Hitchiker’s bLOG – 2022.02.22

by Soichi Watanabe

Deeply Moved

In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, he called his disciples to him and said to them, “I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way. And some of them have come from far away.” And his disciples answered him, “How can one feed these people with bread here in this desolate place?” And he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven.” And he directed the crowd to sit down on the ground. And he took the seven loaves, and having given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and they set them before the crowd. And they had a few small fish. And having blessed them, he said that these also should be set before them. And they ate and were satisfied. And they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. And there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away. Mark 8:1-9

This story is the sister to feeding the Jewish crowd of over 5000 (Mark 6:30-43), but his time it is a Gentile crowd of people based on the locations of preceding stories and the prominence of seven loaves and seven baskets. Note: The number seven is associated with Gentiles in the scriptures, as the number twelve is for Jews. Jesus tells his disciples that he is deeply moved with compassion (σπλαγχνίζομαι – pronounced splag-chniz-omai) for these people Jews would consider unclean. They have been following and listening to him for three days, and he knows food is in short supply, and they hunger.

Many people around us suffer from spiritual hunger because “food” is in short supply. Are we telling others, “σπλαγχνίζομαι” for them, and then acting upon it by sharing “The Bread of Heaven?”

Lord Jesus,

Deeply move us to offer you to others. For they need what we need.

I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen!

Live Long and Prosper

2 thoughts on “Hitchiker’s bLOG – 2022.02.22

  1. “Spiritual food” is the elephant in the room …. What is spiritual food? I think Jesus in his compassion is more interested first in our human needs and then in our theological needs. From everything I’ve read, his theology focuses on love for both God, self and others. How much of the food that we serve is bitter with strict orthodoxy that denies humanity with self denial and loathing. Glad we are working to recognize Jesus’ true message of love – not just a Pharisee’s take on how we should worship God.

    PS. You don’t have to post this.


    1. Strict “orthodoxy” is just a label and is generally no orthodoxy at all. Likewise, strict orthopraxy often leaves orthodoxy behind to one’s peril. The blend and balance seems to be more inline with what Jesus taught as reflected in his brother’s letter (which Luther hated because it was too Catholic!).

      Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. James 1:19-24


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