HUNGRY MOUTHS, HUNGRY SOULS
Jesus, I love You. Teach me through Your Word to love You more.
Read Mark 8:1–13
Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand
8 During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him and said, 2 “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. 3 If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance.”
4 His disciples answered, “But where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?”
5 “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked.
“Seven,” they replied.
6 He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. When he had taken the seven loaves and given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people, and they did so. 7 They had a few small fish as well; he gave thanks for them also and told the disciples to distribute them. 8 The people ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 9 About four thousand were present. After he had sent them away, 10 he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the region of Dalmanutha.
11 The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. 12 He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to it.” 13 Then he left them, got back into the boat and crossed to the other side.
New International Version (NIV)
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ReflectReflect on how you came to faith. What helped you to believe? On what does your faith rest?
At a youth camp I attended, a skeptical young man said he would believe if that day he saw a bat. As we later walked on the hills, to our surprise we found a bat hanging upside down in a tree in broad daylight. The lad, however, remained skeptical. “It’s just a coincidence,” he said.
For those with eyes to see, miraculous events like the feeding of the crowd of thousands were clear indicators of the presence of the kingdom and proof that Jesus is the Messiah. They were also signs pointing to a deeper spiritual reality.
At no time, though, was Jesus willing to perform miracles on demand, simply to prove Himself. Here, He is moved by compassion for the hungry (2). That is the reason for the miracle. So when the Pharisees come asking Him for “a sign from heaven” (11), He refuses to acquiesce to their demands. He will not be a wonder-worker for the skeptical.
The disciples again have the privilege to witness a miracle firsthand, but can they see beyond the supernatural provision to the recognition that Jesus is in fact the Bread of Life (John 6:35)? That is the real question.
Are you allowing Christ to satisfy the hunger of your soul? Think about what things you go to when you are stressed. Are those things helpful to your walk with Christ or hurtful? Or just not best?
Jesus, You are all I need. Be all I want. Fulfill and satisfy my deepest longings as only You can.