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
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.’