We are gonna feed five thousand people! Well, Jesus is, anyway.
Maybe it goes back to trust versus faith...this may be about both. Faith about could Jesus would take care of the crowd. Trust about whether God would. And in this case Jesus does, regardless of what the disciples suggest. Because it isn't practical to feed several thousand people, but God does it anyway.
But why does he do it? What makes this time so special? Jesus has compassion, but why doesn't he always? I mean, he has been teaching for a while, but there hadn't been any other concern for physical needs. Maybe it wasn't necessary before, or maybe the grumbling wasn't so loud, but why is this time so special?
Perhaps I'm just grumpy that God rewarded this crowd and not me, or so it feels. My needs seem to be ignored while this crowd's were indulged. But there were 5000 men (many more people--they don't count women or children), and food is a literal need. My wants are not important.
So maybe it's just God encouraging people so they can continue to learn, to believe. That's more important than the things I want. I know that.
(But I'm still a little grumpy.)