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    16 Nov '09 04:10
    On their return the apostles told Jesus all they had done. He took them with him and withdrew privately to a city called Bethsaida. When the crowds found out about it, they followed him; and he welcomed them, and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed to be cured.

    The day was drawing to a close, and the twelve came to him and said, ‘Send the crowd away, so that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside, to lodge and get provisions; for we are here in a deserted place.’ But he said to them, ‘You give them something to eat.’ They said, ‘We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.’ For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, ‘Make them sit down in groups of about fifty each.’ They did so and made them all sit down. And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And all ate and were filled. What was left over was gathered up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.
  2. Joined
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    16 Nov '09 04:181 edit
    Here we have a "miracle of Jesus" that, upon close inspection, turns out not to be. Of Jesus, that is.

    The crowd has been with Jesus, it's getting late, and it's apparent to the disciples that there is a lot of hungry people there. Kudos to the twelve for their keen observation [/sarcasm]! They are portrayed as usual in the Gospels; they see a problem, so what better to do than get it out of sight, and out of mind? Let's go to Jesus, because surely he'll see the magnitude of this problem we have. Yes, he'll agree that the crowd needs to disperse.

    Jesus does see the magnitude of this problem. And, Jesus has an idea. What does Jesus say? "You give them something to eat." You feed them. I can imagine the yet again stunned looks on the disciples' faces as Jesus orders them to do the right things and not take the easy way out! The disciples do the work of gathering up what little they have, and they do the work of feeding the multitude. Jesus but blesses five loaves and two fish, and that is all. The passage does not say that five loaves and two fish instantly transmogrify into food for the masses; no, Jesus blesses it and the disciples set about feeding the crowd.

    This miracle is the work of the disciples. It takes them to pull it off. It is presented as a miracle in this passage of Luke because it reveals the nature of God, not because Jesus and the disciples do something supernatural and fantastical.

    It's a passage where you can have your cake and eat it too, in a way. Perhaps God intervened and created additional food, enough to feed the masses. Perhaps many in the crowd had food, saw that the disciples were giving all they had out of Jesus' compassion for the crowd, and began ponying up as the baskets were passed around.

    In either case, if you're fixated on whether it's possible to feed thousands with 5 loaves and 2 fish then you're missing the essential message of the story. You're missing what the writer (in any of the gospel versions of this story) is trying to unveil as to the nature of God through Jesus. The essential message is that it takes more than Jesus to do the works of Jesus. The ministry and message that Jesus offered, the spiritual nourishment that Jesus wanted to bring forward, takes more than him alone to pull off. It takes the work of many. In this case it took the hard work of the twelve to learn how their brand of spirituality sees the problem and addresses it. The disciples go to each person in the crowd, not stopping until all are fed. The five thousand do not get fed without the hard work of the followers of Jesus teaming together in the face of impossible obstacles.

    This is not a miracle of Jesus; if it be a miracle at all it is a miracle of the twelve.
  3. Joined
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    16 Nov '09 07:21
    Originally posted by Badwater
    Here we have a "miracle of Jesus" that, upon close inspection, turns out not to be. Of Jesus, that is.

    The crowd has been with Jesus, it's getting late, and it's apparent to the disciples that there is a lot of hungry people there. Kudos to the twelve for their keen observation [/sarcasm]! They are portrayed as usual in the Gospels; they see a problem, s ...[text shortened]... not a miracle of Jesus; if it be a miracle at all it is a miracle of the twelve.
    The same happens at Weight Watchers. That's not a miracle.
    "Eat like a moscito, sh-t like an elephant."
  4. Joined
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    16 Nov '09 08:23
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    The same happens at Weight Watchers. That's not a miracle.
    "Eat like a moscito, sh-t like an elephant."
    I've already stated here what a miracle is and I've posted elsewhere on what a miracle is. There is a spiritual message to be gained, but apparently you're too involved with slothish vulgarisms to utter anything the least bit intelligent here. That's ok, no doubt a reflection of your true self.
  5. Joined
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    16 Nov '09 08:30
    Originally posted by Badwater
    I've already stated here what a miracle is and I've posted elsewhere on what a miracle is. There is a spiritual message to be gained, but apparently you're too involved with slothish vulgarisms to utter anything the least bit intelligent here. That's ok, no doubt a reflection of your true self.
    I haven't seen tyour definition of a miracle. You present one example, that's all what I've seen so far.

    If you think the laws of physics can be broken, then we're talking about religion, nothing more. In the religious mind there are of course miracles. In the real world there are no miracles.

