Meals with Jesus – feeding the 5,000

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Going on a journey through Luke – in a series of meals that teaches us about the Gospel and head towards the breaking of bread!
First meal at Levi’s we see how Levi’s destiny should have been as God’s Go Between a Priest, but sin had marred him and robbed him of his true destiny and made him a traitor – Rome’s go-between. Jesus’ love and grace had captivated him enough to make him repent. He holds a banquet to intro Jesus and his new Christian mates to his old non Christian mates. Teh Pharisees don’t like it – but find out that Jesus wants all of us to repent (turn away from our old way of thinking and doing) and turn to hiom to enter the kingdom.
This intrigued Simon the Pharisee enough to invite Jesus to a second banquet. It gets gatecrashed by a repentant prostitute, much to Simon’s disgust – he’s not too inclusive of who can enter the kingdom. So Jesus teaches that anyone who repents is welcome! The gospel is for anyone and everyone! We are called to welcome in anyone.

This morning we are going to be looking at the feeding of the 5,000 in Luke 9. This section is about two things. Who is Jesus? And getting sent on mission!

We’re going to read the whole section around the feeding of the 5000 from v1 of Luke 9 to v20


v1-6 the 12 sent on mission
Take nothing – so rely on hospitality – Just like Jesus
i) proclaim the kingdom of God – a great new ruler has arrived, Jesus. Looks after his subject and treats them with grace and healing
ii) heal the sick

Identity – followers
Authority to heal.
So have you!

v7-9 Who is Jesus?
Herod is asking
John the Baptist raised from the dead – which would have scared him silly having lopped off his head
Elijah – that might seem a bit random to us, but Elijah was taken up to heaven in a chariot – one of only two in the OT who didn’t die, and many Jews wondered whether e would come back to prepare the way of the Messiah. Actually that was a type, a picture – and John the Baptist played that role!
Then he might be one of teh prophets of old – Moses himself had promised that one day a prophet like himself would come in Deut 18:17-19

Parallel with end v18-20
Herod’s question isn’t immediately answered.. So
Jesus asked who the crowds saying I am?
Same answer
i) John the Baptist
ii) Elijah
iii) Prophet of old
But Peter knows he’s the Christ, not Mr Christ, but the Christ, the Messiah!
The difference between the two questions is the miraculous meal in between, where Jesus shows the answer.

So what we will see in the feeding of the 5,000 is Jesus showing, not just saying, who he is in the miracle with so a whole bunch of OT allusions to a prophet of old Moses, Elijah, and the Messianic banquet in Isaiah 25

Who is Jesus?

Jesus has got away with the 12 to debrief on their first tour, but of course the crowds find out where they are and join the. So Jesus taught on the kingdom of God and healed people of everything that prevented them entering it, so they are ready to dine in the Kingdom of God. That healing is physical and spiritual – ailments, illness, oppression gone and sin-sickness sorted.
The disciples had received hospitality as they had travelled about proclaiming the kingdom and healing the sick. They are now going to learn about extending hospitality miraculously!

OT Allusions

Moses and the Manna
Hundreds of years before when God had rescued the people of Israel with Moses from slavery in Egypt, the people complained that they were hungry in the wilderness.
So God sent Manna – I am about to rain bread from heaven for you Ex 16:4.
These people are also in a wilderness without food.And Jesus looks up to heaven and bread miraculously comes down.
He’s the New Moses about to lead the people to a new exodus, freedom from slavery to sin.
There’s more

Elijah and the feast for the prophets
The feeding of the 5000 would have reminded the early church of a second OT story – Elisha told his servant to feed a group of prophets with 20 loaves. But teh servant answered ow can i feed 100 men – So Elisha repeats “Give it to the men, that they may eat and have some left” in 2 Kings 4:42-44.
So Elisha tells his servant feed the men, the servant protests – eventually does it and there’s leftovers. And now Jesus does the same telling his disciples to feed 5,00 with 5 loaves and two fishes. They protest. But there’s not only enough, but 12 baskets of leftovers.

When Elijah had been taken up to heaven, Elisha took the cloak, because he was the successor. the new Elijah. So for Jesus to do things like but much greater than Elisha is to suggest he is a greater new Elijah.
He’s the New Moses, the New Elijah, but even greater than that – Peter knows he is the Christ. SO here coems the third OT allusion!

Messianic banquet
800 years before Jesus Isaiah procliaimed this in Isa 25:6-9
On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken. It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

For me that’s a goose bump passage!

My grandpa was a member of the Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers and when I was 22 Janet and I were taken to a banquet at the Mansion house – a very expensive meal! For free! I was a youth pastor at the time and was sat next to an admiral who aksed me what my annual budget – £1,000. He told me his was £1000million! It was sumptious, delicious, perfect banquet, expensive, but free for me. God will provide a feast better than that. With no cost, because the price has been paid without money!

Isaiah 55:1-2 “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.

It’s a feast that never ends. In Isaiah 25 death was on the menu – God will swallow it up.
The disciples wanted to send the 5,00 away, but Jesus makes it possible for them to stay – there’s more food at the end than at the beginning – this has the hallmarks of a perpetual feast.

Jesus is welcoming people to the Messianic banquet – Jesus is the Messiah who will defeat death, put the world right and enable us to enjoy God’s presence forevermore.
Feeding 5000 is not the whole deal, it’s a foretaste – a glimpse where Jesus is the host at God’s great party! Jesus welcomed the crowd, because Jesus welcomes us to the Messianic banquet.
Leftovers signify that it will carry on
Revelation – forever!


v1-6 sent to preach about the kingdom of God and heal the sick
Simple message – God loves you, You’ve messed up, Jesus died for you, Choose!

In the Feeding the 5,000, Jesus is teaching them to take responsibility for the mission and that they cannot do it in their strength

Ever done what I call bucket catering? Learned over decades, used to find it stressful. The first time I ever made a roast dinner it was for 75 peopleat a CU houseparty and I was petrified – a bought a whole lamb, but we got it done!
My sister rings me every year how long do I bake 40 potatoes for – for her annual smallgroup party. Bucket catering can be scary to do if you are not used to it!
One of my fondest memories of Alessio will be when three of us were trying to drain a huge pan of 3 kilos of pasta in our kitchen. We used a broom to hold the lid on!

How much harder when its 5,000 people and you only have 5 loaves and 2 fishes!

They can’t do it – but God will provide – in fact over-provide
Need a better Theology of leftovers – not giving God our leftovers, but realising that God gives us more than we need to do the job when we trust him
King arms night shelter
Don’t have the money or people to reach Kings Lynn, let alone plant in the region and see Europe re-evangelised through church planting.
But Jesus asks what do you have in terms of time and money? Offer that to me and I will provide
What an adventure – love us to join the adventure and see this area transformed and Northern Europe too!


1) Wondering who Jesus is? Good man, teacher? Or is he the Messiah – the one that can save you , forgive you and give youth abundant life you have been looking for?
Inviting you to join the party, the Kingdom of God…
2) Preach the good news and heal the sick.
Rend gig – as family we go! We are family and we go! Work in your life group teams doing what you are gifted at – serving, making friends, telling the good news, telling your story – everyone has a role to play!
3) Trust God with your meagre resources and time and let Him multiply it for the glorious mission of reaching Kings Lynn, the region and Northern Europe!

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Andy planted the Gateway Church in Sept 2007. He and Janet love to gather different nations together to grow in Christ while eating good food! He also helps to shape and serve a couple of Relational Mission's church plants in mainland Europe. Andy and Janet run regularly, largely to offset the hospitality eating! He also runs a popular WordPress plugin Church Admin