On today’s Bible Answer Man broadcast (10/22/21), Hank resumes teaching through the Gospel of Matthew, beginning chapter 14. Reading the opening verses of Matthew 14 is a stark reminder of what happens when the forerunner of Christ—John the Baptist—takes a stand against wickedness. Not only is he thrown into prison, but now he suffers the horrendous fate of a beheading. St. Matthew’s account is an occasion for introspection, for we like John the Baptist have been called to stand against wickedness. And to do so irrespective of the consequences. Upon hearing of His dearly beloved forerunner’s fate, Jesus withdrew to a solitary place and we see His compassion for those who followed Him there. Jesus began to heal the sick that surrounded Him and in the process, build faith in those who are in training as His disciples. As it was getting late, the disciples asked Jesus to send the crowd away so that they could buy themselves food. Once again, Jesus turns this spectacle into a teaching opportunity. Instead of turning the people away, He simply tells the disciples to give them something to eat. This despite the fact that among the thousands gathered, only five loaves and two fish could be found. After being brought to Him, Jesus gives thanks and miraculously proceeds to supply food to some five thousand men in addition to all the women and children present. Thus, in the midst of doing miracles of healing, Jesus miraculously feeds a vast multitude. And when they had eaten their fill, there were yet twelve basketfuls left over. One lesson to take away from this miracle is that though what we have to give is relatively small in light of the vast needs encompassed by world hunger, when we give what we have, what we can, Jesus can take our small offerings and multiply them in ways that boggle the mind, much as He in this instance boggled the minds of His disciples.

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