Challenged

Another large crowd gathered together to hear Jesus speak.

When they had run out of food, Jesus called his disciples and told them, “I’m very concerned about these people. They’ve been here with us for three days and now they have nothing left to eat. If I send them home hungry, they’ll collapse on the way, for some of them have come a long distance.”

“Where can we find enough food to feed them out here in the wilderness?” asked his disciples.

“How much bread do you have?” asked Jesus.

“Seven loaves,” they said.

Then Jesus told all the people to sit down on the ground. He took the seven loaves, gave thanks, and broke them into pieces. Then he gave the pieces to his disciples, who distributed them to the crowd. A few small fish were found, too, so Jesus gave thanks and passed them on to the disciples for distribution.

They people ate as much as they wanted and, afterwards, the disciples picked up seven large baskets of leftover food. There were about four thousand in the crowd that day, and Jesus sent them home after they had eaten. When they had gone, he got into a boat with his disciples and crossed over to the region of Dalmanutha.

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had arrived, they came and started to argue with him. To test him, they demanded that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority.

When he heard this, he sighed deeply and said, “Why do these people keep demanding a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, no such sign will be given the.” Then he left them, got back into the boat and crossed to the other side of the lake.

The disciples, however, had forgotten to take any extra food and only had one loaf of bread between them in the boat. “Be careful,” warned Jesus. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and Herod.”

They began to discuss this comment with each other, saying, “It’s because we haven’t brought any bread.”

Jesus heard what they were saying, so he said, “Why are you talking about having no bread? Don’t you understand it even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? Do you have eyes, yet fail to see? Do you have ears, yet fail to hear? And don’t you remember? When I fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread, how many baskets of leftovers did you pick up afterwards?”

“Twelve,” they said.

“And when I fed the four thousand with seven loaves, how many baskets of leftovers did you pick up?”

“Seven,” they said.

“And do you still not understand?” he asked.

Mark

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