“I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat.” Mark 8:2
Read: Mark 8:1-10
Listen: Mark 8
The problem seems very familiar. A crowd of thousands has been listening to Jesus teach for a long time. They are hungry, in the middle of nowhere and there’s not enough food. While similar to the feeding of the five thousand (Mark 6:30-44), there are some major differences. The most significant is that they are no longer in a Jewish region but in a Gentile area (a location you can mark in your journal). They’re in the land of Israel’s enemies. The previous feeding showed Jesus’ concern for the Jews. This one he is feeding Gentiles. The first test was the feeding of the 5,000. This is the retest.
The disciples’ eyes should be opening as Jesus feeds the 4,000. He wants to awaken them to the reality that he has come to provide life to both Jews and Gentiles. His kingdom is open to all people. It’s for people who didn’t worship the God of Israel, instead worshipping idols. It’s even for those who had oppressed the Jewish people. His kingdom is not just for “insiders.” It is for “outsiders.” It’s for “them too.”
We struggle with this as well. Jesus came for people who don’t believe, live or even vote like we do. Jesus desires a relationship with “them too.” The classmates we pass in the halls, the people who live in our neighborhoods, our department staff on a Zoom call or the person who posts something on Facebook with which we strongly disagree. Jesus loves them too.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Think about those in your sphere of influence who need to hear about Jesus. In your journal on page 72 in the Notes section, write the words “Them Too.” Then list two or three people you can begin to pray for who need to know Jesus. Then think of a way you can encourage them as we navigate through this pandemic.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.