Opening Prayer Thoughts.
Praise God that he spoke, and the heavens and the earth came into existence. Praise God that he formed man, male and female, and sustains his creation each day by his spoken word. Praise God for the manifestation of Jesus' power while he was on the earth. Praise God that Jesus still has that power and is exercising it today for the good of his people. Genesis 1,2. John 1.
Confess the sin of not owning that reality daily and the implications resulting from it. Pray that God would give you the willingness to accept his loving provision for you in all things, including the trials in your life that he is using to purify you and prepare you for an eternal relationship with him. Hebrews 12:3-17.
Please read Luke 9:10-17 - Believe and trust in Jesus' power
Ask God the Holy Spirit to help you in your understanding of his Word.
V10. The Apostles report back.
Unlike Mark, Mark 6:30, Luke now calls the twelve 'the apostles' after they return from their preaching tour. We have no idea of how long they were away, but when they come back, they are debriefed by Jesus. Jesus wants to know what has happened, not because he is nosy or a control freak, but because wise leadership is founded on knowledge. Jesus then leads the Twelve on a break. Time away from the constant demands they had been experiencing; and so, they set out for Bethsaida, Mark 6:31.
V11. Jesus has compassion.
Luke is concise in his recording of the events that lead up to the miracle that is about to unfold. He says nothing about the boat trip, nor about the crowds who, as news spread that Jesus was in a boat crossing the lake to their side, came out from the surrounding towns, and ran to where they thought he would come ashore. For Luke, it seems like it has just become a given that wherever Jesus goes, there will be crowds. It speaks to just how 'famous' Jesus had become. His presence inevitably caused a commotion. Thousands of people would leave their homes, their workplaces, to come and see and hear him. The sheer scale of it all must have been breathtaking. So much for his attempt to get a break.
How does Jesus react when he sees the thousands of people waiting on the shore? He welcomes them; Mark tells us that he did so because "he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd," Mark 6:34. It is a beautiful thing when men and women want to be fed from the hand of the Lord. There is nothing more reviving, humanly speaking, to the tired minister's mind and body than to be greeted by people wanting to hear the voice of Christ through his Word preached. The man of God knows that it is not the excitement of seeing him as a man; it is witnessing the anticipation of what Christ will bring through him which brings renewing joy. It is the craving for the Word of life that stimulates and reinvigorates the one who is spent in doing good. If you long to see and be with your minister for what he can bring to you from God's Word, you will be doing him, his body and his mind, a great service.
What did Jesus do? Jesus did what he always did; he preached the Kingdom of God. The good news of God's rule in the lives of men and women for his own glory. Jesus never strayed from that message. It was what he had been sent to do, and he did it. Having preached, Jesus then healed those who were brought to him. But there is something else he did though, on this occasion before he began preaching. Luke doesn't tell us about it, but John does. John says that as Jesus watched the crowd congregate on the mountainside, he had a conversation with one of the Apostles, Philip, about how they were going to feed the people who were coming, John 6:5ff. John says that Jesus "said this to test him for he himself knew what he would do." So, Jesus knew what was going transpire later in the day. He knew about the need that would be presented to him and how he was going to deal with it. Isn't it wonderful that our Father in heaven knows what lies ahead of us? That there is nothing in our lives, laying in wait around the corner, that he does not know about, and has not already taken care of. That is why time spent worrying about what is going to happen, is sin. What we have to do is straightforward – trust God and fulfil his commands. But… no buts; trust God and obey his commands, and let him do the rest. (Matthew 6:25, Matthew 6:34, 1 Peter 5:7, John 14:1, 2 Corinthians 9:8, and Job 1:20-21).
V12. So how are we going to feed them?
Evening comes, the question posed to Philip earlier in the day, and Philip's response, John 6:7, will have long since made its way around all the Apostles. Throughout the day, as Jesus taught and healed, all the Apostles could see were these thousands of people, and all they could think about was the expectation Jesus had expressed to Philip, that they would feed them. So, as evening draws in, all twelve of them come to Jesus as one man and say, 'Jesus, you're going to have to send these people away so they can find a place to eat and stay for the night.' They add just in case Jesus didn't already realize it, "for we are here in a desolate place." That is the only answer they have to the problem they had been left to mull over all day. Whether it is the previous statement of Philip's, that their current balance of 200 denarii would not be enough, or the present offering of the five loaves and two fish, the point the Apostles are making is simple – what you are asking cannot be done.
