Lessons Of A Lifetime

The Feeding Of Four Thousand
Or
Provision In The Wilderness
Sunday Sept. 27, 2020

Scripture To Consider:
“Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, ‘I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.’ Then His disciples said to Him, ‘Where could we get enough bread in the wilderness to fill such a great multitude?’ Jesus said to them, ‘How many loaves do you have?’ And they said, ‘Seven, and a few little fish.’”

“So Jesus commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitude. So they all ate and were filled and they took up seven large baskets full of fragments that were left. Now those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children.”                                                                                                                          Matthew 15.32-38

Something To Consider:
There are those more liberal thinking so-called theologians who do not believe in the miraculous works of Jesus; who communicate that the feeding of the earlier five thousand was not a real miracle. They teach that Jesus only encouraged the people to be generous with one another by sharing out of their own abundance with others.

Some claim that the men of that culture wore long puffy sleeved shirts that were usually stuffed with food for the family while traveling. And when the people saw the generosity of the lad in his giving up his lunch, they too were moved to do the same.

If indeed that was the case, why would the multitudes continue to follow Jesus seeking more signs and seeking more bread? And in the case of the feeding of the four thousand men along with women and children, they had followed Jesus for three days into the wilderness. How could a man hide enough food for an entire family for three days in his sleeves? The answer is that he could not!

This same Jesus of whom the multitudes marveled and glorified God for so many healing miracles, is the same Jesus who had compassion on the people and simply made provision for them when they could not have done so for themselves.

The compassion of Jesus continues through the centuries to us today. And yet, there have been and will always be scoffers who attempt to contradict and or oppose Christ and the things of God! On what side of the opposition to Jesus and to the Word of God will we be found in the end?

Something Else To Consider:
The apostle Peter wrote, “Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandments of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days walking according to their own lusts…” We are experiencing those days today!

In Matthew chapter 13, Jesus explained the purpose of parables and the mentality of scoffers and unbelievers in verse 14. “And in them [those who refuse to understand and prefer to not believe] the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive; for the hearts of this people have grown dull.’”

Jesus continued in verse 15 by stating, “Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them. And yet, they foolishly say in their heart, there is no God.

Something More To Consider:
Jesus had already instructed the people to seek first the kingdom of God and He would provide their necessities. And here in our Scripture to consider, Jesus holds true to His Word as He did so many times before and since. God provided quail and manna for Moses and the children of Israel while wandering in the wilderness centuries before. He also provided food for His faithful prophet Elijah by way of ravens during a famine.

In our text today, Jesus again provided food for all to eat and to be filled. And while we walk through the wilderness of this world seeking first God’s kingdom, He provides for our needs. Following Jesus does not give us a license to be lazy, but it does give us the promise of His provision when we are in the wilderness following Him in obedience.

Therefore, the evidence of God’s provision in the wilderness of this life is greatly testified to in the Word of God. And this evidence has poured forth from the pages of sacred Scripture in order to fill the lives of every true believer in Jesus. How many loaves do we need? According to Scripture, God shall supply all our need according to His riches in glory in and through Jesus Christ!

According to the apostle John in his second epistle; “He [or she] who has the Son [Jesus] has life; he [or she] who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” It is not at all complicated! The largest portion of God’s provision to those who believe, is eternal life through the forgiveness of our sins! Are we therefore receiving our daily portion of God’s daily provision? And if not, why not? Our daily portion of God’s provision has so graciously been provided through the sacrificial death and holy life of Jesus. Have we thanked Him today?

A Few Final Words:
Are we willing to continue with Christ as we approach the last days of man’s rule and reign upon earth? Are we willing, ready, and able to follow Jesus as did the multitudes in our text to the point of their hungering for physical food? John wrote in his gospel in chapter 8 and verse 31; “Then Jesus said to those Jews [some religious leaders] who believed in Him, ‘If you abide [if you continue] in My Word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’

We must continue in Christ Jesus and in His Word if our goal is to be His disciples and to lay claim to His promised eternal life! For spiritual leaders must be filled on a regular basis with the living bread of the Word of God, thereby allowing their hearts and minds to be filled with faith in God’s provision.

And when that takes place, according to the Word of God, “So they all ate and were filled, and they took up seven baskets full of the fragments that were left.” When we fill our lives with the Word of God our lives will be filled with that which sustains our lives in Christ!

Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, let us store up these many memories of Your miraculous provision in the hard drive of our hearts and minds, therefore helping us to endure to the end. In Him Always, Amen!

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