AND ANOTHER QUESTION…
Just and Merciful Father, help me to lean my life in the direction of your will. Grant me guidance, strength, and peace.
Read Matthew 15:29–39
Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand
29 Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. 30 Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. 31 The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.
32 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.”
33 His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?”
34 “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked.
“Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.”
35 He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. 36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. 37 They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 38 The number of those who ate was four thousand men, besides women and children. 39 After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect‘Give us today our daily bread.’ Reflect on this verse, and then pray the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:9–13).
Jesus is building the kingdom of heaven on earth. He provides for people’s spiritual and practical needs as they are drawn to him again and again. We see his power in multiple healings (vs 30,31). We see his compassion as he provides an abundance of food: far more than ‘crumbs’ (see 15:27). Even though this mass meal takes place in a Gentile area, the people acknowledge the ‘God of Israel’ (v 31; compare 14:13–21). Jesus is hinting that the door is open for Gentiles: God’s blessing is not just for Israel, even though Jesus is fulfilling Jewish scriptures.
Jesus asks the disciples to do something impossible and beyond their capacity, revealing their sense of inadequacy as they question him (v 33). Consider their other questions (e.g. 13:10; 15:12). Do you empathize with them? Do they frustrate you? Is there ever a challenging tone to their questions? As they reflect on this miracle later, the disciples show their gradual understanding of Jesus’ teaching and identity is developing (see 16:5–16). What would you ask Jesus if you were physically walking with him, learning from him as you witnessed him at work?
Where do you place yourself in this narrative? Are you hungry, desperate for Jesus to provide for you? Are you worshipping him with awe and wonder? Are you questioning Jesus, or have you surrendered to his compassionate authority?
Ever-loving God, I thank you for your amazing grace. Give me a heart of love for the marginalized and disadvantaged I meet on life’s journey.
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