We tend to hear the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand in one of two ways. The first way we hear it is something like this:
Jesus transforms five loaves and two fish into a whole meal for a huge, hungry crowd. The story is about God’s miraculous provision.
This is a true story, and it’s a wonderful encouragement for us: God can provide, even when it seems impossible.
Here’s the second way we tend to hear this story:
A boy offers Jesus his lunch to help feed a huge, hungry crowd. The story is about God using our contributions, however insignificant they may be.
Once again, this is a true story, and it’s also a wonderful encouragement for us: even our small, seemingly insignificant gifts can be used by God in powerful ways.
Both of these ways of hearing the story are correct. It is a story about God’s miraculous provision, and it’s also a story about God using our humble gifts.
But there’s a third way to hear this story of Jesus feeding the five thousand:
Jesus calls his disciples to feed a huge, hungry crowd, and then he shows them how. The story is about God’s call to us to feed the hungry in our world.
This, also, is a true story. And it’s the story I want to tell this morning about Jesus feeding the five thousand…
Here is the full audio of Pastor Michael’s sermon from August 6, 2017, called “Give Them Something to Eat.” It is based on Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand in Matthew 14:13-21. Other Scripture texts include Matthew 25:31-46; Matthew 5:3,6 and Luke 6:20-21, 24-25; Matthew 6:9-11; 1 John 3:16-18 and 4:8-12; Luke 6:30; and Luke 10:25-37.