SERMON OF THE WEEK
June 30, 2013
Next Sunday is the sixth Sunday after Pentecost. Gospel reading for Sunday is from Mathew 15:32-39.
Topic:"Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?"
Gospel Reading:(Mathew 15:32-39)
32�Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.�
33�His disciples answered, Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?�
34 How many loaves do you have?� Jesus asked.
Seven,� they replied, and a few small fish.”
35�told the crowd to sit down on the ground.
36�Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people.
37�They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
38�The number of those who ate was four thousand men, besides women and children.
39�After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan.
Last week we discussed the disciples' dilemma, "How to feed all those people?"
�This week's question from the disciples and is found in today's gospel text. "Where could we get enough food in this remote place to feed such a crowd?"
In this story, Jesus and his disciples had gone to an area known as Decapolis which is on the southeast of the Sea of Galilee. (Mark 7:31) The region was called Decapolis as ten cities of the area had formed an alliance to guard their frontier that was exposed to open and unprotected desert area. The region was part of the territory ruled by Herod Antipas although most of the people who lived there were the Gentiles.
While Jesus was in Decapolis, the multitudes brought many lame, blind, mute, and others to him to heal. Jesus had compassion on the multitudes, for he feared if he sent them away with nothing to eat, they would faint along the way.
The miracle recorded in this chapter is not to be confused with the feeding of the 5000.
5000 - 5 loaves of bread, and 2 fish.
4000 - 7 loaves of bread, and a few small fish.
5000 - 12 baskets left over.
4000 - 7 baskets left over.
5000 - The crowd with Jesus for 1 day.
4000 - The crowd with Jesus for 3 days.
5000 - the spring of the year
4000 - Summer.
�5000 - The crowd tried to make Jesus king (John 6:15)
4000 - didn't
5000 - primarily a Jewish congregation.
4000 - primarily a Gentile congregation.
5000 - Place was Bethsaida, north of the Sea of Galilee. (Luke 9:10)
4000 - Place was Decapolis, a region comprising of ten cities on the south-east of the Sea of Galilee. This was mostly a Gentile area. (Mark 7:31)
�Jesus duplicated the miracle of feeding the vast multitude to demonstrate that he is the 'Bread of Life' to the entire world, not just to one group of people.
�Now the question for the disciples was, "Do we have enough?." It is evident that Jesus loved these people and that's why he wouldn't send them home on empty stomach. Jesus called his disciples and said to them, "I have compassion for these people for they have been with me for three days and have nothing to eat. I don't want to send them away hungry." Jesus could have sent them home without any food. But Jesus' compassion motivated him to feed them. Afterward, the disciples began feeding the crowd with what they had with them, seven loaves of bread and few small fish. They ended up with seven large size baskets of left over.
�The lesson we learn here is that God can help us by taking over our crippled life and straighten it out for us. If God can feed several thousands with seven loaves and few small fish, feed thousands with manna in the desert, whip a giant with a committed shepherd boy, make water come out of rocks, make the sun stand still, transform a terrorist named Saul into a preacher named Paul, surely he can enter into our lives also, and help us to straighten it up. For that, we must yield to him. When Jesus asks us, "How many loaves do you have?", whatever little we have, we must place our total trust in God's hands for us to yield enough blessings from him. If we do that, we will have more than enough of what we need in life.
Prepared by: Rev. Dr. V KurianThomas Valiyaparambil