Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Morning Psalms: 97, 99, 100 | Evening Psalms: 94, 95
Genesis 49:29—50:14 | 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 | Mark 8:1-10
Today’s reading in Mark should feel familiar to us since the main plot is not unique. There is one other feeding of a crowd recorded in chapter 6:30-44. After both feedings, Mark takes the time to note how much food is left over, which, if we are doing good Bible study, should make us ask why? We can answer that question a number of different ways, one of which is dependent on us noticing who is eating in order to understand Mark’s point.
In the earlier feeding, Jesus provides for a Jewish crowd and 12 baskets of food were left. In the Bible, the number 12 is frequently associated with God’s sovereign selection and plan for Israel. The passage for today occurs after Jesus and His disciples have travelled to the Decapolis, a Greek region of ten cities, as we see in Mark 7:31. So, Jesus feeds a Gentile crowd and 7 baskets of food are left. In the Bible, the number 7 is associated with perfection and/or completion.
What then are we to make of this? Here in the feedings, Mark shows how God’s plan of salvation was initiated with His selection of the Israelites to be His people but must include the Gentiles as well to bring His perfect plan to completion. There are many people still waiting to hear that God had them in mind when He went to the cross. This is good news and we should always be on the lookout for God given chances to share it in a loving and winsome way.
Almighty God, we thank You for raising up the line of Abraham so that we all may be counted among Your people. As You once opened our eyes to Your love, grant that through us You might open the eyes of another, bringing them closer to the full knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Mark Hottel
MAR Student
Westlake, Ohio


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