Luke 9:10 “And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.”
Having just described the twelves transition from disciples to Apostles, Luke refers to the 12 as Apostles here. These are the men Jesus chose to carry on his message after his resurrection and ascension.
An apostle is more than a disciple, the word disciple means learner or student whereas the word apostle is in reference to someone who is sent and speaks for the sending person.
Jesus has just commissioned and sent these men throughout all of Galilee to preach the Kingdom of God.
- Everywhere they went they healed people.
- They cast out demons.
- They preached the good news of the Kingdom of God.
They took the power and authority given to them by Jesus and used it to point people to Jesus.
- Can you imagine getting to go on that mission trip?
- How excited would you have been?
We read in the previous section how that news of the healings and miracles had reached Herod Antipas, which caused him to ask the question “who is this?”
What we see in this section and the next is Luke's attempt to answer the question who is Jesus?
Last week we made the point this question is the difference between life and death. Your answer to this question will determine where you spend eternity.
Here: we see the answer to the question of “who is Jesus?” Is that he is the great provider.
If you have spent any time at all in church, you will have heard this story. This is one of the most famous of Jesus’s miracles in the gospels, it tells the story of how Jesus fed thousands of people with just five loaves of bread and two fishes.
Of course, throughout the years skeptics have tried to explain away this miracle and several different ways.
- Some people think that this story is just a myth, an urban legend. Jesus was a popular preacher and after his death they exaggerated his ministry.
- Some people think this story is a fraud. Before Jesus gathered the people out into the wilderness, he had stored food in a secret cave, they see this miracle as a kind of magic trick.
- Others see this miracle as a so-called ethical miracle, in other words Jesus preached a sermon about sharing and people were so inspired that they shared the food they brought with them.
Us modern people do not like miracles because we do not like having things in the world that we cannot explain. The plain and simple truth of this text is that Jesus did something supernatural.
All the objections to the contrary, are based not on evidence, rather they are based on a person's worldview.
Since they do not believe in miracles, when they read about miracles, they automatically think they are false.
I'm here to tell you the Jesus is the most powerful man who's ever walked the earth. The answer to the question of who Jesus is, being the point of the story.
I want us to note 3 truths about Jesus the great provider.
1. The contrast between the inability of the apostles and the ability of Jesus.
2. Jesus provides but we cannot provide for ourselves.
3. When Jesus provides, he provides more than enough.
The contrast between the inability of the apostles and the ability of Jesus:
The text says there were 5000 men, this accounting does not include women and children. There may have been as many as 14 or 15,000 people here.
Verse 10 tells us that this was a “desert place” or deserted place, one translation calls it “A lonely place”. We would say it was out in the middle of nowhere.
The apostles see all these people and they say to Jesus, “we should send them away so that they can get something to eat.”
The response of Jesus
Luke 9:13 “But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people.”
We read in the other gospels that Jesus already knew what he was going to do, he said this to test his apostles.
Jesus provides what they cannot provide for themselves. The point that Jesus is making is, “I can provide what you cannot provide.”
The only way for them to go where Jesus is calling them to go and to do what Jesus is calling them to do, is through the power that Jesus provides.
You see, the disciples looked at their situation and thought logically, there are 14,000 people and all we have is two fish and five loaves of bread. That's not nearly enough to feed all these people.
We've been looking at the ability of Jesus contrasted with the inability of the disciples,
Which brings us to our next point, Jesus provides what we cannot provides for ourselves.
Luke 9:14 “For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company.”
Luke 9:15 “And they did so, and made them all sit down.”
Luke 9:16 “Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude”.
Luke 9:17 “And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.”
Luke wants to remind his readers that the Lord of the wind and waters (Luke 8:22-25) is also the Lord over bread and fish.
I want to remind you that not only is Jesus the Lord of the wind and water, and the bread and fish,
- He is the Lord of broken hot water heaters.
- He is also the Lord of broken timing belts.
- He is the Lord of cancer.
- He is the Lord of heart disease.
Whatever area of life you find yourself in Jesus can provide what you cannot provide yourself.
What we tend to do is constantly think about all the things that we are not and all the things that we cannot do.
I have a lot of deficiency and there is a lot of things I am no good at, but Jesus provides what I cannot provide for myself.
Mark Tew once said “God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply”
Jesus takes an ordinary sack lunch, and he uses it to feed thousands of people.
- We've talked about Jesus’ ability to provide and the disciples inability.
- We've also talked about the fact that Jesus provides what we cannot provide for ourselves.
- Lastly, I want us to notice when Jesus provides, he provides more than enough.
Luke 9:16 “Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude.” Luk 9:17 “And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.”
He took at ordinary sack lunch and turned it into something that was extraordinary.
God never does ordinary things through extraordinary people, he always does extraordinary things through ordinary people.
What we have here is an example of that truth. This was just an ordinary sack lunch.
This underscores the truth that when God blesses his people, he does it abundantly.
Notice how the apostle Paul describes Jesus in Ephesians 3:20
“Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,”
- God is able to do things that are beyond our ability to imagine.
- God is able to provide in ways that are beyond our ability to describe.
- This is why and other places Paul talks about a “joy that is unspeakable.”
Have you ever been blessed by God in such a way is that all you can do cry? This is the point that Luke is making here in our text that God always provides more than enough.
Here on our text, we see that Jesus can provide, we also see how Jesus provides. Jesus provides through ordinary means.
- Don't get caught up in what you can and can't do, remember that with Jesus all things are possible.
- Don't get caught up in what gifts you do or don't have, remember they're with Jesus all things are possible.
Jesus spoke through Balam’s donkey, and some of us are nearly twice as smart as a donkey. If he can use a donkey, he can use you