so there is no need for a Christian to fear when the winds are contrary and things seem to go wrong. Jesus spoke words of comfort and encouragement to the disciples. He made Himself known to them, and told them not to fear. There are different kinds of fear. We have godly fear, lest we do or say anything that displeases God, but it was another kind of fear that the disciples had. They had a human fear of what they thought would happen to them. Jesus told them not to be afraid.

    Look to Jesus
    When they recognised Jesus, Peter wanted to go to Him and to do as He did. Jesus bade him come, so Peter stepped out of the boat and started to walk on the water to Jesus. As long as he kept his eyes on Jesus, Peter could walk on the water, because Jesus helped him; but as soon as he looked at the waves he was afraid and started to sink. We know that no man could walk on the water by himself. But Jesus wanted to show the disciples and us, too, that He is all powerful. He wanted to show how little a man can do without Him. Not only can Jesus Himself perform miracles and supernatural things but He also will help others to live and act like Him.

    Jesus bids each one to come to be with Him and to do as He does. Jesus lived a sinless life, and a Christian lives a life above sin, as Jesus did. One cannot do it in his Own strength, but Jesus gives one power to live above sin. But if one takes his eyes off Jesus, he loses that power, just as Peter did. How necessary it is for a Christian to keep looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of his faith ([Hebrews:12:2]).

    The enemy of our soul, Satan, often tries to entice one to look away from the Lord. Satan knows that one would then be afraid and start to sink in sin. One must be careful what his eyes see.

    The Bible tells about Adam and Eve who lived in the beautiful Garden of Eden, which had fruit for them to eat, except from one tree that they were not to touch. But when Eve SAW that the tree was good for food, then she disobeyed God and took the fruit ([Genesis:3:6]). They were punished and could not live in the Garden any more. Do you see what happened when she LOOKED at that tree?

    One time one of the Children of Israel, named Achan, disobeyed God and took some clothing and silver and gold. He said that when he SAW those things, he wanted them, then next he took them ([Joshua:7:21]). He had to be punished for his sin. May all take a lesson from these people and keep their eyes on the Lord, not looking to worldly things that would hinder their faith and cause them to lose their experiences with God.

    When Peter realized that he was sinking, he called to Jesus to help him. Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and saved Peter. So it is today: when a person realizes that he is sinking into sin and will be lost, if he calls to Jesus to save him, immediately Jesus is there to lift him up.

    Jesus not only saved Peter but also caused the wind to stop. The disciples worshiped Him. So does a Christian when Jesus saves him and causes the winds of doubt to cease.

    When they reached the other shore they found people who had faith. Many sick were healed; as many as touched Jesus were made whole. Those who are sick in body or soul will be healed when in faith they reach out and touch Jesus.

    Questions: 

    1. Who was John the Baptist?
    2. Why was he killed?
    3. How many were in the multitude?
    4. How were they fed?
    5. Why did Jesus want to be alone?
    6. Why did Peter sink in the water?
    7. How was Peter saved from drowning?