Feeding the Thousands, Again

Mark 8

Saturday, July 30, 2022

I’ll be honest I forget sometimes that there is the feeding of the five thousand and the feeding of the four thousand.  The feeding of the five thousand has a bigger number so I usually remember that and not the four thousand, but today I would like to talk about the feeding of the four thousand and one story after that.  The story starts out by saying that there was a large crowd of four thousand who were following and listening to Jesus. They had been following for three days without food.

I want to stop quick and highlight the fact that there were four thousand people.  Sometimes big numbers become a statistic and you forget how big they are. So, stop for a moment and think about how many that is.  For example, in Minnesota the average number of students in a school district is about two thousand five hundred through 13 grades!  It’s almost double that number of people. That’s a lot!

That crowd had been following Jesus for three days without food.  The fact that there were four thousand still there is amazing.  They wanted to learn so much they went three days without food, and they still were trying to learn even with hunger getting worse every moment.  The chapter also says that if they sent the people home they would faint.  The disciples asked Jesus where they would find enough food.  Of course, like before, Jesus asks how many loaves of bread they have, and after that proceeds to feed everyone with seven loaves and a few fish.  

What I find as an interesting detail is that he didn’t give them just enough to keep them going but it says that he gave enough for them to be satisfied.  Which probably means more than one loaf per person.  That means he took 7 loaves of bread and made it into at least four thousand loaves if not eight thousand.  To give some statistics, that’s probably over a thousand times what they started with.  That blows my mind!

A few verses later Jesus and the Disciples are in a boat but they have forgotten to take any of the bread they had just gotten from Jesus feeding the four thousand.  The disciples start talking about how they have no bread.  This is only a little after Jesus has just provided for four thousand yet they are concerned about not having food.  That’s crazy!  They just saw him provide yet it’s as if they’ve forgotten.  Jesus notices them talking about this and points out that he provided for the five thousand then the four thousand.  He then tells them “Do you not understand?”  That is a great question. Do we understand?  I’d encourage you to go read those few verses again as I think it’s better put there.  

Jesus provided for them when they needed it as he will also provide for us when we need it.  Let’s try and remember this in our daily lives.

-Philip Kirkpatrick

Application Questions

  1. Could you have followed for three days or more without food? Have you ever tried fasting – giving up food and/or other distractions to spend more time listening to and drawing closer to God and His Son, Jesus?
  2. Do you worry too much about the day to day worries of life?
  3. What has already been provided for you? How can remembering these things help replace worry with peace and satisfaction?

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