The prophet comforts Israel that their sins have been forgiven, and the punishment is over. YHVH again is compared to a father who must punish his children for sins and disobedience. The father will chastise, yet not forever. Darkness has passed and the light has come.
“The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of YHVVH, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” Yochanan the Baptizer fulfilled these words. As we know, he prepared the way for Yeshua, his cousin and his LORD, preparing people's hearts and minds.
“He shall feed his flock like a shepherd; he shall gather the lambs with his arm and carry them in his bosom and shall gently lead those that are with young” (vs 11) Doesn’t this sound like our Savior and LORD? We are HIS flock and He feeds us with His WORD. His word guides us and leads us all.
He has sent shepherds to teach his word and to guide us. There are many “old sheep” and “young sheep” those that are young are young in the word, yet through the right guidance, the young will mature into older and wiser sheep. We call young sheep "lambs" so, there are many "lambs" that must grow into mature "sheep" through studying God's Word, and putting it into action. We all start out with knowledge. From knowledge we go to "understanding" and from "understanding" we arrive at "wisdom." All three aspects of spiritual growth are necessary.
As a shepherd leads his sheep, allow us LORD to be led by YOUR Word, and by your shepherds who have been sent by You to lead, guide, and teach ALL of your people. Amen”
This starts out with “After these things…” what things one might ask? The previous chapter talks about Yeshua going up to Yerushalayim after the feast of the Passover, and he healed a lame man at the pool of Siloam. Yes, he was criticized by many, as even many of his believers and followers were and still “are” criticized, made fun of, and even murdered, all in HIS name.
“After these things, Yeshua went over the Sea of Galilee, which is of Tiberias. I have been to the city of Tiberias. In July, it is “Hot” very much so, but the Sea of Galilee is very refreshing, but watch out, there are a lot of fish that come by to nibble at your feet. This is where the crowd comes to hear Yeshua, he goes to a nearby mountain and has the people sit down. The number was about 5000. Yeshua knew that the people were hungry, so, he turns to Philip and says; “Where shall we buy bread so that these may eat?”
Didn’t he know? Yes, of course, He was just waiting for Philip’s response. Perhaps, He was waiting for an answer such as; “We can’t possibly buy so much bread, so…YOU feed them LORD!” but he didn’t say that. It was Andrew who came with the boy who had 5 loaves of barley bread and 2 fish.
We need to know that first, the boy must have come forward to offer his lunch. Of course, the boy knew that 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish would not be enough for the whole crowd…BUT…with a little bit of faith…ANYTHING is possible. I mean, if Yeshua could heal the lame man, he could also feed this crowd.
We have the offer, 5 pieces of bread and 2 fish. We have the blessing and thanks, Yeshua lifts the loaves and fishes, (probably found a basket to put them in) and then, the distribution. There was enough for ALL. With the faith of a little boy, the faith of a mustard seed, we see a “mountain” of pieces of bread and a whole bunch of fish. As the result, 12 baskets full were left over. One wonders who got the baskets of bread and fish. Probably the boy, to redistribute the blessing to his family and friends.
We look at the numbers, “5” and “2”. “5” is the number of grace, and “2” is the number of a covenant. It takes “2” entities or parties to make a covenant. Yeshua shows “grace” to the people, and makes a small covenant, “blessings to this crowd, for the faith of a small boy” When we add 5 + 2 we get the perfect number “7” which is the number of God.
Yeshua, who is the “bread of Life” who has made his followers “fishers of men” has made a covenant in heaven, His life, and blood for our salvation. The Word of God is also the “Bread of Life” which comes from the Father for all of us to eat and digest. Let us all go forth and be “fishers of men (and women) to reach and teach them the Words of the Master so that ALL might have eternal life through HIM who died to set us free.