The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 68

Miracles and Multitudes ~ Part 2

In our last post, we began a new topic entitled Miracles and Multitudes. This post as we look at more Miracles and Multitudes.

Feeding of the Five Thousand

35 By this time, the hour was late. The talmidim came to Him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s getting late. 36 Send the people away so that they can go and buy food for themselves in the farms and towns around here.” 37 But He answered them, “Give them something to eat, yourselves!” They replied, “We are to go and spend thousands on bread and give it to them to eat?” [1]

Thousands, literally, “two hundred denarii.” A denarius was about a day’s wages for a common laborer. So, that would be equivalent to almost a full year’s wages.

5When Yeshua looked up and saw that a large crowd was approaching, He said to Philip, “Where will we be able to buy bread so that these people can eat?” (Now Yeshua said this to test Philip, for Yeshua Himself knew what He was about to do.) Philip answered, “Half a year’s wages wouldn’t buy enough bread for them – each one would get only a bite!” One of the talmidim, Andrew, the brother of Shim’on Kefa, said to Him, “There’s a young fellow here who has five loaves of barley bread and two fish. But how far will they go among so many?” [2]

Five barley loaves and two fish is a relatively small amount of food, typically enough for one or two people.

39 Then, He ordered all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 They sat down in groups of fifty or a hundred. Fifty or a hundred Isra’el camped in groups of hundreds and fifties during its flight from Egypt (Exodus 18:25). Yeshua’s organization of the crowd in this way represents the symbolism of this meal: With the coming of God’s rule, a new exodus is taking place. 41 Then He took the five loaves and the two fish and, looking up toward heaven, made a b’rakhah (blessing). Next, He broke up the loaves and began giving them to the talmidim to distribute. He also divided up the two fish among them all. 42 They all ate as much as they wanted, 43 and they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces and fish. 44 Those who ate the loaves numbered five thousand men. [3] 14 When the people saw the miracle He had performed, they said, “This has to be ‘the prophet’ who is supposed to come into the world.”[4] (See also Luke 9:12-17)

45 Immediately, Yeshua had his talmidim get in the boat and go on ahead of him toward the other side of the lake, toward Beit-Tzaidah, while he sent the crowds away. 46 After he had left them, he went into the hills to pray. [5] 1Yeshua knew that they were on the point of coming and seizing Him in order to make Him king, so He went back to the hills again. This time He went by himself.

The crowd wanted freedom from Roman rule and peace for Isra’el, and they thought Yeshua was the man for the hour. But His view was different: “My kingship does not derive its authority from this world’s order of things” (18:36). Had they succeeded, they would have nullified God’s way of making Yeshua the Messiah through His being the Suffering Servant dying for the sins of humanity, being resurrected, ascending to God’s right hand, and returning in future glory to assume the throne. The hope then, as now among traditional non-Messianic Jews, was for a conquering hero.

16 When evening came, His talmidim went down to the lake, 17 got into a boat and set out across the lake toward K’far-Nachum. [6]

In our next post, we will continue examining the Miracles and Multitudes series beginning in Yochanan 6:17b.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] Mark 6:35-37.

[2] John 6:5-9.

[3] Mark 6:39–44.

[4] John 6:14.

[5] Mark 6:45-46.

[6] John 6:15-17a.

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