Who Should Be Fed?

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John Chapter 6

1After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. 2And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. 3And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. 4And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was near.

5When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great multitude coming toward him, he said to Philip, Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat? 6But He said this to test him:for He Himself knew what He would do. 7Philip answered Him, “Two hundred penny worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little 8One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him, 9There is a lad here, who has five barley loaves, and two small fishes:but what are they among so many? 10And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. 12When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. 13Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. 14Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.

 

Also Matthew 14:13-21

13When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities. 14And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. 15When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.”

16But Jesus said to them, “ They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

17And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”

18He said, “ Bring them here to Me.” 19Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. 20So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. 21Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children

 

What is a multitude?

 

What kinds of people were in the multitude?

 

When Jesus decided to feed the people did he feed everyone?

 

Did he say, “I’ll feed him, and him, and her…but not him because that guy isn’t very handsome.”

 

Did he say, “That woman has weird hair, we’re not feeding her.”

 

How about, “That boy is spoiled, I’m not giving him anything to eat.”

 

Did Jesus say any of those things?

 

Acts 10:34-35 tells us:

 

34Then Peter opened his mouth and said:“In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality 35But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.

 

What does this mean?

 

Jesus doesn’t have favorites.  Jesus doesn’t point out the pretty people, or the nice people, or the smart people and only do good things for them.  No where in the Bible does it say “Blessed are the beautiful”  or “Blessed are the smart” or “Blessed are the fastest runners, best basketball players, most athletic.”  What Jesus really cares about it what you do for Him.

 

Do you read your Bible daily?  Do you pray daily?  Do you do your best to live every day in a way that would make Jesus smile?  If you met Jesus tomorrow, would he be disappointed in anything you did or said today?

Matthew 22:34-40 tells us:

 

34But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

37Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. ’ 38This is the first and great commandment. 39And the second is like it:‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. ’ 40On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

 

Jesus commands us…not suggests to us, or thinks it would be a good idea if we, or supposes we should…. He commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves.

 

Who is our neighbor?

 

Your neighbor is the person sitting beside you, or living in the house next door, or standing in line in front of you at Wal-mart.  Every person in this world is our neighbor, and we are commanded by Jesus to love them all.

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The Apostle Paul

True or False: There was an apostle named Paul.

True or False: Paul had always believed on and followed Jesus.

True or False: Paul was always called Paul.

 

Where should we look to answer these questions? The Bible.

Was there an apostle named Paul?

2 Corinthians 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the

church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:

So the Bible tells us that Paul was an apostle.

 

Let’s find the answer to the last question next. Was Paul always called Paul?

Acts 13:9
Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,
Now we know that Paul was also called Saul.

On to our last question: Had Paul always believed on and followed Jesus?

Acts 8:1-3

Now Saul was consenting to his death.
At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.

As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.

Saul made havoc [widespread destruction] of the church and threw men and women into prison.

Acts 9:1-2
Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to

the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

How did Saul go from murdering disciples and throwing Christians in prison to being Paul the Apostle??

Acts 9:3-19

As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “ Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”!
Then the Lord said, “ I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads [The goad is a traditional farming implement, used to spur or guide livestock, usually oxen, which are pulling a plough or a cart. It is a type of a long stick with a pointed end, also known as the cattle prod.] So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”
Then the Lord said to him, “ Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

Ananias Baptizes Saul
Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said 

in a vision, “Ananias.”
And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”

So the Lord said to him, “ Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.”

Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.”

But the Lord said to him, “ Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”

And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.

So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus.

Why did Jesus convert Paul? Did He just want him to stop going after Christians?

Acts 9:20-22
Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.! Then all who heard were amazed, and said, “Is this not he who destroyed those who

called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?”

But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ.

Did all the Jews decide that if Paul had converted Jesus must be the Messiah?

Acts 9:23-25

Now after many days were past, the Jews plotted to kill him. But their plot became

known to Saul. And they watched the gates day and night, to kill him. Then the disciples took him by night and let him down through the wall in a large basket.

What all did Paul suffer for Jesus?

2 Corinthians 11:24-27
From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—
He was beaten, stoned, and jailed three times. Paul wrote 14 books of the New Testament, some of which were written while he was in jail.

 

So remember when Jesus calls you to do something for Him; you may not think you’re the right person for the job, but God knows who He needs!!

Using Your Talents

We’re going to look at two very similar parables today.

 

Matthew 25:13-30

13Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.  For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents:behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant:thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things:enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents:behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things:enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth:lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance:but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness:there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 

***The talent was the largest measurement of money in those days.***

 

Luke 19:11-26

11And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. 12He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. 14But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. 15And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. 17And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant:because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. 18And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. 20And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: 21For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man:thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. 22And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: 23Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? 24And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. 25(And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) 26For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.

 

 

These two parables are very similar and Jesus used them to tell a simple story. A man who is preparing to leave on a journey entrusts his possessions to his servants. In the first parable the man distributes his wealth among three servants, based on their abilities. To the first he entrusted five talents, to the second two talents, and to the third one talent. The first two servants quickly set to work with their master’s money. The third servant did not invest his master’s money at all; he dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money. When the master returned, the first two eagerly met their master, apparently delighted in the opportunity to multiply their master’s money.  Both of these faithful slaves are rewarded well for their faithful service. First, they receive their master’s commendation, “Well done, good and faithful slave”. Second, because they have proven themselves to be faithful with the few things entrusted to them, they are now given even greater responsibilities by their master.

 

The master’s dealings with the third servant is a very different matter. This servant came to his master with only the talent his master had originally given to him. This servant offered a poor excuse for his actions. He told his master that he was harsh and cruel, demanding, and he expected gain where he had not labored, so the servant was afraid to take a risk with the talent. And so he simply hid the money, and now he returned it, without any gain. The master rebuked this slave for being evil and lazy. He took his talent from him, gave it to the one who earned ten, and cast this fellow into outer darkness, where there was weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 

In the second parable, a man goes to another country, stays a long time, and then returns.  Before he leaves he gives his servants money with the expectation that they will use it to earn him more while he is away.  The first two servants are faithful, and are praised by their master and given greater responsibilities.  The third servant hides what was given to him while his master is gone, and gives it back to his master when he returns.  He tells the master that because the master is a severe and strict man that he was afraid.  The first two servants are commended and rewarded, while the third has all taken from him.

 

So, how does this relate to us.  I don’t have a rich master handing over his money to me. I do, however, have a Lord and Saviour who has given to me a measure of faith.  We are not meant to keep this small measure of faith to ourselves, to hide it away until Jesus returns so we can take it out and show it to Him.  We are to use that faith wisely and expand it.  How do we expand our faith?  According to a song my kids are singing for our spring concert, God teaches us how to multiply by “giving it away, passing it around”.  So to increase the faith we have been given, we have to share it with others.

 

This is where your “talents” come in.  God has entrusted certain assets to all of us, and all of us are accountable to God for how we use (or do not use) these resources which God has entrusted to us.

Jesus’ rebuke of the scribes and Pharisees is often couched in “stewardship” terms. God entrusted Israel, and especially its leaders, with the truth, and they did not use it properly.

 

Use your talents to share your faith in Jesus. You don’t have to be a wonderful singer or rousing public speaker. Offer to pray for your friends and family. When friends tell you about problems they’re facing, respond by saying a quick prayer for them. When family tells you about the good things in their life, respond with praise for Jesus. Use the opportunities that are given to you in everyday conversations to share the truth of Jesus with everyone in your life, and in doing so, growing your faith. That way when Jesus returns or you go to meet Him, you can show Him that you used the faith that He gave you wisely. You invested it and helped it grow.