Today’s reading: Matthew 15:21-39
Some quick notes about Jesus second miracle of loaves and fishes – the feeding of the four thousand.
First, what is interesting is WHERE this happens. Jesus is in Tyre and Sidon and exorcises a demon from the Canaanite woman’s daughter. Afterward, He “passed along the Sea of Galilee”. These are in the northern part of Israel on the border with the gentile territory. Then we see Jesus work many miracles and the people don’t just give thanks to God but they, “worship the God of Israel”. In other words, the feeding of the four thousand is the gentile equivalent of the feeding of the five thousand. Most likely intended to show that the gospel will come to the gentile’s as well.
Second, notice that the language used to describe the miracle is precisely the same. Jesus took bread offered from the crowd, He blesses it giving thanks, He breaks it and then he gives it. Again, this is looking forward to the last supper.
Third, notice also, HOW the bread is distributed. Jesus does not give it out directly to the crowd. The crowd does not come forward and take it themselves. It is given the Apostles to be distributed to the crowd. Jesus is the Word incarnate and He says that He is the bread of life. The Apostles are his ministers, who bring the word and the bread to the people. This is pattern that Jesus will repeatedly endorse and establish a Church.
Tomorrow: Matthew: 16