Matthew 15:33-39

Mat 15:33 (KJB)
And his disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?

When you read this, it is no doubt the disciples are speaking to Jesus concerning the amount of food needed to feed this great crowd. It is also amazing how the disciples had forgotten about the feeding of the nearly 15,000 people not long ago. That storm on the sea of Galilee must have tampered with their memory. This is typical of people because as soon as Israel crossed the Red Sea, they thought that they were going to perish in the wilderness. We can also say that happens to us. How many times after a blessing of the Lord do we go right back to unbelief or discouragement? When you get down to it, not much has changed over the last 2,000 years in the area of human emotions, even among the saved.

Mat 15:34 (KJB)
And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes.

A tremendous principle in this verse. They had only seven loaves of bread and a few little fishes. Jesus wanted them to focus on what they had in their possession and not what they did not have. This needs to be applied to our Christian life. We should never focus on the talents and gifts we do not have but rather on the ones that we do have. I am disabled and cannot do the things I did years ago but one thing I learned and that is to focus on what I can do, not what I can’t. When you start focusing on what you cannot do, it will bring you into a world of jealousy of others and a root of bitterness will spring up. Your satisfaction will come when you focus on what you can do and learn to do it well. Jesus asked the disciples to give Him a count of what they had so they knew exactly what they had initially in their possession. Jesus knew what they had but He wanted them to know.

Mat 15:35 (KJB)
And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground.

First the disciples had given Jesus what they had and when they did, Jesus commanded the multitude to sit on the ground. I am sure they were probably all mingling with each other and discussing the days events. Now was the time to eat so a measure of order was needed. In the other account they were told to sit on the grass but here the grass is absent as it may have not been the season for it. So it does not matter the situation, easy or rough, Jesus will minister in both.

Mat 15:36 (KJB)
And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.

Just as He did in the other feeding, He thanked His heavenly Father and then broke the loaves and when He did, He gave them to His disciples who in turn distributed to the people. This is how the Gospel is dispensed. Jesus feeds His children spiritual truth through the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit gives us understanding, and then we go out to the world and give the Gospel out to others.

Mat 15:37 (KJB)
And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full.

After Jesus had completed His ministry in Galilee He fed the 5,000 and here as He ends His ministry in the Decapolis area, he feeds 4,000. Each of these feedings showed Jesus as the bread of life and that there will always be enough spiritual food to feed every Christian in the world, and they will always have enough to feed others. The word for “baskets” is a different one than used in the other feeding. These baskets were big enough to put a human being in there. (Acts 9:25 KJV) Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket. The word for basket in Acts 9:25 is the same word used in Matthew 15:37. If you notice the order of the two feedings, the first one was to the Jews and this one was to the Gentiles. It gives a picture of how the Gospel will be going forth. To the Jew first and then to the Gentiles all over the world. Four is also the number of universality.

Mat 15:38 (KJB)
And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children.

Once again we are given the figures of how many have eaten. The four thousand men, along with women and children probably had well over 10,000 fed on this feeding also. A tremendous number when you realize all they had was seven loaves and a few fish. This also teaches us that a small gift for the Kingdom of God can be used in a mighty way when placed in the hands of Jesus. If we make a small salary, we should never be ashamed of giving a small gift according to what we make.

Mat 15:39 (KJB)
And he sent away the multitude, and took ship, and came into the coasts of Magdala.

Then after the feeding was over, Jesus then dismissed the multitude. It is not said what happened to the baskets but maybe they went with the people who had the longest distance to travel. Jesus then took a ship to the coast city of Magdala. Magdala was on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee.