Ellen G. White Writings

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Humble Hero, Page 166

“You Give Them Something to Eat”

This chapter is based on Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:32-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-13.

This rare season of peaceful quietude did not last long. The disciples thought they would not be disturbed, but as soon as the crowds missed the divine Teacher, they inquired, “Where is He?” Some had noticed the direction where He and His disciples had gone. Many went by land, others in their boats, to meet them. The Passover was near, and pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem gathered to see Jesus, until five thousand men were assembled, besides women and children.

From the hillside, Jesus looked at the crowd, and “was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd.” Leaving His refuge, He found a convenient place where He could minister to them.

The people listened to words of mercy from the Son of God, words that were like soothing medicine to their hearts. The healing from His divine hand brought life to the dying and relief and health to those suffering with disease. The day seemed like heaven on earth, and they were unaware of how long it had been since they had eaten anything.

Finally the sun was sinking in the west, and yet the people lingered. Jesus had worked all day without food or rest, but He could not take Himself away from the people that crowded around Him.

The disciples finally urged Jesus to send the people away for their own sake. Many had eaten nothing since morning. In surrounding towns they could buy food. But Jesus said, “You give them something to eat.” Turning to Philip, He asked, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” He said this to test the faith of the disciple. Philip looked over the sea of heads and answered that two hundred pennyworthThe “penny,” or denarius, was equivalent to the daily wage of a common laborer. See Matthew 20:1, 2. of bread would not be nearly enough for each of them to have a little.

Jesus asked how much food they could find among the people. “There is a lad here,” said Andrew, “who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”

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