Matthew Poole Commentary - Matthew 14:21 - 14:21

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Matthew Poole Commentary - Matthew 14:21 - 14:21


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Ver. 17-21. In the relation of this story by the other evangelists there is no difference in what is material; the others relate some circumstances more, as that they sat down on the grass, and by fifties, one saith, by hundreds and by fifties, & c.; but they all agree in the quantity of the provision, five loaves and two fishes; the number of the persons fed, five thousand (only one addeth, besides women and children); and in the number of the baskets full of fragments; and in our Saviour’s lifting up his eyes to heaven, and blessing them. These are the main things observable in this history. In the history of the miracle, as there is no difference between the evangelists to be reconciled, so there is no difficulty to be explained. It is a plain relation of a matter of fact, by which our Lord evidently showed himself to be the Son of God, God blessed for ever, for he must in this necessarily exert a creating power: here must be a production of a substance or being out of a not being, or it had not been possible that five thousand men (besides women and children) should have been fed with five loaves and two fishes; and therefore some think that it is said that Christ blessed the loaves as he blessed the living creatures, Gen_1:22; but we have not here the following words, Be fruitful and multiply, which inclines me rather to think, that the blessing mentioned here, upon his lifting up of his eyes to heaven, was a begging God’s blessing upon their food, himself thereby paying the homage of his human nature to his Father, and teaching us, according to that, 1Ti_4:4,5, to receive the good creatures which God’s providence affords us for our nourishment with thanksgiving, sanctifying them by prayer. By this miracle, and others of the like nature, our Saviour took from the unbelieving Jews all manner of cavil and exception to his works. Though devils might by compact give place one to another, and some exorcists of their own might seem to cast them out, yet none ever pretended to multiply bread and fish, to such a proportion as this, that such a quantity of either should feed such a number, and leave such a remainder. This history like wise further instructs us, both concerning the low condition of Christ and his disciples, their faith in the word of Christ, and our duty, and safety in depending upon his providence while we are doing of our duty, and minding the things of the kingdom of God, and obeying the will of God. St. John observeth the fruit of this miracle, Joh_6:14, Those men, when they had seen the miracle which Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.