Mark 8:1-21 1 During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him and said, 2 “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. 3 If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance.”
4 His disciples answered, “But where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?” 5 “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked. “Seven,” they replied.
6 He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. When he had taken the seven loaves and given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people, and they did so. 7 They had a few small fish as well; he gave thanks for them also and told the disciples to distribute them. 8 The people ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 9 About four thousand were present. After he had sent them away, 10 he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the region of Dalmanutha.
11 The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. 12 He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to it.” 13 Then he left them, got back into the boat and crossed to the other side.
14 The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. 15 “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”
16 They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”
17 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” “Twelve,” they replied.
20 “And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” They answered, “Seven.” 21 He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”
This group of people was mostly made up of gentiles. 4000 men PLUS women and children who had been with Him for 3 days.
The first really interesting thing in this story was the disciples question when Jesus said they needed to feed the people, “Where are we going to get bread way out here?” !!
Didn’t they go through this one other time? How could they forget Jesus feeding the 5000? But we do the same. We know what Jesus can do and did do from the Bible. We know everything He’s done for us in our own lives. Yet we still doubt He’s going to take care of us. Sometimes Jesus lets us wait –so we stay dependent on Him. Sometimes He doesn’t provide in the way we expect, so often we’ll miss the answer or even think He said no.
In this story Jesus took care of them again. He provided enough food for the huge group with leftovers to spare. When Jesus provides He provides abundantly.
The Pharisees asked for a sign. He wasn’t going to give them one because they had already had lots. Everything about Jesus was filling the Old Testament prophecies they had read about all their lives. Another sign that they demanded wasn’t going to convince them. Their hearts were hard.
We should never say to God or Jesus, “Do this and I’ll believe.” The person who does this is looking for an excuse NOT to believe. Jesus Himself is the only sign we need.