Sunday, January 30, 2005

Family Sunday

Family Sunday


Key Thought: Faith works by love. Galatians 5:6b

Love is faith in action.

Today we are going to look at

The Story Of Jesus Feeding The Five Thousand

The Harmony Of The Gospels

Matthew 14; Mark 6; Luke 9; John 6

This being Family Sunday our children who would normally be in Children’s Church are sitting with us in the main sanctuary this morning. Now remember, this is Father’s House and He loves and has patience with His children. He knows that they can get a bit restless from sitting too long. Don’t let that bother you this morning.

These Family Sundays give us an opportunity to worship as a family and to be directly involved in encouraging our children in big church. We help them to listen as much as their age group can tolerate and we aren’t too concerned if they take all they can stand and then get distracted and move around a little. They are children and this is their Father’s House.

Now if they do become a great distraction to those around you, or pull the visitor’s hair … please help them to curb that sort of thing. But by and large, this is a time to monitor and encourage your young children as you divide your attention to the Word of God.

This morning I will be telling a story and those of you who wish may follow along with me, reading the scripture references from the projection screen.

Now for the story of Jesus Feeding The 5000

The story begins with Jesus and His disciples near the Sea of Galilee.

Matthew 14:12 John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus.

This particular morning, Jesus received some bad news. His cousin and friend, John the Baptist, had just been executed by Herod.

Mark 6:31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."

Gathering His twelve disciples, Jesus gets on a boat and departs to a grassy mountain side, just a short walk north of the sea of Galilee. Jesus sits there with His disciples hoping to be alone for a while.

Luke 9:11 but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them …

However, when the people living in the cities around Bethsaida learned where Jesus was, they came out of all of the nearby cities and followed Jesus into the countryside.

Matthew 14:14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.

Forgetting His own need and tiredness, Jesus welcomes the multitude coming to Him and He has compassion on their need and ministers to them, healing those who were sick among them.

Matthew 14:21 The number of those … was about five thousand men, besides women and children

It is estimated that there were about 5000 men gathered there, besides the women and children.

Luke 9:12 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."

Now it was getting late in the evening and the disciples became concerned about food and provision for the multitude.

Mark 6:37 But he answered, "You give them something to eat." They said to him, "That would take eight months of a man’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?"

Jesus told His disciples to take care of feeding the people themselves. They answered that it would be too costly and therefore could not be done.

John 6:6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

Jesus was only testing them. He already had in His mind what He was going to do.

John 6:9 "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?"

About then one of the disciples spoke up and said: “There is a boy here who has two small fish and five small loaves of bread … but that could never be enough to feed this many people.”

Matthew 14:

18 "Bring them here to me," he said.

19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass.

Jesus asked for the fish and loaves and had the people prepare for a miracle. He got them in order and sat them down on the grass in groups.

Luke 9:16 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.

Jesus took the bread and fish, blessed them, broke them and then gave them to His disciples who followed His example and began distributing the food to people in each group who broke off a piece and passed it to the next person who did the same until every person had eaten and was filled.

John 6:12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted."

When they had all eaten and were full Jesus told the disciples to gather up the remains so that none of the miracle would be wasted.

Mark 6:43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish.

The disciples gathered up twelve baskets full of bread and fish that were left over.


What do you think they did with all that food?


Today I want us to look at the different people involved in this story and see if we can imagine what was going on from their perspective.

You know, different people sometimes see the same things in different ways depending on what part they are playing in the story.

Four people can see the same football game and not always see the same thing. Especially if they are involved in different aspects of the game. If one of them is a football player, one a coach, one a referee and one a fan. They all see the game differently …

This is called perspective.

Imagine with me if you will what these people in this story were seeing from their individual perspectives. First:

I. From the multitude’s perspective

They were excited

They were following Jesus

They were getting taught and seeing people healed

They were having a great time but were headed toward hunger.

They were excited about their moment but unprepared for their future.

II. From the disciples’ perspective

They were Jesus’ servants

They were tired and hungry themselves

They were concerned for the multitudes

They no doubt felt responsible to do something

But what could they do?

Conscious of the need but not able to meet it.

III. From the little boy’s perspective

He was just following the crowd

Enjoying the excitement

Was a part of them but not completely like them in that:

He was prepared for his future

His mother prepared him without even knowing

He was prepared alright,

But didn’t have a clue what he was prepared for

Fully prepared and not fully aware of the future.

He thought he was prepared to eat, and eat he did, but think about the left overs he brought back home to Mama.

He sowed -- He reaped -- more than 100 fold I imagine.

It’s often not what you see but what you may not see that’s most important.

IV. From Jesus’ own personal perspective --- He was:

Tired - Mentally; Physically; Spiritually; Emotionally - but:

Jesus viewed life from heaven’s perspective.

This motivated Jesus to be:

Caring and committed

Compassionate and determined

Not just in-love, but engaged as well

Jesus was moved with compassion and acted in faith.

V. Conclusion

This bible story reminds us that no matter whether we are:

Excited about our moment but unprepared for our future;

Conscious of a need but unable to meet it;

Perhaps prepared but as yet unaware of our future;

Jesus Is The One Who Sees From Heaven’s Perspective

Loves us

Has a plan for us

May test us

Even use us and our stuff for His purposes

But will always have it in His plans to:

Bless me

Feed me and

Heal me

We also need to view life from heaven’s perspective.

God is a good and compassionate Father Who loves you and wants to bless you, prosper you and make you whole. He will do this through Jesus.

Give Him the Lordship of your life.