Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children. (Matthew 14:15-21)
The feeding of the five thousand is one of the greater known miracles of Jesus, and rightly so. Some have tried to explain this in a natural way, saying that Jesus’s example of generosity prompted others to bring food to the table, and so it wasn’t the food that was multiplied, but the kindness. There’s no need to try to do such harm to the narrative if you’re a believer in Christ, because you also believe that God created the universe out of nothing. And since God created the universe out of nothing, you should have no problem believing that Jesus fed five thousand men–plus their women and children–with five loaves of bread and two fish.
There’s something else going on here. Jesus did many signs and wonders, but it wasn’t for the sake of the signs and wonders. As He did these great miracles, it showed who He was: our Savior and God.
This scene is reminiscent of Israel wandering the desert with Moses. Through Moses, the Lord provided for Israel’s every physical and spiritual need. Jesus is the greater Moses, providing not only temporary provision, but giving eternal life to all who would believe. It’s amazing enough that Jesus miraculously fed more than five thousand people. But He also said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). And Jesus is that “Word” (John 1:1) by which we must be saved. Come to the table and feast.