Friday, April 28, 2017

Is This Jesus' Most Important Miracle?

In my last post I presented the story of the Feeding of the 5,000 that I mashed together from all four Gospel accounts. The familiar tale is included in almost every child’s story Bible. It’s non-violent, has a happy ending, includes a child, features a calm, benevolent Jesus and doesn’t challenge the world order. Does that mean it’s simply a pleasant story?

Its inclusion in all four Gospels (a status shared by a total of thirteen events) hints otherwise. In addition, it is the only miracle and one of only two events occurring outside of Holy Week.

Does the only miracle recorded in all 4 Gospels hold extra significance? (tweet this)

Keep pondering and commenting about it. I’ll share my thoughts in the next post.
 
·        What happens just before and after the story?
·        Is it just a miracle or is there a lesson to be learned?
·        Did Jesus select specific people to use?
·        What is Jesus’ purpose behind each instruction?
·        What’s revealed by Jesus’ actions and non-actions?
·        Is the order of events significant?

Here’s my mashed together version of the story with details from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Late that afternoon or evening the disciples came to him and said “…Send the crowds away so they can go to the nearby farms and villages and buy food and find lodging for themselves.”
 
Turning to Philip, [Jesus] asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.

Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!

But Jesus said, “That isn’t necessary – you feed them.”

“With what?” they asked.

“How much bread do you have?” Jesus asked. “Go and find out.”

Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?

“Bring them here,” [Jesus] said. “Tell [the people] to sit down on the green, grassy slope in groups of about fifty each.” So they sat down in groups of fifty or a
hundred.

Then Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven and gave thanks to God. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. He also divided the fish for everyone to share. (The men alone, not including the women and children, numbered 5,000.)

And they all ate as much as they wanted. After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.” So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves.

When the people saw him do this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, “Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!” When Jesus saw that they were ready to force him to be their king, he slipped away into the hills by himself.
Mash-up of Matthew 14:15-21, Mark 6:35-44, Luke 9:12-17, John 6:5-15 (NLT)

#SeedsofScripture #Feeds5000 #miracle

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