You give them something to eat. Matthew 14:16.
The disciples thought they had withdrawn where they would not be discovered, but as soon as the multitude missed the divine Teacher, they inquired, “Where is he?” Some among them had noticed the direction in which Christ and His disciples had gone, and soon an immense crowd was looking for Christ. Fresh additions were made to this number until the congregation was composed of no less than five thousand men, besides women and children.
From the hillside Jesus looked upon the moving multitude, and His great heart of love and compassion was stirred with sympathy. Interrupted as He was and robbed of His rest, He was not impatient…. Leaving His mountain retreat, He found a convenient place where He could minister to their spiritual destitution….
The people listened to the words of mercy flowing so freely from the lips of the Son of God. They heard the gracious words, so simple and so plain that they were as the balm of Gilead to their souls. The healing of His divine hand brought gladness and life to the dying and ease and health to those suffering with disease. The day seemed to them like heaven upon earth, and they were utterly unconscious of how long it was since they had eaten anything.
“And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed: send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat. He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat.” Surprised and astonished, they say unto Him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat? He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes. And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass…. And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. And they did all eat, and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.”
He who taught the people the way to secure peace and happiness was just as thoughtful of their temporal necessities as of their spiritual need.—Signs of the Times, August 12, 1897.