Feeding Five Thousand Men With Five Barley Loaves And Two Fishes

8 Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up.
9 “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”
10 “Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.)
11 Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted.
12 After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.” 13 So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves.
John 6:8-13 (NLT)

Here is the famous story on how Jesus fed a huge crowd with just a boy’s lunch. I have heard this story being preached even in religious churches but none of them got the true message of this story, which is prosperity. Why do you think God put this story in the Bible? Obviously he wants to show us that he cares for our well-being. He wants to meet all our needs even if some of these needs are as “unspiritual” like food to eat. Unfortunately, those who are blinded by the lies of theology can never see that.

Let us begin with the background of the story. After Jesus had crossed over the other side of Galilee, he attracted a huge crowd. They kept following him. Why did they follow him? The Bible tells us that Jesus healed the sick. It was a miracle to them. It must be common at that time for the theologians to propagate the theology that God gives disease and make people sick to show them his sufficient grace, to reveal his glory or to teach them some lessons. Yet, Jesus did the exact opposite from the teachings of theology. He healed the sick. The people saw hope in him and kept following him.

After some time of travelling, Jesus looked at the crowd and cared for them. He wanted to feed them.

5 Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?”
John 6:5 (NLT)

This tells us Jesus’ character. He is totally anti-theology. He cares for the people more than he cares for doctrines. A theologian would not have bothered with the problem of getting enough bread to feed the people. His priority is always on making sure that everyone believes in the “right doctrines”. Theologians do not care if you are starved to death provided you are committed to the “right doctrines”.

Fortunately, we can rest in assurance that Jesus is not like them. He cared for the crowd even though they were not related to them. We can also read from the passage that Jesus’ priority was to meet their needs for food. He never bothered about the “right doctrines”. As far as he was concerned, his “right doctrines” is to meet the needs of the people. Are you glad that he is your shepherd?

So, Jesus asked Philip on where to buy bread to feed the crowd.

7 Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!”
John 6:7 (NLT)

Philip had correctly pointed out that it was physically impossible to do so. Jesus was rich but not that rich.

In case somebody may ask me on how do I know Jesus was rich, the answer is clear. When Jesus was in his earthly ministry, he did not go around looking for jobs to stay alive. Neither did he behave like a religious preacher who goes around asking people for money. There is also no record of Jesus living like a beggar begging for alms. Not only that, Jesus was not alone. He had his disciples with him. The disciples like Peter had left their occupations to follow Jesus. Even if we assume that they were not paid for being disciples, they must eat to stay alive. In addition, Jesus did not even carry his own wallet. He had a specialist to do that for him. These tell us that Jesus was a very rich man when he walked on earth.

However, he was not infinitely rich at that time. He was physically constraint from providing food for that huge crowd. I suspect this applies to all of us. I believe none of us has infinite wealth to do what we want to do. The good news is though we are physically constraint, we are not spiritually constraint. Jesus knew this and used his spiritual wealth.

8 Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up.
9 “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”
10 “Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.)
11 Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted.
12 After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.” 13 So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves.
John 6:8-13 (NLT)

Jesus took a boy’s lunch and multiplied it to feed a huge crowd. Everyone ate as much as they wanted. In the end there were twelve baskets of left. Let us stop here and find out what we can learn from this story.

The first lesson is what I have written earlier. All of us have some physical constraints because none of us is infinitely rich. However, there is no constrains in the spiritual realms. Whatever we lack physically, we can draw from it spiritually like what Jesus had done. You may be facing an impossible situation right now. You may have lost your job, burdened a huge debt and you are facing the prospect of losing everything you have. Or, you could have been told that you are diagnosed with a terminal disease in which there is no cure and you can die at any time. All these are supposed to be “impossible” situations where there is no hope in the natural for you to turn things around.

If you are to look only in the physical world, you will not find any hope. However, if you are a believer you have another source of hope, God. As Christians, we are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms. Whatever we lack physically, we have the option to rely on our spiritual source. We can turn our spiritual wealth into physical wealth. We can turn our spiritual health into physical health. This is what Jesus had done in the above passage. He turned to his spiritual supply to obtain more than enough food to throw a party for huge crowd. He was setting an example for us in converting our spiritual blessing into the physical equivalent.

How did he do it? First, he took five barley loaves and two fish from a boy. For some reasons, the boy decided to give his food to Jesus. It was a great act of faith. The Bible did not say how big were the loaves and fishes but since they comprised as a boy’s lunch, we can safely speculate that it must be very little compared to a huge crowd of hungry people. Why did Jesus need the five barley loaves and two fish? He intended to multiply them.

If you know some basic arithmetic, you are aware that if you multiply a small number with a big number, the small number will become bigger. The disclaimer here is the original small number must be a positive number. The above rule will not work if the small number is zero. This is why Jesus needed some food to multiply into a lot of food. If he had nothing, he will get nothing because any number multiplied with zero will still be zero. This is also called the Law Of Sowing And Reaping.

Let us get back to your situation. If you are poor, how complete is your poverty? None of us can be completely poor. There must be some seed we can sow. You could still have a few dollars in your wallet. These few dollars are insignificant compared to your debts but if you can sow it in faith, you can receive a harvest of many times more which will not only settle your debts but there will be a lot of left over that will make you very rich. So, whatever problem you may have, look for opportunities to sow seeds. Your situation will be turned around. Your poverty will turn into prosperity. Your sickness will turn into health and you failure will turn into success.

Next, Jesus wanted the crowd to sit down. Why is that so? Sitting down refers to being organized and calm. When you are any form of trouble, the worst thing you can do is to get worried and anxious. When you act with anxiousness in your heart, you are bound to make more mistakes and end up with bigger problems. So, when you are in trouble or in an emergency situation, your priority is to calm down. Get rid of all anxiousness. It is only when you are cool you are in position to listen to what God wants to tell you. Then you will get the solution that you want.

Imagine what will happen if Jesus did not tell the crowd to sit down. The moment the food was distributed, there could be a stampede for it. More people could have died of the stampede than starvation. So, the bottom line is, stay calm at all times.

Jesus gave thanks. I have written a separate article on the importance of gratitude. When we give thanks to God, we are effectively putting ourselves in the position of faith. It is only through faith that we can get everything we want. Please note that Jesus gave thanks before the miracle happened. We can say that the act of giving thanks activates our faith, which will get us what we want.

Just as there is no complete poverty, there can never be complete evil in any situation. There must be a least some microscopic good in it. Look for the microscopic good and give thanks for it. When you do that, you will certainly get what you want.

Your five barley loaves and two fish will become more than enough for a huge crowd of 5,000 men (not counting women and children) to eat to their hearts’ content and with leftovers enough to fill twelve baskets. Your prosperity will come if you obey the above principles.

About these ads

4 Responses to “Feeding Five Thousand Men With Five Barley Loaves And Two Fishes”

  1. Manie Says:

    I have heard many messages on this passage of scripture but this ONE really opened my mind to way Christ operates. God Bless you, Manie

  2. Karen Says:

    what is the significance of “barley loaves”?
    I know that it is the first crop of the Spring? Anything else?

  3. Yeap Chee Seng Says:

    They are real things that can be seen, touched and eaten. The God of the Bible is a real God who dares to deliver real things.

  4. william hawkes Says:

    do you have any background on the boy who supplied the lunch? and what became of him? Did he have food to take home to his family?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 53 other followers

%d bloggers like this: