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Lesson # Matt. 14:15-17
Study Material - Matt. 14:15-17
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15 And [de] when it was [ginomai] evening [opsios] , his [autos] disciples [mathetes] came [proserchomai] to him [autos] , saying [lego] , This is [esti] a desert [eremos] place [topos] , and [kai] the time [hora] is now [ede] past [parerchomai] ; send [apoluo] the multitude [ochlos] away [apoluo] , that [hina] they may go [aperchomai] into [eis] the villages [kome] , and buy [agorazo] themselves [heautou] victuals [broma] .
16 But [de] Jesus [Iesous] said [epo] unto them [autos] , They need [chreia] not [ou] depart [aperchomai] [echo] ; give [didomi] ye [humeis] them [autos] to eat [phago] .
17 And [de] they say [lego] unto him [autos] , We have [echo] here [hode] but [ou] [ei me] five [pente] loaves [artos] , and [kai] two [duo] fishes [ichthus] . KJV-Interlinear
15 And when it was evening, the disciples came to Him, saying, 'The place is desolate, and the time is already past; so send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.' 16 But Jesus said to them, 'They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!' 17 And they said to Him, 'We have here only five loaves and two fish.' NAS
Evening time in the time of Christ was divided up into two segments. This 'evening' reference is the early evening - 3 to 6 pm. Late evening, which is referred to in verse 23, is generally considered that time between 6 and 9 pm. So this is in the late afternoon. This is a time when folks need to consider where they are, where they need to be or where they need to go, how they are going to care for themselves for the evening meal and then shelter for the coming night.
The disciples wanted to call it a day. The day had been a long one and the crowd was huge, as we have already seen. With no interstate highways, no auto bon's, no carriage way's, no wide highways to carry the traffic, then this large crowd was going to take some time to clear out. Assuming that they would even want to leave.
But anyway it was quitting time and the disciples want all to go home so they could have their time alone and with their food, which obviously was not enough for all. Not polite to eat in front of everyone ya know.
But then this was no ordinary time. Your life and mine are not ordinary lives either. We always consider the time of Christ's first advent as being a special time in history, but in truth everyone's life is a special time in history for each person, because the time of ones life belongs to each person. The time that God gave each one of us.
We have just concluded eight parables describing life and its limits. We live in a world where the odds are against us. We live simultaneously with those who could care less about God or truth. Truth being that which ties facts with reality. Mans philosophies attempt to artificially define reality with theories that are unsubstantiated and therefore false.
Furthermore, man even when he hears he truth, is still tied to the day to day details of life. And sometimes it is difficult to see beyond those visual barriers of life. Therefore we have this incident. A great crowd out in the middle of nowhere, with only five loaves and two fishes. The loaves mean nothing. The fish mean nothing. The five is a reference to Gods grace. The two is a reference to Gods point of contact with mankind - righteousness and justice. These two together combined make up seven or a complete accomplishment of what man needs in order to reach a point of being satisfied - spiritual maturity.
Recall that all of mankind swims around in the sea of history. History is contained within the huge drag net f Gods Divine Decrees. No one can exist outside of Gods realm. Those who do will find themselves inside a realm of chaos - the lake of fire. Gods realm is order and completeness and so forth.
But we all, knowing these facts still look to the limitations we face from day to day in our life. We have to pay bills. We have to make money. We need clothes, transportation, medical care, social interactions, toys, and so forth. We sit down and worry over things in life (marital problems, medical problems, financial problems, etc.) and sometimes wonder where the solution will come from. How can we care for ourselves and also care for others?
God is not taken by surprise by any circumstance of your life. As Jesus sat down and instructed the disciples to feed the crowd, He had no concerns nor was He worried as to how they would accomplish this. They of course wondered, but obeyed.
Jesus blessed the food and then had them distribute it to all. They no doubt carried a basket about through the crowd and each person would take out what they needed for themselves and family, and then the basket would continue along through the crowd. Everyone had food enough to satisfy their hunger, with food left over.
The miracle? No miracle! God provides enough for all our needs, and He provides it when we need it. Often times we need a little testing to check our faith gauge and to see if we will survive the pressures that life throws at us. This does not give us the right to become irresponsible and to presume that God will bail us out of any situation we get ourselves into. If we make stupid decisions, then God will let us drown in them.
Further, we are not independent from the world. The crowd consists of believers and unbelievers alike. We have a responsibility to all. God will do the dividing up at the end of history. It is not our place to judge others during our time. It is not our place to isolate ourselves from others during our life either.
In life we have three responsibilities. The first is to our self - to grow up in our spiritual life and thus learn and realize that God will provide for all our (and family) needs. The second responsibility is to others. This brings us to the concept of charity. There are always those who are in need for the basic things of life - food, blankets, care in many forms. Not just people who suffer because of disasters like an earthquake, but there are many who need help because of many, many reasons in life. The third area of responsibility is to support the teaching of the Word of God. There are many ways to accomplish this as well. Without God in the lives of people, their eternal future will be very bad, but without God in peoples lives, life here on earth can be very uncomfortable too.
God blesses planet earth through and because of mature believers. Increase the number of mature believers and the blessings for the entire planet increases. Decrease the number of mature believers and problems galore engulf us all.
To look in to ones pocket and say, 'I haven't enough for myself let alone others,' means that you still have not learned the lesson. See in the next chapter, Matt. 15:16.
God has no limitations on what He can do or provide, but He does limit what he does and what He provides based on your spiritual growth. Often times our spiritual growth reaches a point where we fail to advance because we fail in the application of our spiritual life. We look around (head in sand) and expect others to do that which we should be doing.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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