Read Matt 14:1–21
Mat 14:14-21 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. (15) Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” (16) But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” (17) They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” (18) And he said, “Bring them here to me.” (19) Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. (20) And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. (21) And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Talk about a rough week. Jesus hears his cousin John has been beheaded. Of course being fully human as well as divine, he is filled with grief and needs some alone time. Does (John) get it? Nope. He has about the time to cross from one side of the lake to the other and then he is confronted with people who are in all sorts of needs-they’re sick, demon possessed and the like. We see the heart of God in Jesus as he has compassion on them and heals their sick even though he himself is worn out. It’s getting dark and the disciples decide the people need to go home and eat. It is at that moment that Jesus decides to show in a more precise way who he is.
This is not an account to teach us we can do a lot with a little if we just have faith. This is told to us so we may know who Jesus is and put our faith in him. Jesus tells them to feed the people. Of course they are thinking, “What?!” They don’t have the supplies or the money to do so. They take some kids dinner of five loaves and two fish and bring it to Jesus as to show what little they have. Jesus has them bring it to him. Jesus blesses the food and has them distribute it to the people. Five thousand men not including the women and the children are fed, which means at least fifteen thousand people had dinner on such a meager meal and they were all satisfied. They had twelve baskets left over.
Now when you see some guy in the desert performing this kind of meal someone else should come to mind. You got it, Moses and the people of Israel. When they left Egypt, Moses prayed and the Lord rained down manna in the morning and quail in the evening. The same Lord who did that is the one multiplying the bread and the fish in the wilderness. Jesus is the same Lord who provided for Moses and Israel. Because Jesus is the Lord, as we see in this sign, we should place our trust in him that he will give us the true manna, himself, who is the bread of life. Indeed, all over the world he does give us this bread which is his body in his supper, the Lord’s Supper and keeps us alive more than just a day, it gives us eternal life and raises our bodies from the dead.
Lord Jesus Christ, as we partake of your body and blood in the sacrament, grant us a greater faith in you and preserve us until to raise from the dead to everlasting life. Amen.