Suggested further reading: Romans 4:18-25
These verses describe one of our Lord's most remarkable
miracles. Of all the great works that he did, none was done so publicly as
this and before so many witnesses. Of all the miracles related in
the Gospels, this is the only one which all the four Gospel writers
alike record. This fact alone (like the four times repeated account of
the crucifixion and resurrection) is enough to show that it is a
miracle demanding special attention.
We have, for one thing, in this miracle a lesson about
Christ's almighty power. We see our Lord feeding five thousand men
with `five barley loaves and two small fishes'. We see clear proof that
a miraculous event took place in the `twelve baskets of
fragments' that remained after all had eaten. Creative power was
manifestly exercised. Food was called into existence that did not exist
before. In healing the sick and raising the dead something was amended
or restored that had already existed. In feeding five thousand
men with five loaves something must have been created which
before had no existence.
Such a history as this ought to be specially instructive and
encouraging to all who endeavour to do good to souls. It shows us
the Lord Jesus `able to save to the uttermost'. He is one who has
all power over dead hearts. Not only can he mend that which is
broken, build up that which is ruined, heal that which is sick,
strengthen that which is weak; he can do even greater things than these.
He can call into being that which was not before and call it out
of nothing. We must never despair of anyone being saved. So long
as there is life there is hope. Reason and sense may say that
some poor sinner is too hardened, or too old to be converted. Faith
will reply, `Our Master can create as well as renew. With a
Saviour who, by his Spirit, can create a new heart, nothing is impossible.'
For meditation: `Is anything too hard for the
Lord?' (Gen. 18:14).