(1-10) Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand
It wasn’t enough for Jesus to have compassion on the crowd – “Oh, the people are hungry; therefore, I pity them.” Jesus also had to act on His compassion. He did something positive about the people’s’ plight. In Matthew we read of how He fed the 5,000, and in this passage we read of how He fed 4,000 with only a small amount of food.
(11-13) The Pharisees Demand a Sign
When the Pharisees demanded a sign be given to them, Jesus the Christ sighed deeply in His spirit. Why? Because despite all the miracles He had already performed, they still did not believe. Above sickness and disease, demon possession, and hunger, unbelief distressed Jesus the most when He was here on earth. Unbelief shows that we do not trust that Christ is Who He says He is, and if we do not trust Christ, how can we trust God?
(14-21) The Leaven of the Pharisees and Herod
Jesus the Christ was making a spiritual point, but the disciples could only think of bread to eat. They were rebuked for their lack of understanding. It is not always immediately easy to grasp the meaning of Jesus’ teachings, but with prayer and study, our spiritual blindness will gradually be lifted.
(27-30) Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ
It’s fine to know what others think about Jesus. But it is imperative to know who we think Jesus is. He is the Christ, the Savior of the world.
(31-38) Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection
Jesus’ rebuke of Peter was so harsh and sudden because it was Satan who did not want Jesus to fulfill His mission. Satan only wanted Christ to die (tried to kill Him as a baby, tried to tempt Him as an adult, repeatedly pushed the religious leaders to try to stone Him). He wanted Christ to die before He made it to the cross because then God’s perfect plan to redeem all of mankind would be defeated. God, however, wanted His Son to die and rise again in order to bring salvation, hope, and eternal life to all of creation.
Favorite verse: (24) And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.”