Wednesday, June 20, 2012

SIH’s Think On These Things: Feeding The 4000

The next miracle in our series is  Feeding The 4000 …This miracle is recorded for us in Matt 15:32-39, Mark 8:1-10

In this event, we find the Lord’s concern for the multitude that was following Him… “I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.”  It was this concern that motivated Christ to use 7 loaves and a “few little fishes” to feed over 4000 men with their families.  

Our Lord then proceeds to perform the miracle… “And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground.  And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.  And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full.”

In this miracle we see the Lord’s concern for the PHYSICAL needs of His followers.  

The Lord has made it clear that the spiritual needs of an individual will far outweigh their physical needs. The spiritual food that we give someone will benefit them eternally, whereas physical food only benefits an individual for a short time. (John 6:26-27, Matt 6:31-33)  In spite of this, we are told that we should be concerned about supplying the physical needs of others. (Matt 25:34-46, 1 John 3:17, Luke 3:11, 1 Tim 6:17-18) 

Why should we supply that which is only temporal to those who are spiritually needy?   There are several reasons for this seeming contradiction:

  1. Through supplying physical needs, we can show the recipient our love, concern and willingness to sacrifice for them.
  2. Many times, through the meeting of physical needs, the recipient’s heart is softened and made more receptive to the Word.
  3. As we meet physical needs it reveals the self-sacrificial love of Christ to others who are watching us.  It enhances our testimony and standing in the eyes of our acquaintances.

Do we ever consider the physical needs of those around us?  If so, what have we done to try to meet their physical needs? 

In every case, because we understand the far greater importance of meeting spiritual needs, we should be seeking to share spiritual truth, along with the physical food, that the individual most important needs are met as well.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

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