Luke 9:16-20

Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude.

There was much order in the way that Jesus had them sit. They didn’t just sit anywhere or any way they wanted to, instead there was order in this miracle. This is important to keep in mind because ministry done with order will be ministry accomplished. The custom was for the people to lie on their left side and to lean on their left elbow. It must have been some scene when you looked out and saw the people sitting in ranks of fifty. It probably looked like a flower bed with all the colors of the different robes which were worn. As long as there was order, it was easier for the disciples to distribute the food. Once the people were seated, then Jesus took the loaves and the fishes and looked to Heaven and asked for the Father’s blessing while giving Him thanks for the food. After He blessed the food, He then brake the bread and gave it to His disciples. What we have here is a picture of the Lord’s Supper. (1 Cor 11:24 KJV) And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. Just as the bread was broken and given to the people, the body of Jesus was also broken at Calvary for those He came to save. (John 6:48 KJV) I am that bread of life. Jesus being the bread of eternal life. After Jesus blessed the bread, and broke it, He then gave of the loaves to the disciples and they in turn gave it to the multitude on the grass.

Luke 9:17 (KJB)
And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.

Every person who was there ate until they were full, and none suffered from hunger. The word for “filled” in the Greek carries with it the meaning of “satisfied or satiated.” From “but what are they among so many” speaking of the small amount of loaves and fish to “and they did all eat and were filled.” This tells us that even small donations in the hand of God can be multiplied greatly. In some countries where the Bible is prohibited, one Bible will be taken apart and the pages given to the congregation and they will copy the words down until a complete hand written Bible exists. One Bible can feed hundreds spiritually.

Right after everyone ate, they picked up the leftovers. Gathering leftovers at a Jewish meal was mandatory and they used strict guidelines in doing this. If you notice that Jesus did not only concern himself with the need at hand but there was concern for the future also. What started out as one basket now grew into twelve baskets, one for each of the disciples who worried at the beginning that they were short of food. I have a question which I cannot answer. Since the crowd had assembled in a hurry and stayed with Jesus on the hillside all day, the basket that the initial lunch was in, was the basket also multiplied into many baskets or did the people bring baskets with them as one prepares to stay away all day? I don’t know the answer to that one but whatever the answer, they ended up with twelve times more than they started and yet we still worry.

Luke 9:18 (KJB)
And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am?

Jesus then asks them a very serious question about who people say that He is. He was not concerned about what the Pharisees and Sadducees thought because He knew what they thought, but He wanted to know who the common people thought He was.

Luke 9:19 (KJB)
They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again.

After the people had witnessed the miracles of Jesus and many were recipients of those miracles, they had attached some important names to who Jesus was. The first was John the Baptist because even Herod thought that Jesus was John resurrected and probably that belief spread since he was the king in that area. Then some said Elijah because in Malachi 4:5 many thought that Elijah the Prophet would come back to Israel to usher in some type of Judgment. (Mal 4:5 KJV) Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: Then some thought that He was Jeremiah the Prophet. The ministry of Jesus and Jeremiah were similar because both spoke with the authority of God and both had suffered. (Mat 16:14 KJV) And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. If you notice, those people who believed these had gone into the past and not one looked to the future or even thought that Jesus was the Messiah. It is a shame when the glory of a nation or a church is its past.

Luke 9:20 (KJB)
He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God.

Jesus now turns to His disciples and wants to know who they think He is. He is not so much concerned about the crowds but He wants to see what His close followers think of Him. This is probably the most important question in the Bible. The answer to this question manifests what is in your heart. If you see Jesus as a prophet, political activist, great teacher, etc., then you have missed the boat of salvation because unless you can state emphatically that Jesus was God in the flesh, you are in a lost state and are in danger of going to Hell. Only the true Christian can claim that Jesus is the Son of God. Ask yourself today who Jesus is? It is a matter of eternal salvation.

Peter then answers quickly, as always, that Jesus is the prophesied Messiah and the Christ of God. Peter rightly spake when he did not equate Jesus with some prophet or that He was the forerunner to the Messiah, He was the Messiah. They had seen that Jesus had the attributes of Deity because no one could raise the dead or even have authority over the devil unless they were definitely of God. (Mat 9:33 KJV) And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel. No prophet of old ever cast a devil out of a person. Jesus was the fulfillment of all the prophecies in Scripture concerning the coming Messiah.