by Wade E Taylor
“And a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His miracles which He did on them that were diseased.” John 6:2
“And when it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. But Jesus said to them, They need not depart; give you them to eat.” Matthew 14:15-16
Philip would have sent these to the fast-food restaurant in the next village. Andrew remarked about a lad who had some food, but he only had “five loaves and two fishes.”
Jesus had told the disciples to feed all who were hungry. Immediately, these disciples began to express the reasons why they were unable to do so, saying that they did not have adequate resources. It is very important to recognize that Jesus already knew that they did not have the means to feed this multitude.
“And this He said to prove him: for He Himself knew what He would do.” John 6:6
The Lord often asks us to go beyond our abilities. Our usual response is to express our limitations, not realizing that Jesus is asking us to place our limited ability in His hand, so He can multiply it. Therefore, concerning these five loaves and two fishes, Jesus said:
“Bring them here to Me.” Matthew 14:18
Once the limited resources of the disciples were placed in His hands, Jesus multiplied them, and the multitude was fed to the full. Later, Jesus asked, “Do you remember the numbers?” They repeated back, “five loaves, two fishes, and there were twelve basketfuls left over.” These numbers reveal a principle that will come into operation in the last days.
The “lad” speaks of our utter helplessness in the face of the time of increased tribulation during the closing out of this age. The “five loaves” speak of the protective “grace and wisdom” that the Lord will give. The “two fishes” reveal the principle of obedience; for we cannot obey unless there is an alternative. Through grace and obedience, His glory will be revealed. There were 12 basketfuls beyond what was needed, twelve speaking of “divine government.”
This was perhaps the best meal this multitude had ever eaten. But several hours later, they were back asking for a repeat performance. Jesus refused and brought a word of correction. He told them to seek their satisfaction on an higher level. Then Jesus offered His very life for them to partake of.
“I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” John 6:51
They had gladly received the miracle of multiplication on the lower level of experience, but rejected the higher realm of identification with Him.
“The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” John 6:51-52
If we are perceptive, we will discover that this spiritual principle is in operation in our lives at this present time. Whenever the Lord moves on us in any measure of provision or healing, it is His intention to take us further, into a higher realm of identification with Him.
Jesus was unable to explain the means He would later provide, by which they could indeed partake of His “flesh and blood.” This was because He had not yet come to Gethsemane, where He would drink the cup of our sin in preparation for His sacrifice on Calvary’s cross. For, in resurrection, He would become “quickening – life giving Spirit,” the very source of eternal life, of which we are to partake.
Jesus was looking forward to the time when He would stand at the door of our heart, knocking, in order to gain entrance that He might sup with us, and we in turn with Him, in which we partake of His very life and blood.
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20
When He fed the multitude on the lower level, they sought to take Him by force to make Him their King. But on the higher level, they rejected Him. Therefore, Jesus stands alone at the door, speaking to whomever will respond (if anyone hears).
Today, all too many Christians are satisfied to remain in the first area of spiritual blessing and provision, and are not seeking to enter into a personal relationship with the Lord, in which His very life is to partaken of.
There is a depth in spiritual revelation and understanding into which the Lord desires to bring us, which involves a partaking of his very life. This will bring us into an identity with Jesus in the “fellowship of His sufferings,” which refers to His (and our) being rejected and misunderstood, but leads to a depth of satisfaction and fulfillment that only those who partake can understand.
“That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death.” Philippians 3:10
There are many who will respond when the blessings are flowing, but when it comes time to “eat His flesh,” they say, “this is a hard saying, who can hear it?” and they disappear.
The Lord is speaking of our partaking of the foundational characteristic of His life, that of giving His life for another. Many will receive the blessings that He offers, but few will identify with His sufferings.
The purpose of this revelation of Jesus to us, as being a person with feelings, is to bring us into the experience of personally knowing Him, that we might be able to identify with Him in the giving of His life to others.
In this last hour, the Lord is yet seeking those who are willing to go beyond the surface blessings, to enter into the place of identification with Him in the “fellowship of His sufferings.”
Here, in intimate, deep communion with Jesus, we will begin to partake of an intercessory identification with Him, in which His life can now be lived, and made known through our lives.