Five thousand fed

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 9:45am

Matthew 14:13-21 tells the story of Jesus, after being followed by a big crowd of people to a remote area on the shores of Galilee, feeding over 5000 people with only 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread.

It's a pretty simple story--there was a need and Jesus took care of it.  He multiplied what was available and had his helpers distributed it to the masses.

Going back to my last entry--Selflessness-- I'd have to interject the fact that again Jesus took compassion without judging the people.  I would have at least thought, "How dumb are these people, walking so far away into the wilderness and not thinking about where they were going to sleep, what were they going to feed their kids and wives."  Jesus hadn't fed anyone that we know of so I wouldn't think any of them would assume Jesus would have food for them.

Jesus didn't preach to them before feeding them, He just did it.

I had a similar experience back in 1975 in Aurora, Ill.  My uncle, Jerry Harvey, lived in a big house close to downtown Aurora.  He converted it to a "Jesus House", taking in mainly young people off the street.  He and his family (4 kids) belonged to a church who backed them financially as well as being involved in mentoring, teaching spending time with the residents of the house.  

I spent the summer of 1975, living at the house.  I wasn't there because I had issues.  I was there for the experience and to spend time with Jerry and his family.  It was called the Mustard Seed.

The ministry wasn't well endowed and we had to work for most of what we needed.  We lived off donations from manufactures and received seconds from cereal and dry good companies, damaged goods like canned foods, fruit and vegetables that were going bad which we canned, and over runs out in the fields where, say, ears of corn had fallen on the ground during harvest.  It was work, but fun work.

Jerry and his family decided to treat their church members and others off the street to a big dinner one evening.  I remember cleaning and getting their big house ready for the event.  Their house was an old Tudor style, 3 story and a full basement with hard wood floors and high ceilings.  It was a chore to clean but there were a dozen people staying at the house at the time so I didn't take very long.

We prepared a lot of side dishes but we were short a main course, we were short meat.  I think Jerry thought there was meat coming in, may be it was a faith thing, that he thought God would supply.  But we only had one small ham and we were expecting up to 100 people.

I was in the kitchen when the decision was made--we'd serve what we had.  If all they were going to get were fruits, vegetables and cereal, then so be it.  Back in the kitchen, Jerry blessed the food (especially the ham) and started carving.  I was there, watching them carve, but I was also carrying out the plates of carved ham to the dining area.  I made 2 trips, then 3, then 4 trips with plates full of carved ham.  We all ate.  Everyone had a wonderful time of fellowship.

After we were done, as I was helping pick up and clean up the kitchen, I watched as the girls placed carved ham into zip lock bags.  I honestly don't remember the number of bags but we ate ham sandwiches for over a week.

God had multiplied that ham to fill our need but also to show He is faithful, He is God.