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?

Your Faith Has Healed You

Mark 5

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Mark chapter 5 has a lot of good stories but I want to focus on verses 25-34 where Jesus heals a woman who has had a sort of bleeding for twelve years.  Now at first glance this could seem inconsequential, as Jesus healed many people.  What stood out to me is the fact that she had it for twelve years!  That’s over four thousand days and over three hundred million seconds.  It’s a hard amount of time to imagine. I’m sure that it was a fact of life for her, like living in the same place for a long time. 

The chapter also says, “She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse” Mark 5:26.  So, over the course of twelve years she tried everything, but it only got worse.  I don’t know about anyone else but at this point I would have lost hope in finding a remedy of some kind.  But she didn’t.  In fact, she had so much faith, that when she touched his cloak, she was healed.  That to me is amazing! 

It really isn’t inconsequential as she lived this way for over a decade.  You see a lot of people being healed by Jesus but not as many who were healed by their own faith.  

I feel oftentimes this little story is overshadowed by his raising of a young girl from the dead a few verses later, and his casting out of the demons into pigs, but there is so much you can take away from these few short verses.  She endured twelve years and still had so much faith that deserves to not be forgotten.

-Philip Kirkpatrick

Application Questions

  1. Would your faith have been enough to be healed after twelve years?
  2. What do you believe Jesus can do for you? How will you show him that you really believe?
  3. Are there small stories that you skip to get to the big ones?
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