When we read about Jesus feeding the 5000 we are often drawn to the miraculous. The miracle itself usually gets our attention. There are many good lessons to learn from the miracle about how God is all-powerful and rules over his creation to take care of us and supply all of our needs, both physical and spiritual.
However, there is more to this story than just a miracle. What was Jesus doing on that occassion? Why did Jesus do the miracle? What is the full meaning of the miracle? The answers to these questions come into sharper view when we notice that what was really taking place here was Jesus being a pastor and leading his congregation in a worship service. Jesus does indeed fill all our needs, and he does so in worship: through word and sacrament. He comes to us in worship and it is in worship that we receive his gifts, his forgiveness and his blessings. This event shows us the pattern for church life and gives us the model for pastoral ministry.