February 8: Unrivaled Compassion (Matthew 15:29-39)
Adult Education: This Sunday at 9:00am, Nik Lingle will continue a series on Peacemaking in the youth room, and Ray Rutledge will continue The Gospel Project in Adult 1.
Jesus went on from there and walked beside the Sea of Galilee. And he went up on the mountain and sat down there. And great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others, and they put them at his feet, and he healed them, so that the crowd wondered, when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they glorified the God of Israel.
Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.” And the disciples said to him, “Where are we to get enough bread in such a desolate place to feed so great a crowd?” And Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” And directing the crowd to sit down on the ground, he took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up seven baskets full of the broken pieces left over. Those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children. And after sending away the crowds, he got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan. (ESV)
In our passage today, we see Jesus reveal himself as the Savior of all peoples, the Messiah for the nations. In the miracle of the feeding of the 4,000 God begins the gathering of not just Israel but all nations into a new people of God. Jesus as the bread of life, will lead all people to find satisfaction and reconciliation with God as he gathers his people. The call is for the church to live missionally both here and to the ends of the world as God continues to gather his people from the four corners of the earth.
Review and Apply
- What is the significance of this miracle being repeated among the Gentiles?
- What does it mean to say that Jesus is the hope of the nations?
- In what ways can you express compassion to those very different from you?
- What gifts has God given you that can serve others? How have you used them in the last few weeks?
- How does Jesus' creating excess food encourage us in ministry?
- What are some situations/challenges in life that God is calling you to approach in faith knowing that you need his power to accomplish?
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