The feeding of the 100 men
Podcast and outline
2 Kings 4:42-44 Then a man came from Baal Shalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley bread, and newly ripened grain in his knapsack. And he said, “Give it to the people, that they may eat.” But his servant said, “What? Shall I set this before one hundred men?” He said again, “Give it to the people, that they may eat; for thus says the LORD: ‘They shall eat and have some left over.’” So he set it before them; and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the LORD.
Jesus twice fed multitudes with a few loaves and fish (Matthew 14:13-21 and 15:32-39). God used Elisha to do a similar miracle hundreds of years before.
We see in this story that they had relatively few loaves of barley bread to feed many.
Elisha told his servant to give the twenty loaves of bread to the one hundred men He asked, “How can I set this before a hundred men?” But Elisha answered, “Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the Lord says: ‘They will eat and have some left over.’” Then he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord.
Also barley was regarded as simple food, better for feeding animals than people. Humble barley loaves aren’t much to work with, but God doesn’t need much.
More than enough
By God’s miracle, few loaves were made many and they had more than enough. It says, “they ate and had some left over,” and it was all according to the word of the LORD.” God promised more than provision, but to provide beyondthe immediate need. Elisha trusted the promise of God, acted upon it, and saw the promise miraculously fulfilled.
Here in 2 Kings it was 20 loaves for about 100 people. In the ministry of Jesus, it was 5 loaves for 5,000 people! In 2 Kings there was some left over, but in the ministry of Jesus they filled 12 big baskets with the leftovers (John 6:13).
Psalm 37:16 Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked.
Times were tight, food was scarce, but the company of prophets were learning from Elisha about God’s faithfulness in providing for his people even through times of famine.
Isaiah 61:7 Instead of your shame you will have a double portion, And instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion. Therefore they will possess a double portion in their land, Everlasting joy will be theirs.
God promised a double portion many times in the Bible. We need to believe that he is our provider and can multiply the little that we have.
Zechariah 9:12 Return to the stronghold, O prisoners who have the hope; This very day I am declaring that I will restore double to you.