Jesus Celebrated Thanksgiving

ThanksgivingI love the stories about Jesus feeding the great multitudes. I just can’t imagine what went on in the disciples’ heads as they saw Jesus turn a scant meal into a feast for thousands. In Matthew 14 and 15 you see Jesus feeding 5000 men (plus all their kids and wives who were there) and then 4000 men (plus families). Notice what happens:

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 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.”

“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.

Jesus Feeding 5000

You see the same pattern in Matthew 15:

Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.”

His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?”

“How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked.

“Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.”

He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was four thousand, besides women and children. After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan.

It is quite interesting that the disciples are clueless about how they might feed the 4000 after seeing Jesus feed the 5000, a lesson in and of itself for us as we get puffed up in spiritual pride, but what I wanted to emphasize here is that Jesus gave thanks before God began multiplying the food through Him. He celebrated thanksgiving for God’s gifts and glory and then was able to feed thousands. May we walk in God’s will more and more every day, knowing that when we give thanks in everything we are doing God’s will and are transformed more and more into His image. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18.

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