Posts Tagged 2 Kings 4: 42 – 44

Feeding the Multitude

2 Kings 4: 42 – 44       NIV

A man came from Baal Shalishah, bringing the man of God twenty loaves of barley bread baked from the first ripe grain, along with some heads of new grain. “Give it to the people to eat,” Elisha said. “How can I set this before a hundred men?” his servant asked. But Elisha answered, “Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the Lord says: ‘They will eat and have some left over.’” Then he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord.

Does this story sound familiar to you? Sure it does. In Matthew 14: 13 and 15: 32 we read the accounts of two separate times when Jesus fed great multitudes of people with meager supplies. Does it surprise you that Jesus was not the first one to perform this miracle? This shows us three things: 1) there are parallels between the Old Testament and the New Testament, 2) Jesus operated in the earth as others had before him, and 3) that what Jesus said in John 14: 12 is possible.

First, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13: 8). Jesus has not changed since the beginning of time; nor has his father or the Holy Spirit. They are unchangeable. Therefore, the power, the love and the miracles that we see from Old Testament times are just as viable today as they were thousands of years ago. Further, we should not be surprised to see parallels between the two parts of the Bible when we understand the unchangeable nature of God.

Secondly, it is important for us to realize that when Jesus walked the earth he did so as a human being. Philippians 2: 7 tells us that Jesus did not come in his godly power and authority but rather that he “stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being” (Amplified Version). The Living Bible says he “laid aside his mighty power and glory, taking the disguise of a slave and becoming like men.” This is a very important concept for us to grasp. Many times we hear people say, “Oh, well, Jesus was God afterall” in defense of why miracles are not happening in our modern culture. But that is an inaccurate portrayal. Jesus emptied himself of his divinity and walked the earth as a human being with all the attendant frailties. He just walked with God in a way that most of us do not. Jesus’ earthly ministry proves that we can also walk and talk with God as he did because he was a man and had to interact with the world like any other human being. His deity did not explain his close union with God nor did it account for the miracles that he performed. Today’s passage is proof of that. Jesus’ feeding of the multitudes was not from his own divine power. Instead he relied on the God of Elisha to perform the exact same work that Elisha did. 

Lastly, why is this so important? When we comprehend that Jesus had to live and work like any other person it removes the complacency and doubt from our minds and hearts. If Jesus did all that he did without relying on his divinity and instead operated in his humanity then it means that we can see the same miracles today; not only see, mind you, but perform. It makes Jesus statement in John 14: 12 palatable; “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” The uncomfortable part of this is that it also removes our excuses. Jesus performed miracles by relying on the father’s power. We have the same father and His power has not diminished a jot. Not only that but Jesus has now returned to his divinity and we have him in addition to the father. And are you ready for strike three. Jesus also poured out the Holy Spirit on mankind on the Day of Pentecost. So, we have all of the power and all of the help we could ever need. We have only to wrap our minds, and hearts, around the truth and then we too can bless people with miracles of every kind.