Five Loaves and Two Fishes – Gospel Reflection on John 6:11
And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. - John 6:11
It is recorded in John 6:11, “And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.” Many people are familiar with the miracle of five loaves and two fishes. From this miracle of Jesus we can see His unique authority and almightiness. It proves that theis the incarnate God Himself. However, is Jesus performing this miracle merely to allow us to know His authority?
Recently, I have read one passage on the Internet, “When the Lord Jesus saw these five thousand people, they were hungry and could only think of eating their fill, so it was in this context that the Lord Jesus satisfied their wishes. When He satisfied their wishes, what was in His heart? What was His attitude toward these people that only wanted to eat their fill? At this time, the Lord Jesus’ thoughts and His attitude had to do with God’s disposition and essence. Facing these five thousand people with empty stomachs who only wanted to eat a full meal, facing these people full of curiosity and hopes about Him, the Lord Jesus only thought of utilizing this miracle to bestow grace upon them. However, He did not get His hopes up that they would become His followers, for He knew that they just wanted to get in on the fun and to eat their fill, so He made the best of what He had there, and used five loaves of bread and two fish to feed five thousand people. He opened the eyes of these people who enjoyed entertainment, who wanted to see miracles, and they saw with their own eyes the things that God incarnate could complete. … Even though these people did not know who He was or understand Him, or have any particular impression of Him or gratitude toward Him even after they had eaten the loaves and fish, this wasn’t something that God took issue with—He gave these people a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the grace of God.”
From this passage, we understand Jesus’ tolerance and compassion for mankind. These five thousand people were not truly following the Lord, but just wanted to have a good meal, or saw miracles to open their eyes. Although Jesus knew that these people wouldn’t follow Him with a true heart after the meal, He still treated them kindly and gave them food to eat.
After they were filled, Jesus left without a word, but He said a lot of words and expressed His will to His disciples. So we can know that Jesus has principles in treating different people. And these gave us a caution: If we treat the Lord merely as spiritual sustenance, but don’t put the Lord’s words into practice, then such belief is no different from those people that only wanted to eat their fill. Therefore, only we give our hearts to God and practice His words in all things can we gain His approval.