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The Concern of the King

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The Gospel of Matthew, Volume 2 The Bread of Life (Matthew 15:29–39)

The wonder of this story is that in these healings and in this feeding of the hungry, we see the mercy and the compassion of Jesus going out to the Gentiles. Here is a kind of symbol and foretaste that the bread of God was not to be confined to the Jews; that the Gentiles were also to have their share of him who is the living bread.

Mark 7:31–8:9 NASB95
31 Again He went out from the region of Tyre, and came through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, within the region of Decapolis. 32 They brought to Him one who was deaf and spoke with difficulty, and they implored Him to lay His hand on him. 33 Jesus took him aside from the crowd, by himself, and put His fingers into his ears, and after spitting, He touched his tongue with the saliva; 34 and looking up to heaven with a deep sigh, He said to him, “Ephphatha!” that is, “Be opened!” 35 And his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was removed, and he began speaking plainly. 36 And He gave them orders not to tell anyone; but the more He ordered them, the more widely they continued to proclaim it. 37 They were utterly astonished, saying, “He has done all things well; He makes even the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.” 1 In those days, when there was again a large crowd and they had nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples and said to them, 2 “I feel compassion for the people because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat. 3 If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way; and some of them have come from a great distance.” 4 And His disciples answered Him, “Where will anyone be able to find enough bread here in this desolate place to satisfy these people?” 5 And He was asking them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven.” 6 And He directed the people to sit down on the ground; and taking the seven loaves, He gave thanks and broke them, and started giving them to His disciples to serve to them, and they served them to the people. 7 They also had a few small fish; and after He had blessed them, He ordered these to be served as well. 8 And they ate and were satisfied; and they picked up seven large baskets full of what was left over of the broken pieces. 9 About four thousand were there; and He sent them away.
MW Collegiate Dict. (11th Ed.)
4496. ῥίπτω rhiptō; a prim. vb.; to throw, cast, spec. to throw off, toss:—cast(1), dispirited(1), laid … down(1), threw(2), throwing off(1), thrown(1), had thrown … down(1).
NASB Dictionaries
85.37 ῥίπτωb: to put or place something down, with the possible implication of rapidity of action—‘to put down, to place down.’ ἑτέρους πολλούς, καὶ ἔρριψαν αὐτοὺς παρὰ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ ‘many other (sick people), whom they placed at his feet’ .

Louw-Nida
laid NIV, NIV84
they laid ... down NASB95, NKJV
they put ESV, RSV
cast KJV 1900
They laid NLT
Text Comparison
Narrative, Gospel Matthew
Narrative, Ministry 15:29–31
Miracle
Agent: Jesus
Patient: The 4,000
Title: Jesus Heals Many People
Type: Healing
Longacre Genre
Primary: Narrative: Story
Semantic Feature
Category: Action
Figurative Language
Category: Symbolism
Source: To Lay at One’s Feet
Target: To Present Oneself Before an Authority Figure
Type: To Lay at One’s Feet as To Present Oneself Before an Authority Figure
Muteness Cultural Concept
Blindness Cultural Concept
Paralysis Cultural Concept
Deformity Cultural Concept
Healing Cultural Concept
“they laid ... down” refers to:
The 4,000 — People who were fed by Jesus from seven loaves and a few small fish.
A Crowd — Any large group of people gathering together.
Jesus heals many on a mountain in Galilee Event
Disability — Physical incapacities resulting from physical or spiritual causes.
Glory, Health and Healing, Jesus: Miracles, Worship

I. Concern for Their Health

Matthew 15:29-39
Matthew 15:29–39 NASB95
29 Departing from there, Jesus went along by the Sea of Galilee, and having gone up on the mountain, He was sitting there. 30 And large crowds came to Him, bringing with them those who were lame, crippled, blind, mute, and many others, and they laid them down at His feet; and He healed them. 31 So the crowd marveled as they saw the mute speaking, the crippled restored, and the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel. 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 15:29–31 NASB95
29 Departing from there, Jesus went along by the Sea of Galilee, and having gone up on the mountain, He was sitting there. 30 And large crowds came to Him, bringing with them those who were lame, crippled, blind, mute, and many others, and they laid them down at His feet; and He healed them. 31 So the crowd marveled as they saw the mute speaking, the crippled restored, and the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.
The Gospel of Matthew, Volume 2 The Graciousness of Jesus (Matthew 15:29–39 Contd)

