Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”

But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”

They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”

“How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.”

When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.”

Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties.  Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all.  They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish.  The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.  (Mark 6:30-43)

If the idea of Jesus feeding 5,000 people isn’t impressive enough, consider this:

In ancient times, it was the custom to only count MEN in official records.  Archaeologically speaking, if women and children had been included in this total, the number of people that Jesus fed would’ve been closer to TWENTY-FIVE thousand.

Imagine for a moment Jesus feeding those same five loaves and two fish to a capacity crowd at Madison Square Garden in New York (with an overflow crowd of five thousand people lined up out the door and around the block)!

It’s trendy nowadays to discount Jesus’s miracles.  Many scholars today seek to argue, “The people there simply shared their lunches with their neighbors next to them.”

Let’s return to the passage for a moment.  Consider Mark 6:33 (“But many who saw [Jesus and the disciples] leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them”).

Imagine the scene:  on impulse, the crowd dropped everything, stopped whatever it was that they were doing, and ran to meet Jesus.  Those five thousand people (or twenty-five thousand, depending upon which interpretation you follow) wouldn’t have had TIME to prepare a lunch!  (This pretty much shoots the whole “sharing” notion right out of the water.)

Consider Mark 6:35 (“It was late in the day”).  The people who were gathered around Jesus probably hadn’t counted on staying with him for so long.  The disciples had probably only brought enough food — five loaves and two fish — to feed themselves and Jesus, their teacher and Lord.  One must also consider that had the people in the crowd brought enough food to feed themselves, the disciples would not have felt the need to tell them to ‘go and buy something to eat’ (Mark 6:36).

Given the circumstances, what else BUT a miracle could explain Jesus’s ability to feed five thousand people with just five loaves of bread and two fish (leaving twelve basketfuls of bread and fish to spare)?

New Cloth For Old

nativity

[Jesus said], “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old.”

Luke 5:36

 

When Christ said this, he was referring to himself.

Jesus Is the New Cloth.

A little history:  centuries prior to Jesus’s birth, the old House of David was irretrievably broken.  Almost to a man,  the books of 1st and 2nd Kings describe the kings that comprised the Davidic line — Saul, David, Solomon, Ahab, et al. — as having done “evil in the eyes of the Lord”.  (They took pagan wives, worshiped pagan gods, performed pagan rituals. etc.  If there was a commandment, the House of David broke it.)

King David himself had an adulterous affair with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, one of his soldiers (David went so far as to order Uriah killed on a suicide mission).

Prior to Jesus’s birth, the throne of David (and the kingdom of Israel) had long since ceased to exist.  It was now nothing more than an isolated province of the Roman Empire (long after it had been conquered by the likes of Assyria and Babylon).

But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.  You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.

“The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”

Luke 1:30-33, 35

When the Holy Spirit entered Mary’s womb on that fateful day, God was making a clean break with the past.  Gone was the sin, the evil, and the corruption that had plagued the old Davidic line.  God himself was re-establishing the line that would ultimately produce Jesus, our Lord and Savior.

Even though Joseph was descended from the House of David (Luke 1:27), Jesus the Messiah could not be fathered by him (the preceding bloodline was simply too corrupt).

Joseph himself was now nothing more than a humble carpenter — there was absolutely nothing about him that gave any hint of royal lineage.

God — The Holy One Himself — was wiping the slate clean.  He was starting over with a whole new, sacred, pure, and undefiled  piece of cloth (trying to physically attach Jesus to the old bloodline would’ve been impossible; as Jesus himself said in the passage from Luke that I quoted from above, “the patch from the new will not match the old”).

What God for the world on that fateful day, he can do for you as well.  During this holiday season, turn to Him.  During this season of new beginnings, let God give YOU a fresh start (“Behold, I make all things new!” — Revelation 21:5).

Merry Christmas and God Bless.