Luke 9:11-15

Luke 9:11 (KJB)
And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.

Instead of Jesus and His disciples being able to enjoy the quietness of the area, the news must have spread that Jesus was back in Capernaum. Soon as the word spread, the crowds once again began to amass and another great crowd soon formed. He did not reject them instead He felt compassion for them. Sometimes when a person is in the ministry, they may try to do one thing and something else always crops up. It is the essence of ministry. (John 3:8 KJV) The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. John 3:8 gives a good description of the ministry as one never knows where they will be ministering in the future. One of the reasons that the people knew who they were was because the disciples had just completed a missionary journey among the people.

Luke 9:12 (KJB)
And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place.

Victuals - Food

The multitudes were still with Jesus in the desert place and it was now getting toward evening, which would be considered the first period of the night. The disciples came to Jesus and suggested that He dispatch the huge crowds while there was still a little daylight left so they could find their way back to the villages and find food to eat. The crowds did not seem the least bit concerned about the time but it was the disciples who were concerned. The crowds had assembled hastily in the beginning of the day and they all probably lost track of time as the people were getting healed. I am sure those who became healed were not thinking about suppertime, but were probably having a great time of praise and worship to God for their healing.

Luke 9:13 (KJB)
But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people.

Jesus already knew what was in their hearts and He already knew what He was going to do. Jesus did not accept the suggestion of the disciples to send the villagers away to buy food, instead He told the disciples that the crowd can stay right where they are and that the disciples should feed them. Jesus was about to perform a miracle and He was going to allow the disciples to assist.

There were thousands of people assembled on that hillside and the disciples came to Jesus telling Him all they have is five loaves of bread which would probably be barley loaves and two fishes. At this time, they were with Jesus for over two years and yet they did not realize who they were walking with. Five loaves and two fishes in the hand of God can feed all on the earth. (John 6:9 KJV) There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? The answer for the question in John 6:9 was about to be realized.

Luke 9:14 (KJB)
For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company.

There could have been as much as 15,000 who ate at this hillside. The five thousand only included the males and if they brought their wives and children, then that number is huge. This makes the miracle greater than initially thought. There is nothing recorded as to the reaction of the crowd in being fed. The crowd was so huge that probably some way back on the hillside thought that somebody may have been supplying the food like a caterer. This miracle was not done only for the people but it was primarily done for the teaching of the disciples. The disciples now know that through the Lord Jesus Christ, they could feed the poor and the bigger lesson, they can spiritually feed the Gospel to billions and they would wind up stronger because of all the Gospel they gave away. We remain faithful and God will supply the tools that we need for ministry.

Luke 9:15 (KJB)
And they did so, and made them all sit down.

The disciples then took control of the crowd and made a coordinated effort by having them sit down in companies of fifty. Anytime there is an evangelistic effort, it is always wise to do as much planning as possible so there will always be order and not chaos.