Matthew 14:13-17 Give Ye Them To Eat This is the story of Jesus feeding the 5000. It is also recorded in Mark, Luke, and John. While we know that there are no discrepancies in the Scripture, we also know that the writers of the gospel did not always see fit to include the same details of every miracle or situation. Here, they all thought Jesus telling the disciples to feed the 5000 was important for all indicated that Jesus involved the disciples. Mark 6:37 He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat? Luke 9:13 But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people. John 6:5 When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? Interestingly, when Jesus gave the command, He knew that these men could not feed the 5000. He also knew that He was going to end up feeding them. Yet, it is clear that He told them to do it. WHY? I. When Jesus told the disciples to feed this multitude, He wanted them to understand the difference between watching something happen and making something happen. A. Contrary to what most believe, going to church is NOT a passive experience. 1. That simply means we are to go church to do something. a. Every believer should worship while they are at church. b. Every believer should praise the Lord. c. Every believer should pray. d. Every believer should offer thanksgiving. e. Every believer should give tithes and offerings. 2. But beyond those activities, every believer should also WORK-ship. a. That is, every believer should find a way to serve Jesus through the local church. (1) Some are gifted to minister to those who are at the church. (2) Some are gifted to get some to come to the church. (3) Some are gifted to care for people after they have left church. (4) Some are gifted to to take care of the things of the church. b. However, everyone has some gift that can be used in the service for our Lord. B. The disciples had been watching Jesus perform miracles but had not made any miracles happen. 1. Jesus had been doing all the work and taking all the. 2. Jesus was going to continue doing most of the work and bearing most of the responsibility, but He was starting to teach the disciples that their turn was coming. 3. Just because Jesus is the only hope for a needy world did not mean that they could get by with just being spectators! C. In this story, the disciples are really standing in the place of the Church. 1. You see, Jesus wasn’t going to be around forever and these disciples were being trained for the future. 2. Jesus is preparing them for the future. 3. When the disciples became the leaders, they in turn prepared others to lead. 4. As long as God leaves the church on this planet, we are to do the work of the church and we are to perpetuate the work of the church for generations to come. 5. I have been around this church for more than a generation. It is exciting to see…. a. …how yesterday’s youngsters have become today’s adults. b. …how yesterday’s converts have become today’s leaders. c. …how yesterday’s students have come today’s teachers. D. When Jesus gave these disciples the command to feed the people, they (like the church) became responsible. 1. Today when Jesus wants to feed people, or heal the sick, or break the chains of darkness, He does not come down from heaven to perform a miracle! 2. He lets us to do it! 3. All who serve for Jesus are apart of the chain Jesus began to forge when He told these disciple to feed the 5,000. II. When Jesus told the disciples to feed this multitude, He wanted them to see four things. A. He wanted them to see the need of the people! 1. People have great needs. a. Most people are not as blessed as you are (that is, if you live like a child of God). b. Most of them have more severe family problems than you do. c. Most of them have greater emotional problems. d. Most of them have greater financial problems. e. Most of them have far greater spiritual problems. 2. Most Christians won’t see the greatness of the need until they have to meet it! a. There is one bad thing about being religious. b. Religion can isolate good people from the needs of the world! c. I am largely isolated. (1) I don’t hang with the people at the bars. (2) I don’t hang with the people at the jail. (3) I don’t hang with the people on skid row. (4) I don’t hang with the homeless. (5) I don’t hang with the addicted. (6) I don’t hang with the occult. (7) I don’t hang with the vulgar. (8) I don’t hang with the rebellious. d. However, just because I don’t hang around with these kinds of people doesn’t mean that I should care for them, pray for them, and minister to them! e. That is the very call of Christianity! 3. In truth, our church is somewhat blessed and somewhat cursed. a. Blessed-We have good people who love the Lord. b. Cursed-Our very lifestyle separates us from the very people who need the Lord. c. Double cursed-Our location in the rural setting keeps us away from the masses of people who are in need of our ministry. 4. IF we ever get serious about growing our church, we will get serious about reaching those people who need the church. a. I would love for us to attempt street preaching in Bessemer. b. I would love for us to run a bus to Bessemer and pick up children from up there. c. I would love for us to open our doors several times each year to feed the community a hot meal. d. I would love for us to conduct a Bible marriage seminar. e. I would love for us to open a Christian school. f. I would love for us to have a home for abused children and women. g. I would love for us to have a group of men who would do projects for the elderly, the sick, the widowed. h. I would love for us to have a literacy program. i. I would love for us have a program for those addicted to drugs, alcohol, and pornography. 5. These are dreams I have had for the Green Pond Baptist Church for years but until we get more people on the firing lines who see the desperate need of the lost, they will be nothing more than dreams. 6. First there must be a willing mind. 2 Corinthians 8:12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. B. He wanted them to see their impotence. 1. Jesus gave them a command that He knew they could not fulfill! 2. The disciples did not know they couldn’t fulfill it until they tried! a. \\#Matthew 14:17\\ tells us they gathered their food to see what they had. b. \\#Mark 6:37\\ tells us they counted their money to see what they had. c. \\#John 6:5\\ tells us they discussed where to buy bread enough if they could collect enough money to feed the crowd! 3. In trying to obey the command, they found out they could not! a. If we are not trying to serve, we not realize just how helpless we are. b. Most of us believe that we are in pretty good shape—and we might be, but we are in no shape to help a poor, defeated, damned world. C. He wanted them to see His power. 1. Jesus always knew He would feed the people! 2. He wanted the disciples to see the power He had that could help these people! a. Jesus had great power. b. Jesus had a compassionate heart. c. Jesus was relevant to the people of His day. 3. But the only ones who saw it were those who were involved in the work. a. The multitudes ate the bread but they didn’t see where it came from. b. People today want to see the power of God. c. When you get into God’s business, you will see God’s power. d. I have seen some of it. (1) God took a backwards, introverted kid and made a preacher out of him. (2) I have seen the power of God transform me and I by using that power, I have seen the power of God transform a few others. e. The deeper into God’s business we go, the more of His power we shall see. D. He wanted them to see their responsibility was to bring His power to bear onto life’s situations! 1. Some charge the church with being non-relevant. 2. If the church is non-relevant, it is the fault of today’s church. 3. If the Green Pond Baptist Church does not make itself relevant, it will be our own fault. a. There are needs out there. b. There are people in here. c. There is power up there. d. Our calling is to bring the three together. III. When Jesus told the disciples to feed the multitude, He wanted them to inherit the reward of serving. A. There are eternal rewards to be given for serving Jesus. Matthew 10:42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward. 2 Corinthians 9:10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) B. But there are also earthly rewards. 2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. C. Jesus doesn’t need those rewards. 1. He has them to give them away. 2. Are you going to get any of them?
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