This week’s reading includes the story of two miraculous meals that Jesus provided, the first is in chapter 14 and the second in 15. Some skeptics have used this as a platform for ridicule saying these are reports of the same event and along with the differing details this is evidence that the Bible shouldn’t be trusted.
Here are a few problems with this line of reasoning. First, it assumes that Jesus didn’t (or couldn’t) have done more than one miraculous feeding. Actually, most of those I have read discount any miracles. If Jesus is God then miracles are easily within His scope. As to sloppy repetition, while there are similarities, these feedings are significantly different in a major way. The first one in chapter 14 is in Jewish territory and a Jewish crowd. The second one was in a gentile (non-Jewish region) to a gentile crowd. This is important because it shows that Jesus came for all people and offers them the same opportunity to accept Him as Savior and Lord.
Another thing that stands out in both of the miracles being recorded by Matthew (and Mark includes both too) is that it indicates Matthew is more interested in telling the truth than creatively weaving a document to convince others. It would have attracted less criticism if he only included one feeding but he was lead by God to keep both. Several times we see places where details are included that a fiction writer would have not. For instance, having women be the first to witness Jesus’ resurrection and the various accounts to have different (although not contradictory) details. All of this lends an air of honesty instead of fabrication.
At the end of the day, it boils down to seeing what we are willing to see. God has left ample evidence for even the most stringent critic if they are open. He encourages investigation! For a great example of this, I recommend the book and movie The Case for Christ.