Jason Helopoulos / Feb 23, 2020 / Matthew 14:13-21
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Sermon Summary / Transcript
In Matthew 14:13-21 we read of the feeding of the five thousand with the loaves and fishes, the only miracle included in all four gospels. Here we are shown a savior of unmatched compassion, abounding truth, and sufficient supply.
Jesus’ compassion is unmatched. Loss steals our words and makes us want to be alone. Jesus had just learned of John the Baptist’s death and so had gone to a desolate place by himself. Death is our enemy, an abomination, and because Jesus was fully human, he experienced this–his grief was real. And yet, when the crowd came, he responded with compassion and gave himself to them. He does this for us today. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Jesus abounds in truth. He sees teaching and compassion as being hand in hand. He knows that these sheep, harassed and helpless, have no one to teach them. Just as Jesus ministers with both teaching and compassion, so must the church minister in both truth and love. The multiplication of the bread points to this: as there are physical needs, so are there spiritual; as stomachs are filled, so are souls. In John chapter six, he says to his disciples, “I am the bread of life.” Jesus alone is sufficient for this.
Jesus is a savior of sufficient supply. Jesus tells his disciples, “…you give them something to eat.” He does not mean that they should go dig up a meal somewhere for the crowd; but rather, that the people should be their concern and that by looking to Christ he might provide for the people through them. Their love for Jesus must mean love for his people because being saved to Jesus means being saved to his bride. Looking out for others’ needs is how our needs are met. In this passage, the loaves and fish are brought to Jesus. Bringing our shortages to him is more than faithful service – it is faith filled service. When we bring our meager supply to Jesus he breaks it and multiplies to us so that we can hand it out.
The disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers, one for each man. Our Christ is not stingy. His grace is more than sufficient, and because he sufficiently supplies, it is our privilege and responsibility to serve others. Pray that we would serve by looking to him in faith, by loving with compassion as he does.