Jesus Feeds the 4 Thousand

1In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them,

2I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat:

3And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far.

4And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?

5And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven.

6And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people.

7And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them.

8So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets.

9And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.

Jesus feed the multitude

So Jesus and His disciples were somewhere near the Decapolis (which means 10 cities), this was the center of Greek and Roman culture. This area was mostly Gentile. The people have been with him for 3 days. Scripture doesn’t tell us what happened during those 3 days but it is possible He had been teaching a lot during that time. They were in a remote area and Jesus knew they were hungry.

Lesson 1: Jesus sees your need and He cares. In this case it was a physical need. He knows ALL your needs and He does care.

It is possible He was almost baiting the disciples. Just 2 chapters ago they witnessed Jesus feed the 5 thousand. At that time the teaching was mentioned but the disciples were actually the ones to call His attention to the crowds’ hunger. The disciples have no ideas to speak of for Jesus to resolve the hunger problem in chapter 8. Maybe they didn’t speak up for fear of being wrong. It is very possible that they are so dull they have already forgotten He just fed a giant crowd recently in their presence.

Lesson 2: How soon we forget how easily God will meet our need when met by faith. Even as a disciple.

7 is God’s number of completion. In chapter 6 when He fed the 5 thousand who were probably Jewish, there were 12 small baskets leftover. In this current miracle there were 7 large baskets leftover. The possible significance of the numbers could be that there are 12 tribes of Israel. So Jesus fed the Jewish, He came to them first, they are His chosen people. His ministry touched them first, then He went to visit the Gentiles. So the miracle that had 7 baskets leftover means the feeding is now complete, all His childrens’ needs were then met. And there were leftovers at both feedings.

Lesson 3: God has infinitely more than enough to meet your needs. There are lots of baskets of leftovers you are too full to eat.

Jesus is still training the disciples. (He never stops training us). He instructs the people to sit then has the disciples serve the people. Our God is a detailed, orderly God, He is not a God of confusion. There was a structure to this feeding, this miracle. And He always models servanthood. Remember, Jesus Christ washed feet&He died for your sins so you can go to Heaven if you accept Him into your heart. There is no better example of servant leadership.

This is a huge miracle. Some interpretations say that there were 4000 MEN there which means that there were at least twice that many total PEOPLE there because the women and children were not counted in that number. It is possible then that He fed at least 8000 that day. Can you imagine? Notice, He gave thanks for the bread. We should always give thanks at the very least for our food. And in our case, ask our Father to bless it. Since Jesus is God in human form, He doesn’t have to ask God to bless it as you see in chapter 8.

So walk away from this and contemplate, how does God want to bless you today? Are you standing in His way? Do you have unrepentant sin you should deal with? Do you need to work on your faith to receive blessings He is holding for you? When was the last time God took care of something for you and you were soooo joyfully grateful? Dwell on that a moment, think about His perfect timing in that situation. While you are thinking, go ahead and journal on it. You will find His timing will once again be perfect. He is always right on time, HIS time. Just have faith and trust Him, He’s got this.


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