Faith is a Spiritual Muscle
STEVE McKENZIE   -  

Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand

lIn 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, m“I have compassion on the crowd,because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And if I sendthem away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way. And some of them have comefrom far away.” And his disciples answered him, “How can one feed these people withbread here in this desolate place?” And he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?”They said, n“Seven.” And he directed the crowd to sit down on the ground. And he tookthe seven loaves, and ohaving given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciplesto set before the people; and they set them before the crowd. And they had a few smallfish. And phaving blessed them, he said that these also should be set before them. Andqthey ate and were satisfied. And they took up the broken pieces left over, nseven basketsfull. And there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away. 10 Andimmediately he got into rthe boat with his disciples and went to the district ofsDalmanutha.1

The Pharisees Demand a Sign

11 tThe Pharisees came and began to argue with him, useeking from him va sign fromheaven wto test him. 12 And xhe sighed deeply yin his spirit and said, “Why does thisgeneration seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” 13 Andzhe left them, got into the boat again, and went to the other side.

The Leaven of the Pharisees and Herod

14 Now they had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in theboat. 15 And he cautioned them, saying, “Watch out; abeware of bthe leaven of thePharisees and the leaven of cHerod.”2 16 And they began discussing with one another thefact that they had no bread. 17 And dJesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why are youdiscussing the fact that you have no bread? eDo you not yet perceive for understand? fAreyour hearts hardened? 18 gHaving eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear?And do you not remember? 19 When I broke hthe five loaves for the five thousand, howmany baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” They said to him, “Twelve.” 20 “Andithe seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?”And they said to him, “Seven.” 21 And he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”