2020-02-02 – Mark 8.1-21 – More Bread Multiplied
Bible Text: Mark 8:1-21 | Preacher: Pastor Jerry Higdon | Series: Mark | 2020-02-02 – Mark 8.1-21 – More Bread Multiplied
Good morning everyone. It is so nice to be able to spend some time with you all in fellowship with the Lord. Thank you and God bless you for being with us today.
Besides today being what we refer to as “the Lord’s Day” or what some might refer as the Sabbath, it is also a day where friends and families huddle up together to watch this thing called a Superbowl. Well fortune is on your doorsteps ladies and gentlemen, because I thought we could all instead meet here at 5pm and start an in-depth exegetical study on the different views of Revelation. Isn’t that be a great idea?! I’m just kidding. The bible tells us that we should take time to enjoy each others company. It says “Rejoice with those that Rejoice” and I hope you are able to do so this evening. Who here are for the Kansas City Chiefs? How about the San Francisco 49’ers? It should be a good game indeed.
We have been studying the wonderful Gospel book of Mark, verse by verse. This book is so precious in my heart and I hope it is for you as well. In that regard, I recently read about account in France some years ago, where there lived a poor, blind girl. Somehow she had obtained the gospel of Mark in Braille, and it was all she had. She read it with the tips of her fingers, and she read it, and read it until her fingers became callused, and her sense of touch diminished so that she could no longer distinguish the characters. In an ill-conceived effort to resensitize her fingers, she even cut them at the ends, which only made them less sensitive. And sadly the writer says, “She felt that she must now give up her beloved book of Mark. And weeping, she pressed it to her lips, saying, ‘Farewell, farewell sweet Word of my Savior.’ To her surprise, her lips, more delicate than her fingers, discerned the form of the letters. All night she perused with her lips the book of Mark and overflowed with joy at this new acquisition.” Isn’t that amazing! I pray you learn to appreciate and love this book of Mark as well. The more hours I spend in this book the more precious it has become to me.
Please turn in your Bibles to Mark 8.1, pew Bibles pg. 894 in God’s Inspired, Infallible and Living Word, but let us first start with Prayer.
Last week we finished up chapter 7 and we read about some Extraordinary or Extra-ordinary miracles. Jesus demonstrated His amazing compassion and His miraculous powers to meet the needs of the people. Additionally, He provided some experiential training for the apostles and us, so like Him, we should be loving on those God puts in our paths as well. Who has God put in your path?
We continue now in chapter 8, starting at verse 1: 81 In those days there was again a large crowd, and they had nothing to eat. He called the disciples and said to them, 2 “I have compassion on the crowd, because they’ve already stayed with me three days and have nothing to eat. 3 If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, and some of them have come a long distance.”
Looking at verse 2, Jesus speaking says, “I feel compassion” – I feel compassion; that is a very interesting statement because that is the only place in the four gospels where Jesus ever says “I feel compassion” in first person singular. There are many references to His compassion but they are not stated directly by Jesus. I would easily argue that being compassionate is His very nature. And Father God was compassionate toward us in sending Jesus to us in the first place. Psalm 111:4 it says, “The Lord is gracious and compassionate.” Lamentations 3:22 says, “The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease; His compassions are new ever morning; great is Your faithfulness.” In Micah 7:19, the prophet says, “He will again have compassion on us.” And the Apostle Paul wrote of Jesus in Romans 9:15, “He will have compassion on whom He will have compassion.”
This brings me much hope, and I hope it brings you much hope too. The people have been with Jesus for three days. They were captivated by all the healings and teachings He provided. They didn’t want to miss out on hearing His wisdom and the excitement of seeing so many people healed, so they just didn’t want to leave. Again Jesus suggests to the disciples that they should get something for the crowds of people to eat. We see their response here starting at verse 4:
4 His disciples answered him, “Where can anyone get enough bread here in this desolate place to feed these people?” [show slide]
5 “How many loaves do you have?” he asked them. “Seven,” they said. 6 He commanded the crowd to sit down on the ground. Taking the seven loaves, he gave thanks, broke them, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people. So they served them to the crowd. 7 They also had a few small fish, and after he had blessed them, he said these were to be served as well. 8 They ate and were satisfied. Then they collected seven large baskets of leftover pieces. 9 About four thousand were there. He dismissed them. 10 And he immediately got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.
So this is the second time Jesus feeds the masses as recorded in scripter.
First Jesus feeds the 5,000 (or up to 25,000 if you count women and children) near Capernaum, on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee. And now Jesus feeds 4,000 more men here in the Gerasenes, in the region around the Decapolis. This is important to realize because of three factors, Location, location, location…
The first group of 5,000 were mostly Jewish people as they were fed in Jewish territory. Since the disciples and Jesus were all Jewish, the feeding the 5,000 Jews was considered admirable. Whereas, this group of 4,000 were mostly Gentiles, and the feeding of 4,000 Gentiles would have been considered a scandalous thing to do. Jesus was showing the Disciples again that their role in His ministry would require them to knock down their prejudicial walls for good. They would have to show compassion for all the people. Jesus again was demonstrating that in order to be a true Disciple of Christ, you have to live out the understanding of what Jesus said earlier as written Matthew 20:16 “So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen”. Jesus showed His compassion for “the least of these” Gentiles that day in a big way.
