Warning : What follows is pure rant, not sound biblical wisdom. But please take your time to rebuke me, if it sounds too vain….
The bible records two instances of Jesus feeding multitudes, once 5000 (Mat 14:13-21) and then 4000 (Mark 8:1-8, Mat 15:29-39). The question remains, were these bonafide miracles?
People followed Jesus… Period, because he had a fresh insight into almost every aspect of the written word. He challenged established traditions, rules, questioned authority that was misplaced. He explained the old away and made all things new. The common folk loved it, it brought them closer to GOD. It peeled away generations of established views & norms.
It is important to note that, it was not just men who followed him around, but they were accompanied by women and children. Women and children give a clear indication, that there must have been entire family units that followed him. This also gives an indication that at least some of them were well prepared to stay for extended periods. What mother would go about, without carrying enough provisions for their children?
Their world was different, family and community was close to the heart of first century Jews. Sharing was caring, but Jesus took it a step further, he spoke about loving your enemy just as you would love your friends.
When Jesus took the 5 loaves of bread and fish and re-distributed it to the crowd, it was the ultimate symbolism of GOD’s love, love that broke open ancient barriers – of children, families, communities, enemies – under the umbrella of GOD’s universal love.
Did loaves of bread miraculously fall down from Heaven? Did the fish magically multiply within the basket? The Bible certainly does not give us any visuals regarding this, other than calling it a miracle.
I think what really happened was that, the people took to heart Christ’s example and started sharing. Sharing all that they had brought with them. It is not surprising that there were 10 baskets of fish and bread that was left over. Fish and bread was the staple diet of the region and 10 baskets is not a whole lot compared to the volume of people that were present
So we are still left with questions!!!
- One man speaking to a population of more than 5000 people with out any sound amplification devices!!!
- Social re-engineering a crowd of 5000 plus, changing their views and attitudes!!!
- The Words & Wisdom that got the attention such a large crowd!!!
If you can comprehend the logistics involved, you would appreciate that feeding 5000 plus people was hardly the miracle here. It was far more profound than that!!!!