This past weekend at Eastbrook, as we continued our preaching series, “Who Do You Say I Am?”, I walked us through the account of Jesus feeding the 4,000 in Matthew 15:29-39. This story echoes another we have already looked at in the feeding of the 5,000. While I do dig into the actual account, one of the questions I try to answer is: why are there two miraculous feeding stories in the gospels?
“Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.’” (Matthew 15:32)
Jesus’ Amazing Healing (Matthew 15:29-31)
Great crowds with great needs
Great healings and great praise
Jesus’ Compassionate Heart (Matthew 15:32-33)
“I have compassion for these people …”
Jesus’ Abundant Feeding of a Great Crowd (Matthew 15:34-39)
Recognizing the needs of the crowd and limited provision
Jesus’ action: take – give thanks – break – give
The miraculous provision for the crowd
Why Are There Two Miraculous Feedings?
Reemphasizing the power and compassion of Jesus
Emphasizing how Jesus’ ministry begins with the Jews but also reaches the Gentiles.
Seeing Jesus Again
His compassion moves Him
His miracles touch real needs: healing and feeding
His work for the Jew first, but also for the nations
This week dig deeper in one or more of the following ways:
- Memorize Matthew 15:36
- Pray and reflect on Jesus’ phrase in 15:32, “I have compassion for these people.” Ask God to show you His compassion for you. Ask God to show you His compassion for others. If the Lord brings someone specifically to mind, pray for them. If the Lord brings to mind a tangible way you can minister to them, do it.
- Journal, draw, paint, or ink this story or some aspect of it as a way of reflecting on who Jesus is and how you most need to meet with Him.
- Consider reading Christopher J. H. Wright’s book, The Mission of God’s People: A Biblical Theology of the Church’s Mission or Henri Nouwen’s book, Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World, which depicts the spiritual life through Jesus’ fourfold action in this story (taken – blessed – broken – given).