    Yes, I tried to be a bit funny, I think that was clear enough, no MrSmiley needed.
    You didn't like it, well, I can live with that. And i don't agree whatever you writes, can you live with that?
  6. Joined
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    16 Nov '09 11:03
    Originally posted by Badwater
    Here we have a "miracle of Jesus" that, upon close inspection, turns out not to be. Of Jesus, that is.

    The crowd has been with Jesus, it's getting late, and it's apparent to the disciples that there is a lot of hungry people there. Kudos to the twelve for their keen observation [/sarcasm]! They are portrayed as usual in the Gospels; they see a problem, s ...[text shortened]... not a miracle of Jesus; if it be a miracle at all it is a miracle of the twelve.
    I disagree with your interpretation. Firstly, Jesus' blessing is not just some peripheral action. It completely affirms his agency in this miracle. He is the one who begs God, he is the one who breaks the bread and orders it to be distributed. In John's account, it is not even the disciples who distribute the bread: 'Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted' (John 6:11). While in Luke, Jesus does order the disciples to feed the people, it hardly follows that they are responsible for the miracle.

    Secondly, it is important to notice in Luke the significance of the crowd. In Luke, it is the crowd which affirms Jesus as a prophet. Shortly after the feeding of the five thousand, the crowd says 'This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world' (Luke 9:14). In Luke 7, a large crowd forms to witness Jesus raise the son of the widow of Nain and they exclaim 'A great prophet has arisen in our midst' (v. 16). Similarly, in the feeding of the five-thousand, the crowd affirms Jesus as a prophetic character. Luke uses the crowd in a very Hellenic style as a kind of chorus to explain the miracles.

    Finally, the bread has special significance. It recalls the manna which fed the Hebrew for their forty years of exile and it anticipates the paschal meal which Jesus celebrates at the last supper and the bread which he calls 'my body'. Thus, the feeding of the five thousand foreshadows the salvific role of Jesus' ministry. He brings the life-giving food that saved the Hebrews and offers a precursor to his sacrifice that will redeem mankind. In John, the feeding of the five thousand has additional meaning. Jesus is the 'bread of life' (John 6:35) and those that eat his bread from heaven will have eternal life. The feeding of the five thousand is a symbol of this. The crowd eats with Jesus and shares his bread. They are fed not because of the size of the bounty but because it is the bread of life.
  7. Donationrwingett
    Ming the Merciless
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    16 Nov '09 11:25
    Originally posted by Badwater
    Here we have a "miracle of Jesus" that, upon close inspection, turns out not to be. Of Jesus, that is.

    The crowd has been with Jesus, it's getting late, and it's apparent to the disciples that there is a lot of hungry people there. Kudos to the twelve for their keen observation [/sarcasm]! They are portrayed as usual in the Gospels; they see a problem, s ...[text shortened]... not a miracle of Jesus; if it be a miracle at all it is a miracle of the twelve.
    I've made similar points to this in previous posts. Namely that the Kingdom is not something that Jesus will deliver into the laps of the faithful as they sit around and wait. They have to get off their duffs and build it themselves. Jesus has provided the inspiration, now they have to do the actual work.
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    16 Nov '09 12:186 edits
    Originally posted by Badwater
    . The passage does not say that five loaves and two fish instantly transmogrify into food for the masses; no, Jesus blesses it and the disciples set about feeding the crowd.
    Sure enough, my Rwingett translation says that the twelve then ran down to the nearest 7/11, which by the way was notorious for enlglish speaking foriegners in those parts working the counter, and picked up the bread and fish in the form of "shushies". Then in underlined capital letters it reads: "NO MIRACLE DONE. NOTHING TO SEE HERE!!" 😛

    In all seriousness, I view it in a similar vien in that so long as we continuously look to Jesus for his direction and his input answers will be provided no matter the circumstances. It is akin to Peter walking on the waves when looking at 'Jesus, however, when his eyes begin to wonder by looking at the crashing waves around him he begins to sink. We all have crashing waves around us to look at or hungry bellies to feed. It then is only a questoin as to whom we turn to under such conditions. Obviously, in both instances we are either too dense to figure it out or sipmly incapable of going it alone.
  9. Joined
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    16 Nov '09 14:181 edit
    Originally posted by Conrau K
    I disagree with your interpretation. Firstly, Jesus' blessing is not just some peripheral action. It completely affirms his agency in this miracle. He is the one who begs God, he is the one who breaks the bread and orders it to be distributed. In John's account, it is not even the disciples who distribute the bread: 'Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, are fed not because of the size of the bounty but because it is the bread of life.
    Did you learn all that in seminary?

    The beauty of this and so many other NT stories is that there are many layers in what is going on, not just one bland pat answer.

