Day 4

Miracles of Food and Drink

from the The Miracles of Jesus reading plan

Matthew 14:14-21, Luke 5:4-11, John 21:1-11, John 2:1-11

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: Matthew 14:14-21, Luke 5:4-11, John 21:1-11, John 2:1-11

Food is an unmistakable theme in the miracles of Jesus. There is no aspect of humanity that Jesus ignored, including our need for food.

Jesus ate. He drank. He attended dinner parties—lots of them. The beginning of His earthly ministry included the miracle of turning water into wine at a wedding reception (John 2:1-11). And before He ascended back into heaven, He cooked His disciples breakfast with fish He’d miraculously jammed into their nets (John 21:1-14). In today’s reading, we see that He also supernaturally fed tens of thousands of followers.

This helps me to see the practical side of Jesus more clearly. Sure, His supernatural nature is awesome, and we’re keenly aware of our need to see His hand in the “big stuff.” But we tend to whizz right past the fact that He sees and responds to both our extraordinary and our ordinary needs.

In Matthew 14, we find one of Christ’s most famous miracles, what’s known as the “Feeding of the Five Thousand.” But this was actually a miracle on a much grander scale. Scripture says five thousand men were present “besides women and children” (v.21), meaning there were likely closer to 15,000 people gathered around Jesus—and He fed every single one of them until they were full (v.20).

These were people shot through with grief and sorrow. John the Baptist, one of their spiritual heroes, had just been brutally beheaded (Matthew 14:1-12). At the news of His dear cousin’s murder, Jesus retreated to a desolate place to mourn, but the grieving crowds followed Him, desperate for hope in the midst of hurt, for light in the darkness.

As their Maker, Jesus knew the crowd’s deepest needs were spiritual, yet He did not race past their immediate physical needs. In verse 14 we catch a glimpse of a thread that weaves throughout the miracles of Jesus: “When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them.”

Compassion motivated Jesus to feed the crowds. He satisfied their physical hunger so they could see that He alone is capable of satisfying their spiritual hunger.

In Mark 8:1-10 we see that another crowd tracked Jesus down and remained with Him to hear Him teach for three days—without food. If He sent them home, some would faint on the way (v.3). Again, He responded with compassion, meeting their physical needs so they could digest the spiritual truths He desired to teach them. He gave them bread and fish so that they could “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8).

Perhaps food is just a tether keeping us close to the truth that we are not our own sustainers. Is it possible that God hard-wired our physical needs into our DNA to teach us of our bigger, constant need for Him? What if every meal were a parable teaching us that Jesus is the Bread of Life (John 6:35), the True Bread from Heaven (John 6:32), the Grain of Wheat (John 12:24), and the Living Water (John 4:10-11).

Jesus’ miracles are never about the miracle itself. They’re about Jesus. He doesn’t intervene in our lives primarily for our comfort, but for His glory, that we would turn to Him. Every last one of our needs points to and is met in Him.


Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

Post Comments (84)

84 thoughts on "Miracles of Food and Drink"

  1. Stephanie says:

    I love the perspective these reflection give of what this says about our Jesus! He is so dynamic and full of mystery yet shows us at every turn who he is! I love learning more about him through his miracles!

  2. Shea Burrell says:

    Amazing!!! Amen!!!

  3. Atalie Jones says:

    Oh, Jesus-Lamb of God, thank You for who You are. I am unable to sustain myself. I need You. You are a mighty, loving, and righteous Savior. Through You, all things are possible. Whatever God’s will is for my life, I pray that it be done. Make Your presence evident to me today.

  4. Jennifer says:

    I had an amazing thought after reading about the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000. Jesus knew exactly how much food would feed the huge crowd, but there were leftovers anyway! Just because? Just to prove a point? Or just to say Yes, God did that! interesting thought to ponder…

  5. Julie says:

    My sister just found some masses in her neck. Test results to come back tomorrow. Please pray for her!! This series has come timely as I need to learn more about Jesus’ miracles. My sister has had a rough go of life lately so I’m praying for a miracle for her to be heathy, faithful and not fearful, and always leaning on God’s strength!

  6. All those times God answered my prayers whether it was for wisdom and knowledge on a test, for new job, or for food in my stomach, I would always just say thank you God and move on, not really considering that this was God’s way of allowing me to see more of who He is and His love for me and all my needs. What a beautiful reminder.

  7. Michelle says:

    I love all these responses about feeding as a ministry! I’ve always loved to cook and bake for others. Ive felt that was a real tangible way I could nurture and provide for them, but this really clarified my perspective. Thankful for such a sweet gift and opportunity to love and provide for our neighbors.

  8. Christina says:

    Food as a tether to the truth that we cannot sustain ourselves. Wow! What if I turned to Jesus in those moments that it is so much easier to turn to food? And how sadly interesting is it that we have so vilified bread in our carb-conscious culture? Are we vilifying the Bread of Life unawares? Thankfully, the Bread of Life sustains and nourishes unlike any man-manufactured bread ever could! Thanks for this “food for thought”!

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