- Jesus is preaching to a large gathering of Gentiles and does not want to send them away hungry, concerned that they may not make the journey home without food.
- Even though they have already seen Him provide for a large crowd in the past, the disciples still wonder where they could get enough food.
- He takes 7 loaves, which becomes enough to feed 4,000+ people with 7 basketfuls leftover.
- When Jesus heads back to the other side of the lake, the Pharisees ask for a miraculous sign, to which Jesus refuses.
- Jesus warns his disciples to watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod, but they misunderstand and think He is referring to the fact that they only brought one loaf of bread.
- He then points out to them the significance of the remaining basketfuls from the two times he fed the large crowds, 12 and 7.
- In Bethsaida, a blind man is brought to Jesus. Rather than sticking with the crowd, Jesus removes him to outside the village. Jesus spits on the man’s eyes, lays hands on him, and asks if he can see anything. His vision is not completely restored as he can see tree-like figures walking. Jesus lays hands once more and the man’s vision is restored. Jesus tells the man not to go into the village, but to return home.
- While traveling around Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asks his disciples who people think He is. After they reply, He asks who they think He is. Peter replies that Jesus is the Christ.
- Now that they have acknowledged that He is the Christ, Jesus explains that he must suffer and die at the hands of the religious leaders.
- Peter takes him aside and rebukes him, to which Jesus replies with a stronger rebuke, saying that Peter is not considering God’s plan but rather the plan of man.
- Jesus calls the crowd and his disciples and tells them that to follow Him one must take up their cross. In this paradigm shift, whoever tries to save their own life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for Jesus and for the Good News will save it.
- He ends with saying that He will be ashamed of anyone who is ashamed of Himself and His words.
There are a lot of applications I could see from today’s text, one that jumps out at me is being aware of what God is up to/seeing the signs (feeding the crowds, recognizing the miracles as evidence of the Christ, etc). But I want to focus in on the daily need to pick up my cross. This takes conscious effort as every day I must choose to put aside myself and live for Christ. The things and desires of this world will bog me down, but there is nothing in this world that I could gain that would replace my need for Christ. Nothing I have can be traded for my salvation.
Heavenly Father, right now I am reminded of my consistent need for you. There is nothing I can do on my own and there is nothing I can possess that can get me to you. Please give me the strength of mind to turn away from those they I do not need so I can better focus on joining you on your mission. I pray that you continue to use me and grow me into the likeness of your son. It is in His powerful name that I pray, amen.
Posted on Fri, July 24, 2015
by Brian Landers