Serving Jesus in Our Community

Bible Notes

Matthew 15:32-39 (24.05.19)

Matthew 15:32-39 NIV
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.” [33] His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?” [34] “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked. “Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.” [35] He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. [36] Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. [37] They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. [38] The number of those who ate was four thousand men, besides women and children. [39] After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan.

Jesus feeds another hungry crowd, a miraculous act of compassion. But there’s more to this tale than at first meets the eye – Matthew uses words carefully to remind us of other stories to make a larger point.

  • Just as the mountain yesterday reminded us of Moses bringing the people into relationship with God, so Jesus handing out bread to feed God’s people reminds us of God’s gift of manna to the people on the Exodus. Jesus is the one Moses pointed towards.
  • Seven loaves and seven baskets? Seven is used to symbolise perfection, completion and God. Jesus has enough to satisfy God’s People and there’s the perfect amount left to feed another people – is this pointing to the Gentiles? Jesus is the one who can satisfy the needs of the world.
  • The crowd have been with Jesus for three days before he feeds them? Could this be a reminder of the resurrection on the third day? It is through his death and resurrection that Jesus meets our needs and satisfies us.
  • Jesus broke the bread, gave thanks and gave it to the crowd. To me that sounds like communion – is Matthew reminding us that Communion points towards Jesus and his perfect compassion and satisfying of our needs?

What is it that you need right now? Don’t be shy, but bring them to Jesus as an act of worship, recognising that he is the only one that can truly satisfy them.

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