V13. Jesus doesn't concede.
Jesus' response isn't what they want to hear, "You give them something to eat." What is Jesus doing here? He has spoken with Philip at the beginning of the day, explained what he wants them to do, heard Philip's reason why it couldn't be done, left him to share it with the others, and now when they come back with basically the same answer, just in a different form, Jesus poses the same question to them again. Jesus is saying to the Twelve, how much do you believe? Remember, these men have just returned from a preaching tour where they have healed probably hundreds of people in the name of Jesus. They have seen Jesus raise two people from the dead, Jairus' daughter and the widow of Nain's son. Of course, they don't have enough food to feed the thousands of people around them or enough money to go out and buy enough food to do so, but they have one in their midst who can; they just cannot see it, despite all they have seen him do.
Are you and I any different? We have experienced new life in Christ. Astonishingly, we believe that we are going to heaven, a place of holy purity, a place into which no defilement can enter, and we are going to do so, despite the fact that there is never a day of our lives which is not marred by defilement. How is that possible? It is possible because we believe that Jesus has paid the penalty we could not pay for our sin, and we believe that Jesus has imputed to us the righteousness we could never have earned. And yet, we don't believe that he can…. It is incredible when you think about it. How out of one side of our hearts we can say we love and trust him for our eternal existence, and out of the other side say 'Jesus isn't going to be able to fix this issue in my life.' Do you know what that is? It is unbelief, and I know it is because I have it in my life. That is why we need to be constantly, relentlessly, daily abiding in Jesus through his Word. For it is his Word and only his Word, in the power of the Holy Spirit, that will enable us to mortify sin, and win this daily unbelief war being waged in our hearts.
V14. Jesus acts in the face of their unbelief.
Jesus has heard enough; he tells them what to do. So, the Apostles tell all the people to sit down. There they are, about five thousand, all sitting down. The Apostles are looking at Jesus and thinking to themselves, 'now what?' Jesus speaks – he gives thanks to the Father, and then he breaks the bread into pieces, and he keeps breaking the bread into pieces. He keeps breaking the bread into pieces, and he keeps breaking the bread into pieces, and he keeps breaking the bread into pieces, and he keeps breaking the bread into pieces, and he keeps breaking the bread into pieces. Jesus doesn't stop breaking the bread into pieces because the bread keeps multiplying in his hands. It doesn't matter how much he breaks off the five loaves; there is more bread in his hands to break off. And so, it goes on and on, until everyone present has eaten and is satisfied. As is always the case, some took more than what they could eat and "twelve baskets of broken pieces" are gathered up. These baskets were large, the type that travellers used to carry things in. There were twelve of them, one for each of the Apostles to pick up and carry. Picture the Twelve coming back together, each with a large basket full of food, looking at each other, and shaking their heads in disbelief at what they had just witnessed.
This is our Saviour; this is our Lord. What are you hungering for in your life? What is it that you, as a professing walker in the way of the Lord, feel a need for? Believe in Jesus and ask him to provide it for you. He has the power to do so. Believe that he has the power to do so, in accordance with his will for your life, and the glory of the Father.
A Psalm to Sing.
Psalm 96C - Link to the words. Link to it being sung. Sing with joy in your heart to God.
It is a privilege to lay into our hearts and minds the light and truth of God's Word.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us,”
Truth for the Mind and Heart.
Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 63 - What is the fifth commandment?
Answer - The fifth commandment is: Honour your father and your mother so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
This is taken from https://matt2819.com/wsc where you will find proof texts.
Thank God that he does not bless us based on, or as a reward for, our belief.
Thank God that he understands our weakness and frailty of faith.
Thank God that he gives us the gift of his Word, and men to preach and teach it, so that we may all grow up into maturity.
Praise God for the miraculous things that Jesus has done, is doing, and shall do in your life.
Take care in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Andrew Quigley