Verse 12 He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to it.”
To those of us who grew up hearing the story about Jesus feeding the 5000 this story of the 4000 may seem like a less worthy miracle but it is just as needed for the truth about Jesus and what He came to do.
It hadn’t been all that long since Jesus had performed the miracle of feeding the 5000 and yet the disciples seem to have forgotten what Jesus did with the 5 loaves and 2 fish. This crowd may not have been as big as the first one but it was a group of people that wanted to know Jesus more. They had been with Him for 3 days and He had healing all their ailments and been teaching as well. These people had a hunger for Him and His presence as well as the healing He offered.
His ministry among the people must have been something of a conundrum for the disciples. On the one hand they were His most intimate followers and yet there were all these people that kept vying for His attention. Yet, unlike the last time this had happened, it wasn’t the disciples that say the people need to go home, it was Jesus in His compassion. He fears that they haven’t had anything to eat and therefore will be weak as they go home. This leads Him to ask how much bread they have.
We can’t fault the disciples for their lack of faith and understanding about what He was capable. There are times we have a hard time believing that He is willing and wanting to do big things for us. Though there were less people to feed (at least less men to count) and there weren’t as many leftovers collected, this miracle held a very important role in Jesus’ ministry and that is seen in the response of Jesus’ adversaries, the Pharisees, who come to needle Him.
The Pharisees never miss an opportunity to try to discredit the Lord but this seems to be the worst timing. Why ask for a sign when He has just produced a meal for over 4000 people and with leftovers? He knew that if they couldn’t understand what had just happened no sign would help them see who He was. But for those who saw the miracle for what it was, their lives were forever changed.
Making It Personal
Have you ever questioned that something that was amazing could have been God working? What causes you to doubt God’s goodness in life? What do you need to acknowledge that He has done in your life?
Making It Personal Kids
Have you ever wondered if something that happened was Jesus doing something special? What makes you think it could have been something that Jesus did? Is there something that you need to thank Him for doing?
Father, thank You for doing great things among us even when we don’t see or acknowledge them. Give us hearts that desire to see Your working and that once seeing it we praise You and share it with others. In Jesus’ name, amen.