Mark Has Some Good News, Part 31, Leftovers Again!
Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand
1 In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, he called his disciples to him and said to them, 2 "I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. 3 And if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way. And some of them have come from far away." 4 And his disciples answered him, "How can one feed these people with bread here in this desolate place?" 5 And he asked them, "How many loaves do you have?" They said, "Seven." 6 And he directed the crowd to sit down on the ground. And he took the seven loaves, and having given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and they set them before the crowd. 7 And they had a few small fish. And having blessed them, he said that these also should be set before them. 8 And they ate and were satisfied. And they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. 9 And there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away. 10 And immediately he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.
I think we can all wrap our heads aground Jesus doing miracles by this point. 7 chapters deep into the book of Mark and Jesus keeps showing us magnificent examples of His power in ministry.
So let's look at why he fed the crowd. I mean He tells us why so that should be the important part right? In verses 2 and 3 we read about his compassion and he asks his disciples to act because of it. They immediately come up with criticism and complaint. Jesus being as gracious as ever not only asks for their contribution, but provides for the crowd none the less. In fact he provides for the crowd and then some.
I'm not sure about the size of the baskets used to collect the left overs, but I know a few fish and 7 loaves don't fill them after a feast. Yet Jesus in his mercy, grace and love gave them more than they needed.
And I believe that is why Mark points out where the leftovers went. Jesus would go on to preach and teach in Jerusalem and then perform the greatest miracle of all, redeeming a broken world. And we would not just do it. He would not only pay for what we have done, but he also would pay for what we would do.
Leftovers mean you get to eat again. They mean that you hunger can be subdued and beaten again. Jesus shows us here in the food what he. Would do for us in the flesh. He would later have compassion on a spiritually starving crowd and provide for them in a way that defies all logic and leave room for more.
It's not the first communion but it is a striking example for us, of how God became a servant to give us everything and more.