So Jesus has everyone sit down, He blesses the food, then He takes bread and somehow multiplies it to feed thousands. Then He takes the fish, and He starts creating more fish from the fish. Fish I would guess that never lived and never died, they were just created on the spot somehow edible. And again, they had enough food that everyone was satisfied in a big way. This isn’t a fairy tale, this was truly a miracle brothers and sisters. And these accounts were recorded while many of those who were there that day could have refuted it, but they didn’t. Jesus showed His compassion in a miraculous way, and to that I Praise the Lord.
Afterwards Jesus and the disciples went away to another location, and there He ran-up against the Jewish Pharisees again. Verse 11 reads: 11 The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, demanding of him a sign from heaven to test him. 12 Sighing deeply in his spirit, he said, “Why does this generation demand a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.” 13 Then he left them, got back into the boat, and went to the other side.
These Pharisees were contentious and antagonistic to say the least. The book of Matthew also has this account and it reveals a few more details.
Matthew 16:1 says, “The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away”.
Up to this point, Jesus had performed many, many miracles or signs. These Pharisees here were sent for the purpose of making a mockery of Jesus, and perhaps setting Him up for a fall. They were hard-hearted and evil to Jesus. They not only didn’t have the capacity to understand Christ, but they also were blinded by darkness. 1 Corinthians 2:14 says, “the unbeliever does not welcome what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him;” and John 3:19 says “Men love the darkness rather than Light because their deeds are evil.” And according to 2 Corinthians 4:4, “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. So they are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News..” Understand there is a profound blindness that engulfs the souls of all human beings, that is until God comes into their heart and heals their spiritual blindness. God opens the eyes of their heart so they can see Him. So Jesus refused to fall into the Pharisees trap. He refused to give them “a sign” that day. That is until like Jonah, He later rises from the belly of the whale and defeats death by His resurrection. This is a great lesson for us today as well. We shouldn’t waist time argueing with bullies of our faith whereby putting “pearls on a swine”.
14 The disciples had forgotten to take bread and had only one loaf with them in the boat. 15 Then he gave them strict orders: “Watch out! Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” 16 They were discussing among themselves that they did not have any bread. 17 Aware of this, he said to them, “Why are you discussing the fact you have no bread? Don’t you understand or comprehend? Do you have hardened hearts? 18 Do you have eyes and not see; do you have ears and not hear? And do you not remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of leftovers did you collect?” “Twelve,” they told him. 20 “When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many baskets full of pieces did you collect?” “Seven,” they said. 21 And he said to them, “Don’t you understand yet?”
There is a lot to digest in this last passage, I will admit. I could almost imagine the disciples scratching their heads trying to understand what Jesus was saying.
I have a graphic that shows the two feeding miracles, both the 4,000 and the 5,000. You should be aware that many people try to claim they were the same incident, but it is clear by Jesus’s own words here they are different and they had different purposes as well. The feeding of 5,000 were to the Jews, and the 4,000 was for the Gentiles.
I sometimes find it astonishing that in the stress of the moment the disciples here so often forget the fulfillments of God’s care in the past? Basically as they were worried again about food, Jesus said effectively “Why in the world are you worrying about food when you ought to be thinking about the dangerous things that are trying to influence your soul?” He said, “Don’t you understand yet” as if to say, “What more do I need to do to convince you that you have nothing to worry about?” If God has been faithful in the past, He’ll be faithful in the present. If He’s provided for us in the past, we can be confident that He will provide again for us in the present. Remember the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus told them, “Don’t take any thought for what you shall eat or drink; seek the kingdom and I’ll take care of the rest. Do you not yet understand?”
Jesus wanted to show them and us clearly a couple great lessons that I hope you believe and put in the bank:
Jesus loves us and He provides for us in a big way. He fed some 40,000 people in the wilderness. There is nothing too big for our God. He provided for them in the past and He will provide for you in the future. As the late FDR would say, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”. “Trust in the Lord, for He is Good”.
God can create much out of just a little, and by giving Him that little, even after He uses it in a big way, He still gives us back more than what we started with. Trust God with what you have to give, you will not be disappointed.
I hope you are learning to Love God’s Word through this book of Mark with me. Again, God’s Word is precious, and just like that little blind French girl that was reading the book of Mark with her lips, I pray God’s Word brings you much Joy. Would you please stand and pray with me now. Let us pray
Lords Supper – 1 Corinthians 10:17 says, “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread”
Order of the Lord’s Supper
1 Corinthians 11:23-32 Paul Wrote:
23 The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Paul continues, he said in verse 27
27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.