When Jesus Serves the Meal
“They ate and were satisfied. And they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full” (Mark 8:8).
This is the “other” miracle of feeding a large crowd.
We know more about Jesus feeding the 5000 (Mark 6:30-44). But in this case, he feeds 4000 people who came to hear him in the wilderness. This miracle took place in the Gentile region called the Decapolis, on the east side of the Sea of Galilee. When Jesus fed the 5000, it was a predominantly Jewish crowd. In this case, he does the same for a mostly Gentile crowd. These two miracles show that our Lord came for the whole world—Jews and Gentiles alike.
In both cases, Jesus took a tiny bit of food and multiplied it so that there was plenty to eat with plenty left over.
It happened this way. First, the disciples organized the crowd. This made it easier to serve the people. It meant that in Jesus’ mind, the miracle had already been done. After giving thanks, he broke the bread. This is where the miracle took place—in his hands. As the disciples watched him break the bread, it miraculously multiplied until all were fed. I am struck by the fact that the disciples served as the waiters. This ensured that their faith would grow as they participated in the miracle Jesus was performing.
The disciples also had a few small fish. Jesus blessed the fish, multiplied them, and had the disciples served the people.
No one went away hungry.
Everyone had all they wanted.
There were plenty of leftovers.
This is not an airline meal, and it’s not a snack or a box lunch. Omnipotence has an unending supply. When Jesus serves the meal, there is always enough to go around, and then some. What a lesson for the disciples to learn.
Never fear to trust him.
What do you need today?
He has more than enough mercy, more than enough grace, and more than enough power.
Fear not. He has enough to meet your need, with plenty left over for tomorrow.
Lord Jesus, when my cupboard is bare, remind me that your pantry is always full. Teach me to trust when I can’t see how I will make it through another day. Amen.
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