Saturday 12 February 2011

Bible Book:

"They ate and were filled." (v. 8)

Mark 8:1-10 Saturday 12 February 2011


This is the second great feeding miracle story. It has so manysimilarities with the earlier feeding of the 5,000 (Mark6:34-44) that many have suggested that Mark felt the episode tobe so important that he uses two versions of the same event toemphasis the point.

The two stories could symbolise the giving of the bread of life toboth Jews and Gentiles(non Jews). We saw earlier this week how Mark's geographicalknowledge appeared a little shaky, and although there is no recordof a place called Dalmanutha (verse 10), it is possible that thefirst feeding took place on Jewish territory whilst this one wasset in a Gentile area. This would then sit well alongside therecent description of Jesus' ministry to both Jews and Gentilesin chapter 7. However there is no clear evidencethat this was Mark's intention as he makes no specific reference tothis taking place in a Gentile area or that the crowd consisted ofanyone other than Jews who may have travelled the great distancefrom Galilee.

We should also take care not to read too much in to the symbolismof the numbers in the story. Various attempts have been made togive significance to the seven loaves and seven baskets but theyare unlikely to be what Mark had in mind.

What is clear however is the abundance that comes from a few simpleloaves and fishes. There is more than enough to feed many, manymore than the 4,000 people present. Mark is clear; God's grace andgoodness cannot be limited for they are freely given to all. No onewill be turned away and no one need return home empty handed orunfilled. It is a story worth telling not just once, not even twicebut repeatedly for it is at the heart of the gospel message.

To Ponder

Take some time to consider the empty areas inyour own life. Will you open yourself to allow God to fillthem?

"Christ for All" has been the theme this week.How does knowledge of this fact affect the way you live yourlife?


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