7. a. Challenge:
- In Matthew 14:13, it seems Jesus withdrew to a remote place when he heard the news of his cousin’s violent death at Herod’s command.
- In Luke 13:31, some Pharisees warned Jesus to leave because Herod wanted to kill him. (On second thought, this probably occurred later.)
- Jesus must have heard Herod wondered if He was John the Baptist raised from the dead. (Luke 9:7-9)
- In Mark 6:30, the apostles returned and gathered around Jesus to report what they had done and taught. As the crowds began to gather around as well, Jesus suggested they withdraw to a quiet place to get some rest.
b. Jesus had compassion on the crowd’s physical and spiritual needs. He instructed the apostles not to send them away but to meet their needs.
8. a. The disciples wanted to send them away to nearby towns for food, assuming there was no way to provide for them there.
b. Jesus demonstrated that ministering to the needs of the people took precedence over time to themselves.
9. a. Jesus wants to feed us and minister to us directly rather than sending us out into the world to search for help.
Heidi Baker, a missionary in Mozambique, knows this miracle doesn’t have only spiritual application for today.
Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever!
b. He is a good, loving, fatherly shepherd who knows, sees, and cares about all of our needs. And He is capable and desires to do SO much more than we can ever think of or imagine.
c. Jesus knows our current financial needs. He comes through for us every time. A minister friend showed up at our door last month with so many boxes of food, we had to give some of it away to others in need. Then someone gave us an old truck we sold. The proceeds got us through two slow months and a very lovely, albeit scaled-down, Christmas season.
d. Be on the lookout for what the Lord is doing in the lives of others. Show His love and compassion. Offer to minister healing, offer to prepare a meal (I’m making turkey vegetable soup for a large family with a sick mom tomorrow), offer encouragement to the discouraged, and spread the love of Jesus.