"Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. 31 And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. 32 So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.
33 But the multitudes saw them departing, and many knew Him and ran there on foot from all the cities. They arrived before them and came together to Him. 34 And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things. 35 When the day was now far spent, His disciples came to Him and said, “This is a deserted place, and already the hour is late. 36 Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread; for they have nothing to eat.”
37 But He answered and said to them, “You give them something to eat.”
And they said to Him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?”
38 But He said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.”
And when they found out they said, “Five, and two fish.”
39 Then He commanded them to make them all sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in ranks, in hundreds and in fifties. 41 And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all. 42 So they all ate and were filled. 43 And they took up twelve baskets full of fragments and of the fish. 44 Now those who had eaten the loaves were about five thousand men."A new idea struck me as I was reading this account. I have often heard this explained as the 12 baskets full were representative of the 12 tribes of Israel and the 7 baskets full which were picked up in the feeding of the 4,000 (Mark 8:1-10) were indicative of the 7 Gentile nations occupying the Promised Land. I don't discount that--as I have often heard--the Bible is like an onion--you peel off one layer to discover another underneath--but this morning the meaning seemed very simple to me. As you see in verse 31, it says "they did not even have time to eat" because of the crowds. Could it be the 12 baskets full was one way of showing how much Jesus cares for His own? He made sure there was an abundance.
One of the footnotes in the Bible I was reading said the baskets in the feeding of the 5,000 were probably the lunch baskets which were carried on their bodies as they travelled. It seems to only make sense that Jesus wanted to make certain the disciples also had food after feeding everyone else so He made sure their lunch baskets were full. This explanation seems plausible, especially when it was mentioned they hadn't "even had time to eat."
I looked at the feeding of the 4,000 to see if this idea was indicated there. I found in this story the disciples had 7 loaves of bread which they gave to be used to feed the multitude. There were 7 baskets full left over. The footnotes for this story said these were probably not the lunch baskets often used, but probably larger baskets. Isn't it just like Jesus to return more than they gave!
Both stories seem to indicate how much Jesus cares for each person. No one was left out and all received in abundance.
Isn't He a wonderful Savior?
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