From Matthew chapter 14: When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” 16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” 17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. 18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Have you ever noticed that most of the miracles of Jesus aren’t really great miracles? As miracles go, they really aren’t the kind happenings that you would see in a summer blockbuster movie. What are Jesus’ miracles? In Matthew 14 we see the feeding of the 5,000 and healing the sick. In other places we see similar actions. All in all, these miracles of Jesus just aren’t that exciting. But they definitely have teeth. Why? Because His miracles demonstrate something deeper then mere miracle. Put it another way, Jesus is using his miracles as ‘show and tell’ to the the crowds.
The miracles of Jesus aren’t the suspension of the natural order, they are the restoration of the natural order. In miracles God is showing us what He originally intended for the world. The miracles of Jesus point us back to the Garden of Eden (before the Fall) and demonstrate how God originally created the world. But with miracles they also point us forward as a sign of God’s kingdom to demonstrate what the world will ultimately look like when Christ returns. Where no one is poor / no one is hungry / no one is oppressed and no one is dead. But between the two advents (Christ’s first coming and His Second) we too get to participate in the great mission of God’s Kingdom. We too get to show what the world will be like. When we come along side others and feed the poor, liberate the oppressed, work for social justice wherever there is need we are participating in the great mission of advancing God’s Kingdom. The feeding of the 5,000 is more than just loaves and fishes. It is a deep theological lesson about the working of God’s Kingdom in the world.