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?”
Deeply move us to offer you to others. For they need what we need.
I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen!