The Lord Jesus fed a great crowd with five loaves and two fish. What is the symbolic meaning of the loaves and fish?
Bread is baked grain. Doesn’t this speak of the death of the Lord Jesus as the basis for the true food of men, to make them happy forever? While the Lord explains bread as a reference to himself in John 6, He says nothing more about fish. That makes us cautious in interpretation. We know from John 21: 9, 13 that the Lord will keep fish (and bread) ready for his disciples again at a later occasion.
He also ate bread (a slice of honey) and fish ( Lk 24:42, 43; Jn 21:15). So they – speaking in the picture – had fellowship with one another in the enjoyment of what his person represented. It is food that comes from Him. And everything that is given by Him speaks of His glory – also in its spiritual application.
Could the fish be an image of Christ who endured the waters and floods of God’s judgment upon him (cf. Jonah 2; Ps 42: 7 )? His death is compared to the time Jonah spent in the fish’s belly ( Mt 12:40 ). Then the fish would have to do with the rejected, suffering, and dead Christ. The waters of the troubled sea ( Isa 57:20 ) have risen against the Lord of glory ( Ps 2: 1-3; Acts 4, 25-27).
One could also say that Christ gives us not only the basic and necessary nourishment for our life of faith (the bread) but also much more than we need (the fish) so that our table is overfull and the cup overflows (cf. . Ps 23.6 ).
I would like to connect one last thought with the bread and the fish. To make bread you have to work – namely, you have to bake grain. But fish grow by themselves, you “only” have to fish them. This is also the case in the service of the Lord. Much that a servant passes on, he has “worked for” in the presence of God by reading the Bible, praying to the Lord, and reading good explanations.
In short or long work, he then processed this in such a way that a (hopefully) useful contribution for others emerges from it (bread). But in service it is also always the case that the Lord suddenly gives something for which one has done nothing at all – it is simply a gift from above that one can pass on (Pisces). Have we not already seen all of this, e.g. B. in conversations at the book table?
Most important is Every time the Lord Jesus performed a miracle, He did so feeling in his heart the pain, anguish, or need of the person. He never did it to show off his extraordinary abilities in spectacular fashion. I believe that Jesus of Nazareth viewed the crowds with compassion for some reasons that I list below, not in order of importance, nor pretending that they are the only ones that can be mentioned:
- He had compassion for his spiritual situation. They had left the God of Israel and traded it for a legalistic religious system.
- He had compassion for his national political situation. Those who were God’s people now had the Roman emperor who was a wicked pagan.
- I saw them in their economic and social situation. Many of them would not have the money to go out and buy what was necessary; at that time of day probably at a much higher price.
- Physical condition. Many of them were sick and suffered from various ailments. (Mt 14:14) says: “… and healed those among them who were sick.” (Mr 6:34) gives us an important detail: “When Jesus went out, he saw a large crowd and had compassion on them, because they were like sheep that had no shepherd. Then he began to teach them many things.”
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