By Toni Ford
In Chapter 8 of the Book of Mark we find the story of the feeding of the four thousand. people This story shows us a beautiful picture of not only our Father’s heart for ALL people but also skills needed to be an effective leader.
Let’s take a look at this story from Mark, Chapter 8:
A heart of compassion. Mark 8:2-3 says, “I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will faint along the way. For some of them have come a long distance.” Jesus had compassion for the people, not only spiritually but physically.
Prayer of thanksgiving comes first. The disciples asked Jesus how were they going to find enough food in the wilderness to feed all four thousand people. Jesus asked the disciples to bring Him what they did have, which was seven loaves of bread and a few small fish. Mark 8:6-7 says, “So Jesus told all the people to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves, thanked God for them, and broke them into pieces. A few small fish were found, too, so Jesus also blessed these and told the disciples to distribute them.” Jesus did not complain or panic based on what He saw in the natural. Instead, He thanked His Heavenly Father for what was there and trusted His father to take the natural and turn it into supernatural. He also knew His Father shared the same heart as His, which was a compassion and love for the people and their needs.
Delegated and empowered His disciples. Mark tells us that Jesus had the disciples gather the food, distribute the food and collect the leftovers. Each step was important and played a significant role in the disciples learning and seeing not only the heart of their Father and leader but also learning how to lead themselves. They were part of the miracle that took place, and each step allowed their own faith to be strengthened in Jesus. As a result of their faith being strengthened, they were then able to go out and do even more miracles in His name!
I love how this story ends in verses 8-10: “They ate as much as they wanted. Afterward the disciples picked up seven large baskets of leftover food…Jesus sent them home after they had eaten. Immediately after this, he got into a boat with his disciples and crossed over to the region of Dalmanutha.”
Not only does Jesus see our spiritual and physical needs but also always knows what is best for each of us. The very fact that there were seven baskets of leftover food is also His heart to show us that He is always working on our behalf to do more for us in the spiritual realm than what we can see in the natural realm.
Thank Him today for His heart of compassion for you, and that He is always working for your good!