Sunday, August 16, 2020
When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him he said to Phillip, “Where shall we buy bread for all these people to eat?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit on the grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). John 6:5, 10 “About five thousand men were there.” Five thousand men. That doesn’t even begin to address women and children. We have some pretty good indicators that there were women and children were there as well. The verses say, “people” not just men and they eventually get the starter food from a boy (verses 8-9). So how many people were there? If we say that even half of the men brought a wife with them that takes us to seven thousand five hundred. If each couple came with one child (highly unlikely that there would only be one child in each family) that adds another two thousand five hundred for a grand total of ten thousand and that is a low estimate. Have you ever gone to an outdoor event where there is a speaker? We don’t rely on the voice of that speaker reaching through the crowd. They use all manner of sound equipment to make sure that the speaker is heard throughout the crowd. Even so, if you end up far enough away, back in the out edges or up in the nosebleed seats, you don’t always hear every word accurately. In Jesus’ day sound equipment didn’t exist. Yet at least ten thousand people gathered to hear Him speak and to see His face. Think about that for a moment. Go back to the same crowded event of our day. How do we make sure everyone can see the action? Jumbo screens strategically placed. Jesus didn’t have cameras or screens. Still all those people walked some distance to catch a glimpse of Jesus and to hear Him speak. We read the story and are amazed, as we should be, that Jesus took five loaves and two fish and fed an enormous crowd. Huge miracle for sure but not the only miracle in the story. Jesus drew all those people to Him and as far as we know it wasn’t because He was gorgeous. (Isaiah 53:2) Ten thousand or better followed Him to that place. How did they know where He would be? They didn’t have radio and TV ads or billboards along the road. No one was sending out social media blasts. So how did they know? Another miracle.