In writing of this passage, the biblical scholar Alfred Edersheim has a lovely thought: he points out that in three successive stages of his ministry, Jesus ended each stage by setting a meal before his people. First, there was the feeding of the 5,000; that came at the end of his ministry in Galilee, for Jesus was never to teach and preach and heal in Galilee again. Second, there was this feeding of the 4,000. This came at the end of his brief ministry to the Gentiles, beyond the bounds of Palestine—first in the districts of Tyre and Sidon and then in the Decapolis. Third and last, there was the Last Supper in Jerusalem, when Jesus came to the final stage of the days of his earthly life.

Here indeed is a lovely thought. Jesus always left people with strength for the way; always he gathered them to him to feed them with the living bread. Always he gave them himself before he moved on. And still he comes to us offering us also the bread which will satisfy the immortal hunger of the human soul, and in the strength of which we shall be able to go all the days of our lives.

Crowds were Gentile

A. Lame

B. Crippled

C. Blind

D. Mute

E. Others

4496. ῥίπτω rhiptō; a prim. vb.; to throw, cast, spec. to throw off, toss:—cast(1), dispirited(1), laid … down(1), threw(2), throwing off(1), thrown(1), had thrown … down(1). NASB Dictionaries
“The God of Israel” — because they were gentiles and worshipped the Greek gods, this would be natural for them to say.
Application: How do we as a church show compassion to those who are sick, hurt, or in-firmed? What excuses do we come up with to justify our indifference?
Jesus is God and can do miraculous things. He can musltiply

II Concern for Their Needs

Matthew 15:29-31
Matthew 15:32–39 NASB95
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.
William Barkley:
The Gospel of Matthew, Volume 2 The Bread of Life (Matthew 15:29–39)

In the feeding of the 5,000, the baskets which were used to take up the fragments are called kophinoi; in the feeding of the 4,000, they are called sphurides. The kophinos was a narrow-necked, flask-shaped basket which Jews often carried with them, for Jews often carried their own food, in case they should be compelled to eat food which had been touched by Gentile hands and was therefore unclean. The sphuris was much more like a hamper; it could be big enough to carry a person, and it was a kind of basket that a Gentile would use.

The Gospel of Matthew, Volume 2 The Graciousness of Jesus (Matthew 15:29–39 Contd)

In writing of this passage, the biblical scholar Alfred Edersheim has a lovely thought: he points out that in three successive stages of his ministry, Jesus ended each stage by setting a meal before his people. First, there was the feeding of the 5,000; that came at the end of his ministry in Galilee, for Jesus was never to teach and preach and heal in Galilee again. Second, there was this feeding of the 4,000. This came at the end of his brief ministry to the Gentiles, beyond the bounds of Palestine—first in the districts of Tyre and Sidon and then in the Decapolis. Third and last, there was the Last Supper in Jerusalem, when Jesus came to the final stage of the days of his earthly life.

Here indeed is a lovely thought. Jesus always left people with strength for the way; always he gathered them to him to feed them with the living bread. Always he gave them himself before he moved on. And still he comes to us offering us also the bread which will satisfy the immortal hunger of the human soul, and in the strength of which we shall be able to go all the days of our lives.

Principles

1. Jesus is God

He can make something from nothing including limbs.

2. The Goal of ministering is to bring glory to God

People should marvel at the power of God at work in us.

3. We must depend on Jesus to supply what we can’t.

Seven loaves and a few fish are not enough but was all they had. Jesus made it more. We don’t have much, but Jesus can use it and make it enough for the needs of our community.

4. When Jesus supplies something it doesn’t drain Him of His supply.

[water tank at our house trying to catch up]. He never runs out of resources, so He gives liberally. So must we!
Luke 6:38 NASB95
38 Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

5. God uses us so that we can share in the joy of helping others.

Disciples must have talked about that incident to themselves and thought, “we were a part of that; it was awesome!”

6. Jesus had compassion on people.

He didn’t think about what percentage of the 4,000 would become followers Him and say, “1% of 4,000 is 40 people that will probably follow after me. That is an acceptable margin, it will get a good return on that investment.” He didn’t say, “they should have planned ahead better and brought some food with them.” No, He gave to the people simply because they were in need, because He cared about the human condition.
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