Bible Readings and Devotion for July 12 & 13, 2020
Here are the references for the readings. Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:
Devotion for July 12 & 13, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
The feeding of the 5,000 with the fishes and loaves is the one ministry miracle which is noted in all four Gospel books. Two common ideas which come out of this are:
- Jesus has miraculous power, and this show who he is – the Messiah and God the Son.
- We are encouraged to share our resources of food so that all may be fed, so that nobody goes hungry.
These are both good and wonderful things. There is another teaching which comes from this which is less often noted.
There are actually two miraculous feedings shown in the Gospels. The most well-known is the feeding of the 5,000. The other is the feeding of the 4,000, which is in our reading from Mark 8.
The two miraculous feedings take place in different locations. The feeding of the 5,000 takes place in a Jewish territory. The feeding of the 4,000 takes place in a Gentile, or non-Jewish, territory.
The leftovers are different amounts. With the feeding of the 5,000, the leftovers are 12 baskets full of fishes and loaves. With the feeding of the 4,000, the leftovers are 7 baskets of fishes and loaves.
Faithful Christian teachers have worked through the meaning of this, beyond what I note at the beginning of this devotion. The interpretation of God’s meaning in these locations and leftovers is as follows:
The feeding of the 5,000 was in a Jewish territory. The 12 baskets are to remind us of the 12 Tribes of Israel. The ministry of Jesus is for the Jews, the ones through whom the promises, prophecies, and the family line of David has been brought to us.
The feeding of the 4,000 was in a Gentile territory. The 7 baskets are to remind us of the 7 neighboring nations to the 12 Tribes of Israel. The ministry of Jesus is also for those outside the Jewish community.
There were many ideas about the Messiah, the Christ, throughout the time leading up to Jesus. Often there were debates about whether or not God’s Messiah was just for the Jews, or for all people. The message of the actions of Jesus in these two feedings is that God loves all the world, both Jews and Gentiles. This is wonderful news, for that mean that most, if not all, of those reading this get to be part of God’s saving work in Jesus Christ. God loves the whole world.
Almighty God, you sent your Son Jesus Christ to reconcile the world to yourself. We praise and bless you for those whom you have sent in the power of the Spirit to preach the gospel to all nations. We thank you that in all parts of the earth a community of love has been gathered together by their prayers and labors, and that in every place your servants call upon your name; for the kingdom and the power and the glory are yours forever. Amen
Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.