Matthew 14:17

ESV They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.”
NIV We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,' they answered.
NASB They *said to Him, 'We have nothing here except five loaves and two fish.'
CSB "But we only have five loaves and two fish here," they said to him.
NLT But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish!' they answered.
KJV And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.

What does Matthew 14:17 mean?

Jesus has told his closest disciples to do an impossible thing: give the crowds of people gathered in this desolate place something to eat. This is not merely a large gathering; the total number of men, women, and children in this space might have been as many as 15–20,000 (Matthew 14:21).

The disciples likely have only enough food for themselves to eat. Beyond that, at best, they've located five loaves of bread and two fish. These were acquired by Andrew, who received the donation from a boy in the crowd (John 6:8–9). That would make for a meager meal even if no other people were with them, let alone the thousands gathered in this empty country.

Perhaps the disciples thought that when Jesus had the facts, He would change His mind and agree to their plan. There is no question that they lack the physical resources to do what's being asked of them. This is not a question of being frugal, clever, or resourceful. Jesus is literally asking them to accomplish a task their current abilities will not achieve. It was impossible…for them. Part of the point of this miracle, in fact, is that nothing is impossible through the power of God.
What is the Gospel?
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