The account of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish from a little boy's lunch, is a popular one.
The feeding of 4,000 is less popular for some reason.
You can read this account in Matthew 15 or Mark 8.
But what I got excited about is what happened before that miraculous picnic!
It says that as Jesus sat on a mountain,
"Great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus' feet..."
Imagine this scene. He's sitting there and huge numbers of people help bring all of those they know who have physical needs of every kind and they LAY THEM DOWN next to Jesus.
What a beautiful picture that must have been.
Imagine the determination and strength it took to even get some of them UP that mountain in the first place! I bet the ones with the ailments weren't the only ones who needed to lay down after that trek!
Now, get this! Every single person's faith was rewarded that day. How amazing. It says "He healed them." Every. Single. One.
Quite possibly, thousands!
The mute started TALKING. And the lame started WALKING. And the blind started SEEING.
And the maimed, well, I had to look up the exact definition and it is: To injure, disable, or disfigure, usually by depriving of the use of a limb or other part of the body.
How glorious to see those folks healed! Verse 30 says that they 'were made whole.' Whatever was missing, damaged or immoveable was made whole once again!
It says that everyone "marveled" and they "glorified the God of Israel." -I bet they did!
I bet there was shouting by the mute and dancing by the lame and all manner of cheering by every able-bodied person there as well. It was a 3 day long praise party!
AND it was in this atmosphere of celebration that Jesus says He wants to feed the people.
I don't think they had even noticed how hungry they should or would be. They were too excited.
But He noticed and He "had compassion on the mulitude" and said "I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way."
I think that's so sweet. He saw their need before they did and He made a WAY.
It would have been so anticlimatic if the lame and maimed who were now healed,
FAINTED from hunger. How lame would that be? ; )
The disciples came up with 7 loaves of bread and "a few little fish." -I love that it doesn't matter what we give to Jesus. He can do anything with it!
"So they ate and were filled..."
"Now those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children."
As awesome as the feeding of the 5 thousand was, my favorite is now the feeding of the 4! : )