Feeding 5000 (14:13-21) The King is a greater Prophet than all
Parallels: Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:11-17; John 6:1-14
Note the contrast between Herod’s party which begins in lavishness and results in death of the prophet and Jesus’ feast which begins in poverty and results in exaltation of the prophet Jesus.
v. 13: Jesus’ Motives for withdrawing: 1- John’s martyrdom, 2- Herod wanted to see Jesus, 3- Rest & quiet (Mark)
v. 19: Looking up toward heaven – Jesus prayed with open eyes 6 times in Gospels (here and Mark 6:41; 7:34; Luke 9:16; John 11:41; 17:1) He made a blessing (b’rakhah): “Barukh attah, Adonai Eloheynu, Melekh-ha’olam, haMotzi lechem min ha’aretz.” Praised by you, Adonai our God, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth. In Jewish custom, the blessing before the meal is short. A longer Grace (Birkat-HaMazon) is said after the meal. Also notice that the object of blessing is God, not the food.
Note the similarity to food in the wilderness miracles: Elisha’s miracle: 2 Kings 4:42-44, and to Moses and the manna (Exodus 16) and quail (Numbers 11) in the wilderness and to Elijah fed in the wilderness (1 Kings 19:6-8). Elisha fed 100 with twenty loaves. Jesus fed perhaps 10,000+ with five loaves. He is greater!
Disciples have a good motivation: Concern is the necessary first step in ministry. There is need for a second step – the need to act, even though we are aware of how little we have to offer. But if we care and reach out, He will provide.
God takes a nobody and makes a winner (the boy).
Bread is flat cake, therefore can hear the breaking of bread. Miracle here is greater than manna in wilderness. No manna was ever left over.
Some problems require God’s direct intervention
God often begins with what we have.
God does miracles only when we need them.
God is not intimidated by the magnitude of the problem
Jesus is in the process of leaving Galilee behind. John 6’s account of the Bread of Life which occurred after the feeding is instructive here of the highest point and greatest crisis of his ministry in Galilee. They saw him as a fanatic who would not accept the honors they would confer on him as King.