Sunday, 3 August 2008

Feeding of 5,000 - Wing 3 August

Wing Sunday 3 August 2008 – Matthew 14: 13 – 21

What are we to make of the miracles of Jesus?

Miracles can be interpreted


What really happened?

Can it be explained in some other way?

Theology in 1960’s


What is the meaning in the miracles?

What do we learn from what is related?

How does this strengthen our faith?

Should not choose between one and the other.

Miracles really happened – too many witnesses

So many clues given by Jesus to his intended teaching that we cannot just regard them as a series of events without any special meaning

Two feeding miracles

Feeding of 5,000 (Matt; Mk; Lk)

Feeding of 4,000 (Matt; Mk)

Too close to be duplicates

Mark draws distinction between them

Some people say the numbers and even colours are significant

No time to go into this today

Meaning for today is the same in both

Meaning for today


Compassion for the people

Like sheep without a shepherd

No food in a deserted place

Late at night

No compassion for Jesus

Wanted to be alone

John the Baptizer had been beheaded


Allegory of Church’s celebration of the Eucharist

Feeding/banquets/feasts all mean Kingdom of God

Last Supper

Prodigal Son

Wedding in Cana

Parable of Great Banquet

This is no exception

Bread = Word of God (people do not live by bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God) = Jesus (bread of life)


Model of Creation

God provides super abundance

There is plenty for all, and much is left over

But we must take only what we need and share the food fairly

Gives us insight into nature of Jesus – who he is

Jesus is the new Moses

Matthew’s gospel mainly addressed to Jews

They would see the parallel between Moses and the Manna in the Sinai, and Jesus providing food in a deserted place

More importantly, and for us Jesus is God

He provides in creation

He walks on water immediately afterwards

He is master of the elements – stills the storm

He does what only God can do

He has compassion – does not send people away

He makes us whole again

Disciples did not often realise this

It was blasphemy

But later in same chapter after Jesus walks on water they recognise him as Son of God:

“Peter said ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water. He said ‘Come.’ When they got back into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshipped him, saying ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’

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