Jesus feeds 4000 with 7 baskets leftover

Finding his newly-appointed pastor sta citynding at his study window in the church weeping as he looked over the inner city’s tragic conditions, a layman sought to console him: “Don’t worry. After you’ve been here a while, you’ll get used to it.” Resp … More

Compassion

Jesus and His disciples again move back to the east-side of the Sea of Galilee and are surrounded by a large crowd with nothing to eat (vv. 1-5). As usual the Lord saw a need and He wanted to supply the need. From the wording here it would seem that the disciples had soon forgotten how the Lord had fed the five thousand before. Perhaps they were just suggesting that it was impossible unless He provides another miracle.

Again we see how He gets all the people all seated on the ground (vv. 6-7). He took seven small loaves of biscuit like bread and a few small fish (probably like sardines) and blessed it and had the disciples serve the people. After everyone had eaten all they wanted they took up seven baskets of leftovers (v. 8). It seems the word used for baskets here is different than the word used in Mark 6:44. In the former passage it was a basket in which the Jew carried his food and similar in shape to a water pot. Here the type of basket was much larger like a clothes hamper and similar to the one the Apostle Paul was let down in over the wall of Damascus (Acts 9:25). This time the crowd numbered four thousand (v. 9). The two main thoughts are that Jesus was moved by compassion for the need of men and the disciples saw the practical difficulty of finding enough food in this desert place.

Over and over again we see Jesus moved with compassion for men. All too often the first instinct of too many people is not to help. Once I talked with a man about the dangers of a certain stretch of road on the way to the town where we were. “Yes,” he said. “It’s a bad road. I saw a crash on it as I drove here today.” “Did you stop and help?” I asked. “Not me,” he said, “I wasn’t going to be held up by getting mixed up in a thing like that.” It is human to want to avoid the trouble of giving help; it is divine to be moved with such compassion and pity that we are compelled to help.

Application

It is human to not want to take the time and go the extra trouble to help people in need. It is divine to be moved with compassion and pity to where I am compelled to help. I want to feel compelled to help someone in need, and then to share with them from my own experience.

Mark 8:1-9 (English Standard Version)

In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, he called his disciples to him and said to them, "I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way. And some of them have come from far away." And his disciples answered him, "How can one feed these people with bread here in this desolate place?" And he asked them, "How many loaves do you have?" They said, "Seven." And he directed the crowd to sit down on the ground. And he took the seven loaves, and having given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and they set them before the crowd. And they had a few small fish. And having blessed them, he said that these also should be set before them. And they ate and were satisfied. And they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. And there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away.

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