Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on Matthew 14:13-21.
But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat (Matthew 14:16).
We can focus on three figures in the feeding of the five thousand:
First: It tells us about the person and work of Christ.
It makes us stand in awe at the power and authority of Christ. Who has power over nature to be able to multiple loaves and fishes? Who can do such things but God himself? Christ did these things. Jesus is Lord.
Second: It tells us about the apostles (and beyond them the church today):
What does he say to the apostles?: “give ye them to eat.”
The risen Christ will tell Peter when he recommissions him: “Feed my lambs” (John 21:15); “Feed my sheep” (v. 16); “Feed my sheep” (v. 17).
At the end of this Gospel the risen Christ will say to these apostles in the Great Commission: “Go and teach all nations….” (Matthew 28:19-20).
The commission given to the apostles continues in the church, built on the foundation of the prophets and apostles with Christ being the chief cornerstone: “Give ye them to eat.”
There is significance here in the fact that the disciples had so little, humanly speaking, to offer. Spurgeon: “It is good for us to know how very poor we are, and how far from being able to meet the wants of the people around us.” Truly, our very little goes a long way in Christ’s hands.
This is a reminder that we have but one thing to give the world and that is Christ.
Third: It tells us about the multitude who were fed by Christ:
As Christians we can relate to the apostles, but more foundationally we can relate to the hungry, sick, and bewildered multitude.
We are reminded that Christ did not look upon us with indifference or disdain, but he looked upon us with compassion. He saw us as sheep without a shepherd.
He healed us and he fed us. V. 20 describes the experience of all those who find faith in Christ: “And they did all eat, and were filled.” Christ is the only one who can fill and satisfy our hungry souls.
The deepest needs of men, our deepest needs, will not be satisfied when the church offers politics, or yoga classes, or financial counseling, but when we offer the only thing that matters and the only thing that satisfies: Christ himself.
So, when Christ says, “give ye them to eat,” let us give them Christ.
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle