So many precious gems are buried in the story of the feeding of the 5000 (Mt 14:13-21, Jn. 6:1-13, etc.) . Among them:
1. Jesus’ grief for John’s death was eclipsed by his concern for those people and their needs. Jesus met all their needs.
Application: I should focus on others’ needs rather than on my own needs or feelings as a rule. (Not to deny them, of course).
2. Jesus always seems to do things in a way that surprised people. He lived in the reality of truth and power unseen and untapped by them.
Application: That truth and power are available to me. God wants me to use them and live in/by them. My life can/should be far from ordinary.
3. Jesus always knows what he’s going to do to solve a problem, but he presents it to us (as to Andrew) to test our faith.
Application: When a problem comes up, I must not panic or despair but submit it to him in faith and wait for him to act.
4. God takes ordinary things and uses them to do amazing things—if we give them to him (cf. Moses’ rod, Gideon’s trumpets, etc.)
Application: Lord, here I am and all I have. Please use me and mine to accomplish your amazing surprises!
5. God will equip me for what he asks me to do—even the “impossible.”
Application: When God requires something hard or “impossible” of me, my response must be faith, submission & obedience (cf. Mary’s response to the angel)
6. The disciples ended up with lots more than they started with! In serving others, they were winners, too!
Additional from the feeding of the 4000, Mt. 15:32-28
7. The disciples said “Where in the world would we get enough?” Like it’s impossible so just forget it. They figure what they have isn’t worth mentioning. But Jesus gets personal: “How much food do you have?”
Application: When I‘m called on to help with a need/project that seems impossible, all God wants from me is what I have, and I must not demean or withhold that.