    Apparently the essential message was lost to you as you focus on the bread, etc. Note how I cut them cowboys off at the pass. "I disagree with your interpretation" is not enough. What's so different about your interpretation of the essential message? (not that your provided one; you did not).
  10. Joined
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    16 Nov '09 15:36
    Originally posted by Badwater
    Did you learn all that in seminary?

    The beauty of this and so many other NT stories is that there are many layers in what is going on, not just one bland pat answer.

    Apparently the essential message was lost to you as you focus on the bread, etc. Note how I cut them cowboys off at the pass. "I disagree with your interpretation" is not enough. What's s ...[text shortened]... bout your interpretation of the essential message? (not that your provided one; you did not).
    The beauty of this and so many other NT stories is that there are many layers in what is going on, not just one bland pat answer.

    Of course. And in my answer, I acknowledged a few readings. I noted the particular significance of the crowd, affirming Jesus as the prophet, and the importance of the bread, pointing to Jesus as the new source of salvation. There are likely to be other layers in the passage. Luke is always concerned to show Jesus' compassion to poor and outcast. So no doubt there is also a sociological reading of this: Jesus' solidarity with the poor and the basic equality of all people before God (also shown in Luke 7 where Jesus meets the widow of Nain and then meets the sinful woman.) My point is that this passage points to Jesus, not to the disciples. It is the event which leads to Peter to exclaim 'You are the Messiah'.

    I do not see how you interpretation fits into that. The fact that Jesus asks the disciples to distribute the food does not really mean that he is dependent on them. In John, the disciples are not even mentioned. The scene does not lead to a pronouncement 'The disciples are the Messiahs'. And I certainly do not see how it could be reasonable argued 'This is not a miracle of Jesus; if it be a miracle at all it is a miracle of the twelve.' Luke clearly sets this up as a miracle of Jesus.
  11. Joined
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    17 Nov '09 07:40
    Whatever you say, Reverend. >.>
  12. Joined
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    17 Nov '09 08:47
    Originally posted by Badwater
    Whatever you say, Reverend. >.>
    Why are you so derisive? I don't see how I have offended you. If you disagree with me, then explain why. Give a counter-argument. Don't just insult me as 'reverend' or 'seminarian'.
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    17 Nov '09 09:241 edit
    Originally posted by Badwater
    I've already stated here what a miracle is and I've posted elsewhere on what a miracle is.

    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    I haven't seen tyour definition of a miracle. You present one example, that's all what I've seen so far.
    You've still haven't submitted any definition about 'miracle'. So I take it as you don't have one. If you have one, and you think it is important, and you have put it down elsewhere, then you can just copy it and paste it here.

    As I see it my definition stands: "The belief of miracles is a belief that the laws of universe are not absolute."

    I.e. in order to walk on water is to change the law of Gravitation, or the law of surface tension. If this happens, even locally, then many more things would happen at the same time. It doesn't. Therefore miracles cannot exist.

    If, however, miracles exist, then the powers of Superman can vary well be included as miracles.
  14. Standard memberRajk999
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    17 Nov '09 11:29
    Originally posted by Badwater
    ..This is not a miracle of Jesus; if it be a miracle at all it is a miracle of the twelve.
    Sounds like someone made you a bet .. "Hey Badwater ... I bet you cant convince those jokers on RHP that the feeding of the 5000 is not a miracle of Jesus".

    Two points:

    1. You say "..The essential message is that it takes more than Jesus to do the works of Jesus" Duh ... are you serious? Is there a Christian out there that does not know Christ's power is derived from God his Father? The whole Bible is about the 'nature of God'. All of Christs miracles is derived from Gods power.

    2. You say ". the miracle is the work of the disciples... took the hard work of the twelve ... to go to each person in the crowd, not stopping until all are fed.. So lets see what all that hard work entailed ..
    5000 / 50 = 100 groups
    100 groups / 12 = 8 or 9 groups per disciple.

    EIGHT ? Wow .. that must be hard to carry some bread and fish eight times back and forth. Contrary to what you claim they wont have to go around to each and every person on the crowd, otherwise whats the point of Christ asking them to sit in groups of 50.

    So ... nice try... 🙂 .. Better luck next time.
  15. Joined
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    17 Nov '09 14:21
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    Sounds like someone made you a bet .. "Hey Badwater ... I bet you cant convince those jokers on RHP that the feeding of the 5000 is not a miracle of Jesus".

    Two points:

    1. You say "..The essential message is that it takes more than Jesus to do the works of Jesus" Duh ... are you serious? Is there a Christian out there that does not know Christ' ...[text shortened]... t asking them to sit in groups of 50.

    So ... nice try... 🙂 .. Better luck next time.
    You might try reading my entire post next time. One can hope, I suppose.
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