Luke 9:12-17 – Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.”
He replied, “You give them something to eat.” They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish–unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” (About five thousand men were there.) But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” The disciples did so, and everybody sat down. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
100 groups of 50 men sat down to a feast of five loaves and two fish! That would be one small loaf for every 20 groups of 50 menand 1 small fish for 50 groups of 50 men! (Keep in mind that this count did not include the women and children who were likely present on this occasion). A typical day at McDonald’s in a suburb population of about 24,000 near Raleigh, N.C. shows an average of 1,500 customers per day. That being said, without advance warning, not even your average McDonald’s would be prepared to feed the crowd that had gathered on this occasion. Needless to say, feeding this large gathering would be on par with feeding dinner to the 2-3 million Israelites who fled Egypt under the leadership of Moses. God did that! Nothing is impossible with God!
Jesus TOOK the five loaves and the two fish. He will receive what we have to offer Him – no matter how small or inadequate! Just make it available to Him! Next, Jesus LOOKED UP to heaven. When things are too small and inadequate for meeting the needs – don’t look down or at someone else to do something, LOOK UP to heaven! Then, Jesus GAVE THANKS! There is no solution in being ungrateful or unthankful for the little that you may have – GIVE THANKS! A thankful spirit and attitude is one that God loves to work through! After giving thanks, Jesus BROKE THEM! Brokenness is something that God loves to work with! Psalm 51:17; Isaiah 57:15; Isaiah 66:2 all speak of this point. These loaves and fish needed to be BROKEN if they would be used for God’s purposes in feeding the multitude. We understand that a horse must be broken if it will be useful to our purposes – apply that same understanding to our brokenness before God! And, finally, Jesus GAVE THEM TO THE DISCIPLES to set before the people! These broken morsels of bread and fish are now distributed for the refreshment and consumption of the thousands. Amazement of amazements – everyone ate and they all were satisfied! Even more incredible, twelve basketfuls of left over broken pieces were gathered when everyone had finished eating. Five loaves and two fish, in the hands of Jesus, were more than enough!
This One who broke the bread that day was Himself the Bread of Life to the world. This same Jesus would LOOK UP to heaven and GIVE THANKS for the bitter cup He was going to drink. He was BROKEN for our transgressions and sins. This Bread of Life (broken for us) was entrusted to His disciples for distribution, and everyone who has ever partaken of this Bread has found it to be enough to satisfy the deepest needs of their soul! And, amazement of amazements – there is enough of this Bread left over for millions upon millions to feast and be satisfied!