Is feeding the four thousand with seven loaves trickery?
Those sentences which are colored in orange are from Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati book Satyarth Prakash (The Light of Truth) and those which are colored in black are Jerry Thomas’s response.
"And Jesus saith unto them. How many loaves have ye? And they said, seven, and a few little fishes. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and broke them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full. And they that did eat were four thousand men beside women and children." (15:34 – 39.)
C. Are these things any better than the tricks of a wonder-worker or of a juggler of today? Where did all these loaves come from (to feed the multitude)? Had Christ possessed such miraculous powers, why would he have hankered after the fruit of aFig tree when he was hungry? Why did he not turn stones, earth and water into loaves and delicious sweets? These things look more like children's play. Many a Vairaagee and other mendicants defraud guileless, ignorant men of their money by such tricks (as these).
Answer: This question is again based on Maharishi’s faulty assumptions about miracles rather than anything which LORD Jesus Christ did. Since arguments against the miracles have been already refuted, I will now focus on the intentions and motives.
Performing miracles alone will not make anyone a trickster unless it is a trick or a miracle done with the intention of taking advantage of people.
In fact, if one carefully examines the passages on feeding the thousands, one will surely admit that there was no sinister motive or intention except the compassion for people.
If Maharishi had carefully read this passage, he would have understood that LORD Jesus Christ was addressing the needs of the people.
Matthew 15: 32 “Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, "I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way."
Further LORD Jesus Christ asked no price for giving them the bread refuting Maharishi’s allegation that this is similar to trickster. It was given free to them.
Moreover, LORD Jesus Christ discouraged taking advantage of the appetite of people to promote Himself unlike a trickster.
John 6: 25-29 “And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You come here?" Jesus answered them and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."
Ironically, if Maharishi would have at least pondered on the question that he asked- why LORD Jesus Christ did not do the miracle for Himself, Maharishi would have understood that compassion and love of Christ which always worked out for others.