7 Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
Inside the Church of the Multitude in Tabgha- traditional site on the Sea of Galilee where 5,000 are fed.
Thoughts: This is similar to Elisha's multiplying of the barley loaves to feed a hundred, or the multiplying of the oil for the widow (both in 2 Kings 4). Elishah only fed 100 with his twenty barley loaves, while Jesus fed 5,000 with five barley loaves- implying that one greater than Elishah was here. Andrew had brought Peter to Jesus (John 1:40-42). Andrew now brings the loaves and fishes to Jesus. We should follow Andrew's example of bringing people and things to the Lord. He changes everything, including us.
Prayer: Take my all, Lord, and use it to multiply your grace.
John Calvin Abridged: Andrew wished to alert Christ of the greatness of the sum of money needed to feed so many, and that they did not have enough to entertain so many. When Jesus commanded them to sit, they sat showing trust that God will provide. So we should listen to God and trust in Him even though we walk in darkness as to how God will do it. Let us learn to not be wise in our own ability, but amidst great confusion, continue to hold to a trust in God's ability to make things prosper, when we follow the guidance of God who doesn't disappoint his own people. Christ gave thanks giving us an example of thanking God whenever we take food. The things that God has appointed to us are evidence of his goodness, and we ought to give praise to Him with thanksgiving (1 Tim. 4:14). Those who swallow food down like brute beasts are guilty of sacrilege. When the bread grew at Christ's blessing, we are reminded that God blesses our labor when we are servicable to others. Christ not only bestows spiritual life, but also cares about our physical life. Christ did not provide great delicacies for the people, but those who saw his amazing power here were obliged to find satisfaction with plain barley bread and fish without sauce. We are so strongly attached to our outward means that it is hard to trust the Providence of God.