Each Day in the Word, Sunday, July 23, 2023

Matthew 15:32-39 NKJV

32 Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”

33 Then His disciples said to Him, “Where could we get enough bread in the wilderness to fill such a great multitude?”

34 Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?”

And they said, “Seven, and a few little fish.”

35 So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. 36 And He took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitude. 37 So they all ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets full of the fragments that were left. 38 Now those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children. 39 And He sent away the multitude, got into the boat, and came to the region of Magdala.

In Matthew 14 Jesus feeds “about five thousand men, besides women and children” (Matt. 14:21). In this chapter He feeds “four thousand men, besides women and children.” John 6 records another time Jesus fed five thousand men. Why does Jesus provide daily bread to those who heard His teaching? He wants to teach us that He will not let us go hungry in this life.  He teaches us to pray for daily bread in the Lord’s Prayer. By His miracles He shows us His compassion and that He will answer our prayer for the things we need for the support of this body and life God has given us.

We know He opens His hand and satisfies the desire of every living thing, even the unbeliever who do not ask Him for daily bread or acknowledge Him. But He teaches us that He has compassion on those who continue with Him. This crowd of four thousand men plus women and children have continued with Jesus for three days. They have heard His teaching of repentance, forgiveness, and the new life of faith that works through love for God and neighbor. This crowd has continued with Jesus and forgotten everything else, it seems. Jesus has compassion on them and satisfies their hunger because He does not want them to faint on their way home. He wants to teach them that He provides daily bread.

Jesus asks, “Where could we get enough bread in the wilderness to fill such a great multitude?” He answers this by feeding the crowd. Where will we get enough for this body and life? The only place we will find enough—along with the realization that it is enough—is in the compassion of Jesus. He wants us to continue with Him by hearing His Word, meditating on His gospel, and praying to Him. By continuing with Jesus He teaches us that He will provide us with everything we need for this body and life even as He gives us all things for everlasting life. Let us pray: Lord Jesus, we give You thanks for your compassion by which you give us our daily bread and ask  Your grace that we may continue with You in faith. Amen. 

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