The Feeding of the 5000 and Christ’s Ministry
The feeding of the 5000 men was the capping miracle of the Galilean ministry and one that cannot be explained away by doubters. The Bible says, that the five thousand men were “beside women and children” (Matthew 14:21). So, Bible scholars believe that the actual number that was fed that day could have been fifteen thousand to twenty thousand people.
After the crowds ate of the loaves and fishes, they believed that Jesus was “that prophet” (John 6:14; Deuteronomy 18:15; Matthew 11:3; John 4:25) who was to come into the world. The indisputable miracle made them certain that Jesus must be the One foretold by all the prophets (Luke 24:27; John 1:45), the coming King of Israel (Isaiah 9:6, 7 Luke 1:32, 33).
So, they instantly tried to crown Him king (John 6:15). They planned that He who could raise the dead, heal the sick, and feed thousands has the power to free Israel from bondage to Rome. They believed that under His guidance the armies of Israel would be unbeatable, and the abundant hopes of those who watched for a political leader would come to pass (Matthew 3:2; 4:17; 5:2; Luke 4:19). Because of this miracle, the Galilean ministry rose to a peak (Luke 2:49). This plenty of food attested to the boundless power of Jesus. He was undeniably the One that the Jews were hoping for.
But the people’s goals for a worldly kingdom was not in agreement with the spiritual nature of Christ’s kingdom. By this miracle, Jesus desired to direct their attention to the heavenly bread that will satisfy their souls but they desired the earthly bread instead.
So, Jesus urged them saying, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life” (John 6:27). And He added, “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (verse 54). By this, Jesus meant that whoever believes in me and nourishes his soul by God’s Word will be saved. But this was not accepted by all the people and many left Him (verse 66).
In His service,