Matt.14:20 – And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.
Why twelve baskets left over? There was far more left over than the disciples had when they started. Originally, all they had to work with was a little boy’s lunch. After 5,000 hungry men had eaten until they could eat no more, there were still twelve baskets leftover. This was provision for traveling apostles. What was the point?
First, Jesus was enough for everyone. Their bellies were filled, but something else had happened. This crowd had found themselves satisfied by just being with Jesus.
Secondly, there was provision for gospel ministry. The apostles remembered and wrote and preached about this supernatural provision many years after the miracle had happened. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Here is how other commentators saw this event.
“After five thousand were fed, twelve times as much, at least, remained, as the whole multitude at first sat down to!”
“The “twelve basketfuls” may be significant (cf. twelve tribes and twelve apostles; 19:28). The best suggestion is that Messiah’s supply is so lavish that even the scraps of his provision are enough to supply the needs of Israel, represented by the Twelve.”
“There was to spare; They took up of the fragments that remained, twelve baskets full, one basket for each apostle: thus what they gave they had again, and a great deal more with it; and they were so far from being nice, that they could make this broken meat serve another time, and be thankful. This was to manifest and magnify the miracle, and to show that the provision Christ makes for those who are his is not bare and scanty,
but rich and plenteous; bread enough, and to spare (Luke xv. 17), an overflowing fulness.”
So I have to agree with the lessons of this miracle. Jesus alone is enough for me. He has satisfied my hungry soul. Also, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. As long as there are still hungry people and a preacher willing to keep breaking the bread the miracles will continue. He is our bread and there will always be enough. When does the oil stop flowing? It will only stop when we stop pouring. Until then there will be more than enough.