By Arla, Oct 20 2020 01:00AM
After needed rest, Jesus and the twelve leave Phoenicia and sail across the lake to Decapolis between Gergesa and Gadara, where the demoniacs had been healed, and the people were afraid of him. This time, word gets out that Jesus is back, and the people come looking for him.
Jesus heals a man who can't hear or speak. Taking him aside, Jesus touches his tongue and his ears and sighs. Longing to open all ears who won't hear him, he says, "Be opened."
He climbs up a mountain to a wide level space, and the people bring their sick. He heals them all--heathen Gentiles!
For days they come and stay, eagerly taking in his words, sleeping under the stars at night. After three days their food is gone--4,000 men plus women and children. Jesus calls his disciples saying, "I can't send them home hungry. Some are far from home."
Again he hears, "Where would we get bread...? It's impossible," from his disciples. (These are Gentile pagans! Surely God won't feed them!)
But they follow Jesus' directions to bring what they have, and find seven loaves and two fish. Again, Jesus blesses it, and the disciples distribute, and everyone eats until satisfied. Again, he has them pick up the fragments so nothing is wasted--seven baskets!
But this time, the people leave, grateful; Gentiles "glorifying the God of Israel." Jesus himself is refreshed in spirit. "Pagans" have received him with gladness and faith.
Crossing the lake, he returns to those given the most, his own people, supposedly "believers" in God--and their unbelief. As he gets close a cloud of sadness settles on him.
Matthew 15:29-38, Mark 7:31-8:9