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Scripture Reading: Matthew 14:13-21

Feeding the Multitude

(Matthew 14:13-21)



1.   Contrast Jesus and Herod (Matt 14): “Herod feasted in his palace with his nobles, Christ in the wilderness with his disciples; Herod’s feast was costly and luxurious, Christ’s very               simple. The sumptuous banquet of Herod ended in guilt and murder. It was a godless feast, profaned by wicked oaths.”  (Pulpit Comm.)

2.   Matt 14:13: Jesus went to a deserted place, but the multitudes followed. Extraordinary events occurred that confirmed the Father’s endorsement of the Son and the Son’s loving compassion for the lost.


I. THE COMPASSION OF JESUS. (“Feeling of distress through the ills of others”, Vine)

   A.   His Concern for the Apostles, Mk 6:30-32.

      1.   They had been out preaching, Mk 6:7; Lk 9:6.

      2.   Rest after work is important and promised, Lk 9:10; cf. Heb 4:9-11; Rev 14:13.

   B.      His Compassion for the Multitude, cf. Lk 9:11.

      1.   Compassion for the soul: An eternal necessity, Mk 6:34.

      2.   Compassion for the body: Temporal needs, Matt 14:14 (Lk 9:11).

   C.   Our Compassion Should Include Both:

      1.   Physical needs of others, 1 Jno 3:16-18; Heb 13:1-2.

      2.   Spiritual needs of others, Acts 8:4 (threatened their safety!)

   D.   The Requirements of Compassion:

      1.   Forget self (Must be aware of those around us.) Was not Jesus tired and hungry? cf. Matt 15:32

      2.   Without complaint, cf. Col 3:12-13.

      3.   Decision to act/to help relieve the distress, Matt 14:14 (“moved with compassion…and healed their sick”). Do what we are able to do to relieve the trouble, Heb 12:12-13.



   A.   The Feast in the Deserted Place, Matt 14:15-21.

   B.   The Miracle(s), Matt 14:14, 19-21. (Healing…Feeding)

      1.   Evidence “the Prophet” had come, cf. Jno 6:14, 27 (seal).

      2.   Reason for faith; most did not believe, Jno 6:30, 2.

   C.   The Abundance, Matt 14:20-21.

      1.   The food was from God…Jesus gave thanks, Jno 6:11.

      2.   Jesus does not send anyone away hungry, cf. Matt 7:7-11; Phil 4:19. Yet…Phil 4:12 (10-13).

      3.   Christ supplies our spiritual needs:

         a.   Salvation (eternal life), Jno 6:27, 47, 51, 56-58.

         b.   Spiritual guidance (truth), Lk 9:11. Jesus feeds our souls with truth which His apostles distributed, just as on this day they helped feed the hungry! Matt 28:19-20; Acts 1:8

         c.   Security (protection against sin and death), Jno 6:37-40; 2 Pet 1:8-11.

   D.   The Bread of Life (Jno 6:26-38). (The Bread of Life fed the multitude what they really needed to eat!)

      1.   Next day’s events, Jno 6:22-25.

      2.   Why are you seeking Jesus? Jno 6:24-27

      3.   Jesus satisfies the hungry soul, Matt 5:6.

      4.   Jesus gives eternal satisfaction, Jno 6:31-35, 48-51.

      5.   We must eat this bread! Jno 6:52-58 (words of life, 6:68).

   E.  The Lord Knows and Supplies All Our Needs, Jno 6:6; 2 Ths 3:23-24.

      1.   Ways of escape (from sin) and endurance, 1 Cor 10:13; 1 Pet 5:8-9.

      2.   Solutions to life’s questions/problems, Phil 4:13 (Ro 8:31).

      3.   Necessities of life on earth as we live for heaven, Matt 6:33.


III. OBEY THE LORD’S COMMANDS EVEN IF THEY SEEM IMPLAUSIBLE TO US, Matt 14:15-17 (Jno 6:5-6). Jesus commanded His apostles to “give them something to eat”.

   A.   Obedience is the Test of Our Faith. (Lk 6:46)

      1.   “Send them away”, Matt 14:15. Do not try to remove your responsibility to obey by saying it is not your responsibility.

      2.   “We don’t have what we need”, Jno 6:7. [We may excuse disobedience by saying we don’t have what we need to accomplish God’s will!  cf. Moses, Exo 4:10]

      3.   “What we have is not enough”, Jno 6:8-9. Jgs 7:2, 7

   B.   Applications:

      1.   The organization of the local church. Some excuse themselves due to lack of elders; others have contempt for the organization God has set in place (Acts 14:23; 20:28).

      2.   The work of the local church. Some want “more” – not content – Ch. Supported recreation (1 Cor 11:34).

      3.   How to be saved. Inward cleansing, 1 Pet 3:21.

      4.   Moral purity and faithful living. Titus 2:11-14

      5.   Teaching the lost, Acts 8:4.




   Jesus is the Bread of Life: Come…believe…eat and live forever. Jno 6:35, 44-45, 51