Tuesday 25 October 2022

Bible Book:

'I have compassion for the crowd.' (v. 32)

Matthew 15:32-39 Tuesday 25 October 2022

Psalm 89:19-37


All four gospels contain the story of Jesus feeding a crowd of 5000 with five loaves and two fishes. It is the only miracle story which they all tell, so for each gospel writer it was important to their presentation of Jesus. Only Mark and Matthew tell us also of this feeding of a crowd of 4000, with seven loaves and a few fish. It’s reasonable to wonder whether these are duplicate accounts of a single event, with just a few changes in detail. This is only to be expected as the story was passed from one to another. However both Matthew and Mark knew that they were telling two similar stories and so either they were convinced that Jesus fed a crowd more than once (and they were much nearer to these events than we are) or they felt that the sign was so important that it needed to be included twice.

Providing food for people in a desert offers clear echoes of the Hebrew scriptures. John in his Gospel spells it out most clearly when, in the discourse following this miracle, he points to the experience of God providing manna in the desert to the people of Israel as, under Moses, they travelled to a promised land. (“I am going to rain bread from heaven for you." (Exodus 16:4))

But, as we noticed yesterday, Isaiah 35 might also come to the minds of Matthew’s first readers, with its promise that the desert would be productive. Once again Jesus’ compassion for people becomes a sign that God is at work and that God’s kingdom will surely come.


To Ponder:

  •  In today’s passage Jesus takes seemingly scant resources and produces an amazing result. What amazing results have you seen from the scant resources that we offer?
  • A song by Matt Redman affirms 'Everyone needs compassion'. Who needs to experience your compassion today? 


Open my eyes, Lord, to those around me who need to experience your compassion through me. Amen.

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