Fish, Part 5: One Fish, Two Fish
May 14, 2023 / Matthew 14:17–21
Grant Fishbook, Lead Teaching Pastor
A Harmony of the Gospels
When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing. Luke 9:10–11
As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” Matthew 14:15–16
Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” John 6:7–8
Common Approaches to an Impossible Situation
The request: You give them something to eat!
The reality: We have nothing!
This is not my problem — “This place is desolate and the hour is already late; so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” Matthew 14:15
This doesn’t pencil out — Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” John 6:8
There’s not enough — “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?” John 6:9
An Uncommon Approach to an Impossible Situation
Another Harmony of the Gospels
“How many loaves do you have? Mark 6:38
“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
“Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children. Matthew 14:17–21
Jesus’ response in the face of an impossible situation:
What do you have? (Mark 6:38)
Bring them to me (Matthew 14:18)
God will use both and is available to create his miracle!
Note: Jesus distributed the blessing through the availability of his followers.
A Miraculous Promise
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Small Group Questions
- What’s one attribute about your mom that you can honor?
- Have you ever witnessed a miracle? What happened?
- Go back and read the miracle of the Feeding of the 5000 from John 6. Which approach do you believe you would have chosen in the face of so much need?
- What is God teaching you about trust and faith through this story?
- Read the promise of Ephesians 3:20–21. In what area of your life are you asking God to apply this promise right now?
- How can we pray for you right now and throughout the week?