Our Next Guest Is: 4,000 Hungry Gentiles

Series: Our Next Guest | Week 5: A Journey Through the Gospel of Mark

Day Four Mark 8:1-13

About this time another large crowd had gathered, and the people ran out of food again. Jesus called his disciples and told them, 2 “I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat. 3 If I send them home hungry, they will faint along the way. For some of them have come a long distance.”

4 His disciples replied, “How are we supposed to find enough food to feed them out here in the wilderness?”

5 Jesus asked, “How much bread do you have?”

“Seven loaves,” they replied.

6 So Jesus told all the people to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves, thanked God for them, and broke them into pieces. He gave them to his disciples, who distributed the bread to the crowd. 7 A few small fish were found, too, so Jesus also blessed these and told the disciples to distribute them.

8 They ate as much as they wanted. Afterward, the disciples picked up seven large baskets of leftover food. 9 There were about 4,000 men in the crowd that day, and Jesus sent them home after they had eaten. 10 Immediately after this, he got into a boat with his disciples and crossed over to the region of Dalmanutha.

11 When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had arrived, they came and started to argue with him. Testing him, they demanded that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority.

12 When he heard this, he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why do these people keep demanding a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, I will not give this generation any such sign.” 13 So he got back into the boat and left them, and he crossed to the other side of the lake.
– Mark 8:1-13 (NLT)

1. Compare and contrast the feeding of the 4,000 here with the feeding of the 5,000 in Mark 6:30-44.
2. Why do you think both accounts are included so close together?
3. What stands out to you about Jesus’ response to the Pharisees this time?

While the feeding of the 5,000 took place in a Jewish location, the feeding of the 4,000 occurred in Gentile territory. Jesus had compassion and felt sorry for each group. Even the demanding Pharisees caused Jesus’ heart to break over the sin so prevalent in the heart of humanity. Notice today the things that bother you or upset you. Are they the same things that might make Jesus sigh? Pray that God would break your heart for the things that break His.

For Further Reading: What’s the Difference Between the Feeding of the 4,000 and the 5,000?

*TPCC does not necessarily endorse all For Further Reading/Learning sources. They are simply meant to be a helpful tool.

Our Next Guest