I’m one of those guys that believes nothing happens out of coincidence. I believe everything happens for a reason. Everything in life has a purpose. I believe the same is true for the Bible. I believe everything written in it is there for a reason. From the beginning to the end. From the largest account to the tiniest detail. Paul said it this way when he wrote to Timothy “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (See 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 NIV) He said “All Scripture.” Not just some scripture. Not just the verses that we like. Not just bits and pieces of scripture. All Scripture.
With that in mind, I was looking back again at the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 found in Matthew 14:13-21. I’ve never looked at the story like this before and also have never heard anyone preach on what I’m about to say to you.
We know that Jesus fed the 5,000 with a little boy’s lunch that consisted of 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Now me being a math guy, being fascinated by numbers, and believing nothing is written in the Bible on accident; I started looking into this more carefully. There has to be a reason why out of 5,000 people there was only 5 loaves and 2 fish. There has to be something that God wants to point out to us. And I believe this is what He wants to tell us.
The number 5 is the number of grace. Grace is represented by the bread. Jesus said that He is the bread of life. He said that we should pray that God would give us our daily bread. Jesus also said that He is the true manna (bread) that came down from heaven. Because of Jesus, we were freely given God’s grace. God’s mercies (grace) are new every morning. The 5 loaves of bread is a reminder of God’s grace because of Jesus which is freely given and new everyday.
The number 2 is the number of witness. Witness is represented by the fish. Jesus told the disciples that He would make them fishers of men. He also told them that they would be His witnesses to the world. The word witness can also mean truth. The 2 fish are a reminder that we are to preach the truth of the Gospel to all people.
When you add 5 to 2, you get the number 7. The number 7 is the number of perfection or completion. When the loaves and fish were given to Jesus, grace and truth came together. In John 1, we read that Jesus was full of grace and truth. Jesus came full of grace and truth in order to do a perfect work so that God’s plan would be completed.
So just like the 5,000 were physically satisfied by the 5 loaves and 2 fish, we are to take Jesus (grace and truth) to the world in order that they might be spiritually satisfied. I hope that the next time you read the account of the feeding of the 5,000 that you would never look at it the same again. That is not just about some loaves and fish, but it’s a representation on how we are going to reach this city, this state, this country, this world with Jesus.