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We are bringing the food

Mark 8:1-3

  “In those days, the multitude being very great and having nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples {to Him} and said unto them, ‘I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And if I sent them away hungry to their own houses, they will faint on the way, for some of them have come from afar.’”

Here of course, Jesus is setting the disciples up so that they can be a part of His feeding of the multitudes again. This time, however, it is about 4000 who would eat. Today I would like to specifically examine the word “faint.” For good reason we believe that when Jesus said that these people would faint, He meant that they would be so weak from hunger that they would collapse on the way home. This is without question one exact meaning of this verse. That being established, then the very first thing to be gleaned from this verse is that Jesus, God cares about our natural health and well-being. So often I think Christians believe that God is solely interested in our spiritual well-being only and that He does not care really if we have had enough rest or food, etc. This passage proves that is not so. These people were the “multitudes”. They were the ones Jesus had to speak to in parables because seeing they did not see and hearing they did not hear. That means that their hearts were distant from God and yet God was deeply aware of their physical needs. Since God is the same and He changes not, He is just as concerned today with the physical needs of all of His creation. Incidentally, notice that God holds His disciples {ie. the church} responsible for meeting the practical and physical needs of the multitudes and because He does, He leaves them with no excuse when they fail to do so… for their source to bear such a hefty burden is the Lord Himself!

    As true and as impactful as the above observations are, the deeper reason that I am highlighting this verse is to gain knowledge of the word “faint” here spiritually speaking. The word “faint” is the Greek word #1590- “ eklyo” and Vine’s expository dictionary of New Testament words reveals that it means “to loose or release, to relax, or to become weary in the strife against sin. Taking these definitions into account, when Jesus directed the disciples to feed the multitudes with what they had lest they faint He was also metaphorically stating that it was the disciples responsibility to feed the multitudes the word of God that they had received lest - on their long journey- they decide to relax or become weary in obeying God!!!

    How does this affect us today and what are the implications in our own lives? Simple, first, understand that those with physical needs should come to the church first to have those needs met. Second, as new creatures, the little bit of food {God's Word} that we ourselves have is enough to feed multitudes with that word so that they are themselves full and there is enough still left over for us. Whatever you have on the inside of you is enough for you to share. You don’t have to wait until you “have enough” knowledge of the Word- just share what you have, and God will multiply it and feed anyone you share it with supernaturally. As well, whatever you have physically is enough for you to share as God will multiply that too when you respond to His directive- “You feed them."

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