Lord of Compassion: Matthew 15:32-39
“32) And Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, “I feel compassion for the people, because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.” 33) The disciples *said to Him, “Where would we get so many loaves in this desolate place to satisfy such a large crowd?” 34) And Jesus *said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” 35) And He directed the people to sit down on the ground; 36) and He took the seven loaves and the fish; and giving thanks, He broke them and started giving them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 37) And they all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, seven large baskets full. 38) And those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children. 39) And sending away the crowds, Jesus got into the boat and came to the region of Magadan.” Matthew 15:32-39
In this story, Jesus again steps into the role of the Provider. According to verse 32, He had been ministering to them for three days. He was most likely both teaching and healing. That was a long open air crusade.
The only reason given for this miracle was that Jesus felt compassion for the multitude and did not want them to leave hungry. Feeding the hungry and taking care of the basic needs of people is often referred to as “compassion ministry.” It is rooted in the character of Jesus.
In the story, everything was present for the miracle. There was a genuine need. There were four thousand hungry people. There was a small supply of food. Altogether there were seven loaves and a few small fish. The supply was woefully inadequate for the need.
But there was one more factor to the formula; Jesus was present. The Provider was among them. According to Matthew 16:8-10, trusting Jesus as Provider takes faith. It is just like trusting Him as Healer.
Israel had to learn this lesson in the wilderness under Moses. God fed nearly a million people Manna for forty years. They had to get up early, go out and collect it and then process and cook it, but God Provided daily.
This is also included in the Lord’s Prayer. Matthew 6:11 says; “Give us this day our daily bread.” God wants us to look to Him as our Provider. Jesus promises to take care of His people.
Let me use this story of Jesus feeding the four Thousand to share a heart breaking message. A harsh reality accompanying the prophecy of the end times is that the supply chain will be interrupted or cut off by corruption. Relief organizations are woefully inadequate for the growing need and many times cannot deliver supplies because of local politics. Few things are more painful.
Days are here when Gods people locally need to both care for one another and rediscover God as Provider. Like Joseph in Egypt, it will be important to prepare during times of plenty for times of famine. In the Bible there are cycles where times of plenty are followed by famine. Prophecy teaches it will happen on a world wide scale in the end times.
Faith will be tested. Jesus allowed the crowd to fast for three days before He provided. During that time, they most likely used up their own supply. Their backpacks were empty. That’s when Jesus stepped up as the Provider.
His provision was a miracle that defied natural laws. In the story, He multiplied the food supply many times over. In the context, miracles of healings were followed by the miracle of supernaturally providing food for the multitude. What message was Jesus sending? He took care of both their health needs and their hunger needs.
I have read the four four Gospels hundreds of times. I can now see that Jesus was sending a message over and over again. He wants us to trust Him as both Healer and Provider. That message stretches my western theology box.
Listen carefully; in the end times the anti-Christ health care system and food supply will be leveraged against people in an attempt to force them to abandon their faith. Both will be used against Christians. Gods people will have no choice but to look to Jesus as both Healer and Provider during this time.
Take time to ponder the above paragraph. It might be wise to start a transition in your thinking and build your faith in Jesus. The storm clouds are gathering on the horizon.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global
Lord of Compassion: Matthew 15:32-39