The following is the transcript from the January 24, 2016 service at Little Brown Church, Nashua, Iowa.
Feeding the Five Thousand, John 6:5-14The Voice (VOICE)
5 But when Jesus looked up, He could see an immense crowd coming toward Him. Jesus approached Philip.
Jesus (to Philip): Where is a place to buy bread so these people may eat?
6 Jesus knew what He was planning to do, but He asked Philip nonetheless. He had something to teach, and it started with a test.
Philip: 7 I could work for more than half of a year[a] and still not have the money to buy enough bread to give each person a very small piece.
8 Andrew, the disciple who was Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up.
Andrew: 9 I met a young boy in the crowd carrying five barley loaves and two fish, but that is practically useless in feeding a crowd this large.
Jesus: 10 Tell the people to sit down.
They all sat together on a large grassy area. Those counting the people reported approximately 5,000 men—not including the women and children—sitting in the crowd. 11 Jesus picked up the bread, gave thanks to God, and passed it to everyone. He repeated this ritual with the fish. Men, women, and children all ate until their hearts were content. 12 When the people had all they could eat, He told the disciples to gather the leftovers.
Jesus: Go and collect the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.
13 They filled 12 baskets with fragments of the five barley loaves. 14 After witnessing this sign that Jesus did, the people stirred in conversation.
Crowd: This man must be the Prophet God said was coming into the world.
The feeding of the 5 thousand is the only miracle to appear in all four Gospels. So I am sure you have heard many sermons in regard to various meanings and applications. But this morning, I want to view it in light of our coming Communion time and under the shadow of our Annual Meeting.
First, I want us to hear Jesus’ question to Phillip. Phillip is the guy in the company who is the analyst and intermediary. But Phillip misinterpreted the question. It wasn’t about how much it was going to cost and how far away the people would have to go to buy dinner, it was whether Philip know who he had been with for the better part of a year. He blew it!
His mind was racing – think that to feed 20,000 people in this location, we would need close to a years wages! Now think about this – the median household income in Chickasaw county as of July 2015 is $48,749. (http://iowa.hometownlocator.com/ia/chickasaw/) That will buy a lot of groceries – just ask the Women’s Fellowship!
So here we see Phillip misses the point. So his brother Andrew is witness to the question and being the man of action that he is immediately goes out on a search and discovery mission. Quite a feat that he searched over 20,000 people and came up with 5 barley loaves and two dried fishes.
So both of their answers left them feeling hopeless; you can just sense Jesus stopping and taking in a deep breath and letting out a sigh. Jesus then tells them to organize the people into 50’s and 100’s. After which he asks for the bread and fish and after blessing each item, asks the disciples to help with the distribution.
After all these people had eaten their fill, Jesus then asks them to pick up the leftovers so that nothing is wasted. After seeing what was leftover the people then recognized the miracle.
I think there are four applications to this story: Think more, thank more, trade more, and trust more.
1) Think more
a. Jesus had a plan but the disciples had been caught unprepared
b. They saw the need but the figures didn’t add up at the bottom of the sheet
c. They were very sure of what could NOT be done
d. We tend to panic and hoard when resources get low
e. Instead, this passage encourages us to think about what do we have and work with what is available
2) Thank more
a. Keep in mind 1 Thessalonians 5:18 – no matter what happens be thankful3) Trade more
b. Don’t focus on what you don’t have SO much that you fail to thank God what you do have
c. The disciples failed to appreciate what God provided
a. The idea here is that we should invest more and do business4) Trust more
b. Instead of hoarding things for yourself, which this little boy had the right to do, he gave it up so that others could be fed
c. Proverbs 28:25 says “A greedy man stirs up dissension, but he who trusts in the Lord will prosper.”
d. As servants of God we are to put pour lives and resources on the line for others
e. Jesus shows what happens when you give out of a depleted situation – a well-fed group and abundance
f. The secret is the more you give, the more you get
a. If you practice #3 you are naturally going to ask, “Who is going to take care of me and make sure I have what I need?”
b. God is!
c. Think on verse 12 – Gather the leftovers so nothing is wasted. The leftovers are for the servers and waiters – that is why we tip after a meal!
d. Remember whatever you give to God you will receive – “in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more and running over!
The Law of Expectations says that, basically, we get what we expect out of life. We tend to see what we expect to see, we tend to feel what we expect to feel, we tend to act the way we expect to act, and eventually, we tend to achieve what we expect to achieve. Your expectations influence your happiness, and they influence your health. Your expectations influence your relationships.
This morning what are our expectations for both our church and our future? Will we see low resources or will we be willing to apply one of these items to this coming year.
God says to test him on these things. Where he leads he provides and provisions. Are we ready to follow?
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