Blessed… Did They Forget Already?

Now Jesus called his disciples and said, “I feel sorry for the crowd because they have been with me for three days and have nothing to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry for fear they won’t have enough strength to travel.” His disciples replied, “Where are we going to get enough food in this wilderness to satisfy such a big crowd?” Jesus said, “How much bread do you have?” They responded, “Seven loaves and a few fish.” He told the crowd to sit on the ground.  He took the seven loaves of bread and the fish. After he gave thanks, he broke them into pieces and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. Everyone ate until they were full. The disciples collected seven baskets full of leftovers. Four thousand men ate, plus women and children. After dismissing the crowds, Jesus got into the boat and came to the region of Magadan (Matthew 15:32-39, Common English Bible).

It actually seems pretty anti-climactic. With having seen Jesus do more with less just a chapter ago. When Jesus feeds the 5000 plus women and children, he does so with five loaves of bread and two fish. When he feeds the 4000, he does so with seven loaves of bread and a few fish. Why tell what seems to be a lesser story after just telling the greater story only one chapter ago?

In the little bit of research that I did on this lesson, I found a few places where the argument is made that the Feeding of the 5000 was Jesus meeting the needs of the Jews. In the Feeding of the 4000 Jesus is meeting the needs of the Gentiles. In telling both stories, Matthew is indicating that Jesus came for all humanity, both Jews and Gentiles.

As I read the lesson for today, however, there was one thing that really struck me. Regardless of other motivation, I think one thing Matthew might be saying is that the disciples needed a refresher course in “Miracles 101.”

As I have already said, only a chapter ago the disciples see Jesus feed more than 5000 people. In this lesson Jesus is saying he fears the people would fall out without giving them something to eat so he doesn’t want to just send them away.

For their part the disciples ask, “Where are we to get enough food to feed all these people (my paraphrase).” They have forgotten something from just a few days before, that Jesus is more than capable of feeding the entire crowd with just a small amount of food. While he may have done more with less at the Feeding of the 5000, feeding 4000 with seven loaves of bread and a few fish is still pretty impressive.

I would love to think that I get everything the first time someone tries to teach it to me, but I know it isn’t true. And, anyone who has ever sat through a math class with me would absolutely back me up on that one. For almost all of us, there are things it takes us more than one time to learn. The disciples would be no different. What happened in chapter 14 was no fluke. Matthew retelling the story is reinforcing what Jesus taught a few days earlier? I can’t help but think that even if this was not the intended benefit, it certainly wasn’t going to hurt anything.

What are some of the lessons God has taught you when it took more than one demonstration?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Peace,

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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