Pastor Hans Fiene
Matins Devotion: February 17, 2023
The feeding of the five thousand is a beautiful summary of God’s love for mankind. It’s a beautiful visual depiction of the Gospel.
So here the crowds are, gathered by the sea in a wild and desolate place, but not entirely abandoned. Here the fickle crowds are in a place where the grass is plentiful but where they are still in danger of going hungry. Here they are with the Word of God, the Promise of God standing before them. Here they are, hungering and unable to feed themselves, and here their Savior is, taking a finite amount of food, five loaves and two fish, and stretching them beyond the possible limits of their molecular structure to feed five thousand men plus women and children, feeding them so much that there are twelve baskets left over.
And so it is for us. Our God created us to be perfect, but we threw away his perfection with our obedience and were cursed to live in a world of thorns and thistles, a world where we had to earn our bread by the sweat of our brow. We were cursed to roam a desolate place that was not entirely desolate because our God still poured out our daily bread upon us. And our physical state reflected our spiritual one. We were dead in sin, utterly condemned and unworthy of eternal life, but not without hope because God gave us His promise of salvation. And now, that promise has arrived in Jesus Christ.
And with the endless crowd of lifeless sinners before Him, Christ did with His flesh and blood what He promised He would in the fish and the loaves. He gave it to all mankind. He took that finite amount of flesh and allowed it to be torn apart upon the cross, forgiving your sins and the sins of every person who ever lived and ever will live. Jesus took the finite amount of His blood and poured it out beyond its own physical limits, washing over the transgressions of all mankind and dissolving those transgressions into nothing. Here Jesus is destroying the desert as He destroys our sins, inviting an endless crowd of people covered in an endless amount of condemnation to eat His and drink His blood. And with His finite body and blood, He takes away the infinite supply of their condemnation. Long after His forgiveness should have run out, His forgiveness is still in abundance. Long after your Lord has filled you with good things and killed your hunger, His feast of salvation is still going strong. And it always will be. How beautiful indeed.