The miracles of Jesus feeding the 5,000 and the 4,000 are interesting. My new insight is this:
The first miracle – Matthew 14:13-21 – takes place in what the Jews called the “land of the twelve.” (The place where devout Jews from the 12 tribes of Israel continued to worship the Lord.) There were twelve baskets full of leftovers. Representing enough food to feed God’s people!
The second miracle – Matthew 15:29-39 – takes place in the Decapolis area east of Galilee which the Jews called the “land of the seven.” (There were 7 pagan nations driven from Israel by Joshua) There were seven baskets full of leftovers this time. Representing enough food to feed the pagans too!
Jesus is the Bread of Life and Savior of not only the Jews, but of the whole world!
In Matthew 14:22 and Mark 4, when Jesus tells the disciples to go to the “other side” of the lake, the disciples heard “other side” differently than we do. “Other side” culturally meant to the “land of the seven” where the devil lived and the sea was the place where evil spirits lived. This explains why they were terrified and called Jesus a ghost when they saw Him walking on the water. Jesus was showing them that He had power over these evil spirits and in a way kind of setting them up for the miracle which was to come, where He fed the 4,000 in the “land of the seven.”
Am I taking bread to people in the “land of the seven?” Do I love people who scare me? Have I gone to “the other side” with the Gospel?