Chapter & verse: Matthew 14:16
Emmanuel Frimpong on the feeding of the five thousand
Hunger can cause people to act in strange ways. This concept was depicted in Esau’s behaviour when his hunger caused him to sell his birth-right to his younger brother Jacob.
In our lives, hunger can cause emotional, psychological and physiological problems which can affect our day-to-day existence. In the setting of a service, a lack of food can affect one’s concentration and ability to grasp God’s message. Hunger can cause underperformance in our workplaces leading to low productivity. The situation becomes more serious in this era where the world is faced with wars which have affected the world’s economy, causing high costs of living. In light of this, the Church must consider her role in the physical and spiritual feeding of the congregants as Jesus did in his miraculous feeding of the multitude.
Matthew begins his 14th chapter by giving an account of the circumstances leading to the death of John the Baptist. He had been beheaded in prison. His body had been taken and buried by his disciples, who later reported the incident to Jesus.
When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist he went privately to a deserted place to pray. The crowds, however, followed him. According to Matthew, the crowds were made of five thousand men, besides women and children. They came from the cities and villages by foot, following the shoreline with their eyes on Jesus’ boat. When Jesus got out of the boat at a deserted place along the shore, he was confronted with the crowd and he was moved with compassion. Because of his compassion, Jesus preached the gospel and healed those who needed healing. The crowds spent a long time with Jesus, who was ministering to their spiritual hunger…
Emmanuel Frimpong is a retired Ghanaian Presbyterian minister
This is an extract from an article published in the November 2022 edition of Reform