Matthew’s Mountains --Part 4

Matthew’s Mountains
Part 4

George C. Sharp

If Matthew in chapter 14 of his Gospel conducts us into a mountain which we may call the mountain of prayer, in chapter 15:29 he leads us up into one which we shall call the mountain of provision. On this occasion great multitudes came to the Lord Jesus and He healed them. He was able to meet every physical need, every physical need of every one present. The very reading of His remarkable benevolence on this mountain bows our hearts in adoring worship and praise. We are constrained to cry out to Him, “How great Thou art; how great Thou art!”

The world needs such a deliverer as He. Shortly He will reign for that is His right. Blessed be His wondrous name! Notice, too, that this One is very God and very Man, a truly compassionate Man. This attitude is here reported by His own words, “I have compassion on the multitude.” For three days they had not eaten, and He will not send them away hungry lest they faint. Not a word did He speak of His personal need which, of course, would have been as real as theirs. Self-denial was characteristic of His entire life and ministry; He constantly thought only of others. However, it is one thing to be sympathetic under such circumstances but quite another to provide that which would meet the need. Christ was capable of both, and in the exercise of His providential care displayed this beautiful facet of His character. In His grace He included in this ministry of compassion and love His hesitating, faithless disciples, men so very much like ourselves.

In the performing of the miracle by which the multitude was fed, Christ asked the disciples what bread they had with them, and upon an understanding of the meagreness of their supply, took what they had, gave thanks, broke it, placed it in their hands instructing them to distribute it among the people. There was not only enough to allay hunger but sufficient to satisfy them; furthermore, such was the abundance that there was more at the end than at the beginning. How like the Lord to take what we have, even although what we may possess was first of all given by Him, and to bless it. Our hearts might well melt in His presence and exclaim with the Apostle Paul, “‘Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift!” An experience like this is a lofty one, and should result in a firm determination to serve the Lord Christ wholeheartedly.

The truth this mountain illustrates requires that we place all that we have in His omnipotent hands, that we present our bodies as living sacrifices, holding nothing in reserve. Think of the rebuke it would have been that day to any disciple who would have withheld even one loaf, or one small fish. No doubt the multitude would have been fed, but the disciple would have been the loser.