Rev. Stephen Preus, pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Vinton, IA, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Mark 8:1-10.
When St. Mark states that the feeding of the 4,000 took place “in those days,” he gives more than just a time indicator; he signals that Jesus is actively ushering in the reign of God. Still in Gentile territory, Jesus has been surrounded by a great crowd hungering for the Word of God for three days. His acts with compassion that suffers with them and shows mercy to them in their physical hunger. Jesus’ disciples’ response shows that they do not fully believe who Jesus is and what He can do, particularly in Gentile territory. Jesus is patient with them, drawing them to Himself in their helplessness. The seven loaves in the text are literally seven loaves, yet their number also invites reflection upon the fullness and completion of what Jesus does for all people. As He gave abundantly in Jewish territory, so Jesus gives abundantly to the Gentiles. In this abundant feeding, Jesus gives a picture of Himself as the Creator who eats with His people as He restores the fullness of God’s gifts to humanity. In the Lord’s Supper, we now receive the abundance of His Body and Blood.
“The Gospel in Action” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the Gospel according to St. Mark. The Evangelist hits the ground running with the very first verse of his Gospel account, and he never lets up the pace. As one deed of Jesus comes right after another, always paired with His authoritative Word, St. Mark proclaims the good news that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, revealed conclusively by His death on the cross.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand
8 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.[a]
- Mark 8:10 Some manuscripts Magadan, or Magdala
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.