Sermon #58                                                          Luke Sermons


     Title:       Two Fish, Five Pieces of Bread and

                             Five Thousand For Dinner

     Text:       Luke 9:12-17

     Subject:  The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes

     Date:       Sunday Evening – July 29, 2001

     Tape #    W-53b

     Readings:     Bobbie Estes and Lindsay Campbell



The title of my message tonight is Two Fish, Five Pieces of Bread and Five Thousand For Dinner. I chose that title particularly for you ladies who so graciously open your homes to entertain others, and work so hard to feed your guests. Sometimes, I know you get weary in well doing and are cumbered with much serving. The next time that happens, remember this message and its great lessons.


     You will find my text in Luke 9:12-17. This passage gives us Luke’s inspired account of our Lord’s great miracle of feeding five thousand men with five pieces of bread and two small fish. This miracle is recorded more frequently and more fully than any of our Lord’s other miracles. It is full of instruction for our souls. May God the Holy Spirit give us the instruction we need from it tonight.


[Luke 9:12-17]  "And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place. [13] But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people. [14] For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company. [15] And they did so, and made them all sit down. [16] Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude. [17] And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets."


Proposition: As the Lord Jesus Christ graciously and miraculously supplied the needs of this hungry multitude, so he graciously and (if need be) miraculously supplies all our needs in providence and grace by the omnipotent power of his will.

     What does the Lord God intend for us to learn from this often repeated story of the loaves and fishes? I am certain there is much more here than I can give you in this message, much, much more than I have yet seen. However, I am confident that there are seven obvious lessons for us in these verses.


I. With God our Savior nothing is impossible.


Oh, how I wish I could learn this, really learn it. With God nothing is impossible. Our Lord Jesus Christ, he who is God our Savior is God omnipotent! By the mere exercise of his will, he fed 5000 men with five pieces of bread and two small fish.


     This is not a fable, or even a parable, or an allegory. This great miracle was performed in public, before thousands. That same divine power that created all things out of nothing in the beginning, here made food where there was none.


     This was not the trickery of some snake oil huckster, or the work of some make believe miracle worker. Nothing can except the fact that Jesus Christ is God can explain this great deed.

·        5000 hungry men would not have said they were full had they still been hungry.

·        Twelve baskets of fragments would not have been left over had any of the men remained hungry.

The very same hand that sent quails in the wilderness, rained manna from heaven, and caused water to gush out of the rock here multiplied five small loaves and two small fish to feed 5000 men.


     He who is God our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, is King over creation, King over providence and the King of grace. He “calleth those things which be not as though they were” (Rom. 4:17). With Christ our God nothing is impossible!

·        When he wills something, it is done.

·        When he commands a thing, it is performed.

·        He creates light out of darkness.

·        He makes order out of chaos.

·        He brings strength out of weakness.

·        He turns sorrow into laughter, weeping into singing, and mourning into gladness of heart.

·        He brings food out of nothing!


     With regard to the work we are set upon, we might well despair, were we not the servants of him who is God mighty to save! When I see the corruption of men’s lives and know the depravity of their hearts, when their obstinate hardness of heart is repeatedly manifest, when unbelief appears so firmly and willfully established in the hearts of men, I would be in utter despair, were it not for this one thing. He who is our God and Savior is GOD ALMIGHTY! He is God mighty to save! His power is unlimited. His grace is unconstrained. His arm is mighty.

·        Can these bones live?” – If God says “live” they can!

·        Can that poor soul over there be saved? – If God saves him he can!

·        Can this rebel son be converted? – If God turns him he can!

·        Can this profligate daughter be won? – If God is set to win her she can!


[John 17:2]  "As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him."


II. The Lord our God graciously condescends to use human instruments to accomplish his work in this world.


No, a thousand times no, God does not need us. He who fed this multitude could easily have done so without the use of his poor, weak, unbelieving disciples; but that was not his purpose. He commanded his disciples to do what they could not do. -- “Give them to eat.” Then he put bread and fish in their hands and those emptied handed men fed five thousand souls! This entire event seems expressly arranged to give us a picture parable of the kingdom of God.


A. The hungry multitude is a vivid emblem of mankind. – Sinners in this great are a company of empty souls in the midst of empty souls, starving for lack of bread, sheep without a shepherd, hungry souls with no bread.


B. The Lord Jesus Christ is a great, compassionate Savior. – Mark and Luke both tell us that our Lord “had compassion” when he saw the multitude before him.


C. The Lord Jesus Christ has given us that which will meet all the needs of men’s souls in the gospel. – The gospel of the grace of God is the bead of heaven. It is the power of God unto salvation.


D. These disciples are representatives of all God’s preachers in this world. – We have no bread; but he does! And he has given it to us to give to men.


·        Our work is simple. “Give them to eat!”

·        Our work is vital. – “Give them to eat!”

·        Our work is delightful. -- “Give them to eat!”


     Some will not eat; but there is no reason for despair. Those who are hungry will eat. Are you hungry? Will you eat this bread?


III. Our Savior’s Name is Jehovah-jireh!


He is the Lord who will provide all our needs. Those who serve him will never lack anything because of their service to him.


[Luke 22:35]  "And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing."


IV. Our Savior always supplies our needs to serve him.


Those that have but a little, let them do what they can with that little, and that is the way to make it more. There is that scatters, and yet increases.


[Proverbs 11:24]  "There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty."


[Philippians 4:19]  "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."


V. Our God is a God of order.


He would have all things done decently and in order. He said to his disciples (v. 14), “Make them sit down by fifties in a company.


VI. Our Lord can cause the empty barrel of meal to overflow and the cruise of oil to be constantly flowing.


As we use what he puts in our hands for his glory, he graciously supplies us with more to use for his glory. The old proverb is, “Little is much when God is in it.”


The blessing of Christ will make very little go a long way. It is written, “The little that the righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked, a dinner of herbs better than a stalled ox.”


VII. All who are fed by the Lord Jesus Christ are filled.


You will never go away from this table hungry. Those whom he feeds he fills. When Christ gives, he always gives enough. There is enough in him for all and enough in him for each one. He replenishes every hungry soul, abundantly satisfies it with the goodness of his house. There were twelve baskets of fragments taken up, assuring us that in our Father’s house there is bread enough, and to spare.


[Psalms 34:7-10]  "The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. [8] O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. [9] O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. [10] The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing."


[Psalms 37:23-26]  "The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. [24] Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. [25] I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. [26] He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed."


[Psalms 107:9]  "For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness."


[Psalms 23]  "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. [2] He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. [3] He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. [4] Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. [5] Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. [6] Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever."