Bible Passages / Lenten Meditation / Prayers

Feeding the Four Thousand

Lenten Meditation-Mark 8: 1-6

8 In those days when there was again a great crowd without anything to eat, he called his disciples and said to them, 2‘I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. 3If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way—and some of them have come from a great distance.’ 4His disciples replied, ‘How can one feed these people with bread here in the desert?’ 5He asked them, ‘How many loaves do you have?’ They said, ‘Seven.’ 6Then he ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground; and he took the seven loaves, and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute; and they distributed them to the crowd.

Dumbfounded again the disciples ask Jesus, “How can one feed these people with bread here in the desert?” It seems, no matter what Jesus does, the disciples just don’t  get it.  For them, it was one miracle after another, yet it just didn’t register.  Did they not remember the five thousand fed with just a few loaves and fishes. I guess the were tired and hungry too.  But, I’m not here to write about the disciples today. I’m thinking about –providing.

Four thousand people followed Jesus this time. Three days they followed and listened to him preach. They were in the desert. The desert where nothing is provided; no water, no food, no shelter, nothing. Maybe some of them brought some food to start with, but that ran out. Did any of them grumble about being hungry? Possibly. Or, had they heard about Jesus feeding the five thousand people just a few weeks ago? “When’s he going to pass out the food”, was possibly the question on their lips. I doubt it was. That crowd was full. They had a feast for their souls. And, Jesus provided.

Still, Jesus had compassion for the multitude, as he has compassion for all in need. Here was a crowd not only with needs, but with a zeal for God. And, the compassion of Christ  is most prevalent when there is bountiful faith. Miracles require faith. That crowd had endured for Christ for three days. When we endure hardship for Christ’s sake, he will take care that they are made up to us one way or another. They that seek the Lord, shall not long want any good thing (Psalm 34:10).

He will not send them away hungry in any way.  Their bodies still hungered. Not only did they endure, but they may have fainted from hunger, if they were not fed. Christ waited for this moment. Waited, because that’s when Christ comes to us; in our greatest hour of need. This is when our souls are open and ready to be completely filled. 16From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace (John 1:16)  

In the kingdom of God, there is bread enough for all. Jesus provides, when we are ready.

Prayer: Dear Lord, You taught us to pray, “Give us today our daily bread.” And You always provide us with all that we need, when we are ready to accept. Thank you Lord. Amen.

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