All four of the Gospel writers record this amazing event of how Jesus met the physical needs of the masses who followed Him. Matthew wrote that the evening picnic was on the heels of Jesus hearing that His cousin John had been beheaded, and Jesus was going off for some time by Himself. But as it often happened, crowds of needy people went where Jesus went, and Jesus, being who He is, had compassion. He healed and He taught and it was now past dinnertime at the remote place where they had all gathered.
Five loaves of bread, two fish and one prayer to God in Heaven was all it took for over 5000 men, not including all the women and children, to eat until they were satisfied. That was a meal no one would forget! He told the people to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave the bread to the disciples, who distributed it to the people.
Sunday Soup is kind of like our family’s equivalent to fish and loaves. In our second home in China we had a freezer just big enough to hold a container for our weekly leftovers and it was in that home that we began our tradition of Sunday Soup. While baking bread before our house church met, I would simmer up the soup and by adding water and at times extra vegetables, we could feed however many joined to worship with us that day. May we follow Jesus’ example and bless our food (meaning to offer thanks to God for what He provides) and be quick to share what we have so that others may also be satisfied. Jesus fed those who followed Him with what He taught and by meeting physical needs as well.
Matthew 14:19 NLT (also in Mark 6:41; Luke 9:16; John 6:11)