As we come to Matthew 14:15-36, we see two crucial miracles which have been much pondered. The first, of course, is the feeding of the five thousand; and the second is Jesus walking on the water.
C.S. Lewis considered these miracles to be (in one sense) very different from each other.
The feeding of the five thousand was a miracle which repeated, at a specific time and a specific place, what God does everywhere, all the time:
[T]he two instances of miraculous feeding . . . . involve the multiplication of a little bread and a little fish into much bread and much fish. . . . Every year God makes a little corn into much corn: the seed is sown and there is an increase. . . .
Look down into every bay and almost every river. The swarming, undulating fecundity shows he is still at work “thronging the seas with spawn innumerable” . . . . And now, that day, at the feeding of the thousands, incarnate God does the same: does close and small, under his human hands, a workman’s hands, what He has always been doing in the seas, the lakes and the little brooks.
C.S.Lewis, Miracles: A Preliminary Study 164-65 (MacMillan 1947).
In the multiplication of the bread and the fishes, Jesus shows himself to be doing what God does all the time. Lewis calls this a “Miracle of the Old Creation.”