Daily Word

Food faith test two | Matthew 15:32-39

32 Now Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, “I feel compassion for the [ p ] people, because they [ q ] have remained with Me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.” 33 The disciples *said to Him, “Where would we get so many loaves in this desolate place to satisfy such a large crowd?” 34 And Jesus *said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven, and a few small fish.”

35 And He directed the [ r ] people to [ s ] sit down on the ground; 36 and He took the seven loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks, He broke them and started giving them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 37 And they all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, seven large baskets full. 38 And those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children.

39 And sending away the crowds, Jesus got into the boat and came to the region of Magadan.

Matthew 15:32-39 (NASB)

Healing marathon

Yesterday we considered what a “day in the life” of Jesus was like. It started with a walk along the Sea of Galilee then up a hill to sit and heal (and probably teach and cast out demons). In today’s passage, we see that this healing marathon continues for 3 days! 

Compassion on the people

After healing all these people He recognizes that they are running out of food. If He sends them away, some might pass out for lack of strength. He has compassion on them, as God does for the birds of the air (Matthew 6:25-27). Actually, what causes me to wonder is why the crowds didn’t prepare for this multi-day event. It seems their focus was on going to see Jesus and didn’t seem to care about what they’d eat, where they’d sleep, etc. They only wanted to see Jesus and be healed! Maybe they took what Jesus said to heart, like the birds of the air – to trust that God will provide…and He did!

Food faith test two

This is now the second feeding of a multitude. Matthew 14:15-21 records the feeding of 5,000 men (plus women and children) by the same miracle power. Five loaves of bread and 2 fish were used to feed them. Here, it’s seven loaves and a few small fish to feed 4,000 men. As in the first event, they all were satisfied and there were leftovers. Everyone, including the disciples, participated in the miracle

But of course we are surprised that the disciples, in the same situation, seem to lack faith for how to resolve it. We sit in our self-righteous chairs and judge their lack of faith. But notice, as with the last time, Jesus doesn’t say anything about their faith. Then Jesus disperses the well-cared-for crowd and heads to Magadan on the west side of the Sea of Galilee. 

RЯeflection

  • Jesus continues to impress with His compassion to the point of sacrifice for the people. Of course we know He demonstrated the utmost compassion by giving the ultimate sacrifice. At the same time, we see He was living a life of sacrifice. It didn’t just happen all at once at the end.
  • Is there some challenge Jesus is putting before you now to test your faith in Him? Is He asking you to “feed the multitude” with just a few loaves of bread and fish? He enjoys displaying His power and loves our worship of faith – especially in the midst of trials.
Five loaves. Two fish. Image from spiritans.co.uk *

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