Feeding of the 5000

The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served us nothing but leftovers. The original meal had never been found. (Source Unknown).

Leftovers

The feeding of the five thousand is the only miracle that is recorded in all four gospels.  It takes place right after the disciples return from a successful preaching tour and Jesus had decided they could do with some needed rest (vv. 30-31). He had gotten into a boat with them and they had headed for a quiet, uninhabited spot on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee (v. 32). The crowds saw Jesus and His disciples going away and they were so eager to be with Him that they set out on foot around the lake (v. 33). At this particular place it was four miles by boat and ten miles by foot. When they  reached the other side, the crowd was already waiting for them.

Having compassion on them Jesus began to teach them. (v. 34) As evening came they realized they needed something to eat but there wasn’t any place to get something out here in this country spot (vv. 35-38). Jesus asked everyone to be seated on the grass in an orderly fashion (vv. 39-40). The disciples found 5 loaves (small rolls) and 2 fishes, which it has been said were about the size of sardines. After Jesus had broken the bread and blessed it the disciples started distributing it to the people.  They kept passing it out until all these hungry people had all they wanted (v. 41). After the five thousand had eaten they gathered up twelve baskets of leftovers (vv. 42-44).

Some people know how to create an appetizing meal when unexpected guests arrive by using leftovers from previous meals. Just as Jesus took remnants of food and used them to feed the 5000, God can use leftovers in our lives.

  1. Leftover Time - A man waiting for a bus took a wire, bent it and created a paper clip.
  2. Leftover Possessions - Our church gives thousands of pieces of clothing to those in need.
  3. Leftover Health - Fanny Crosby was blind, but a great hymn writer.
  4. Leftover Faith - In Mark 9:23 Jesus says, “Everything is possible for him who believes.”

Application

I need to ask myself - How do I usually react to interruptions? Do they make me frustrated or do I look to them as opportunities to meet needs? Does my attitude need to change?

Mark 6:30-44 (English Standard Version)

The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while." For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, "This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat." But he answered them, "You give them something to eat." And they said to him, "Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?" And he said to them, "How many loaves do you have? Go and see." And when they had found out, they said, "Five, and two fish." Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.

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