Page 6 - October 2021 - Truth & Tidings
P. 6

ere we conclude the large section   rative counted worthy of inclusion in the
               (1:14-8:21) in which the activity   record when there are so many similari-
        Hof the Lord is prominent. Three      ties between the two events? The answer
        cycles of activity have emphasised the   is that there are also striking differences.
        Lord’s Authority (1:14-3:6), Ability (3:7-  In these distinctions Mark’s reason for
        6:6a) and Adversity (6:6b-8:21).      inclusion is to be discerned. We will list
          Each cycle has ended in disappoint-  a few contrasting features to draw out
        ment: hostility (3:6), unbelief (6:6) and   the lesson.
        misunderstanding  (8:21).  The  perfect   First, the location was different and the
        Servant  was  opposed,  distrusted  and   audience much more diverse. In contrast
        misunderstood, even though His service   with the feeding of the 5000, the feeding
        was exemplary. While it may be expected   of the 4000 took place on the eastern shore
        that civil and religious authorities would   of the Sea of Galilee. The crowd on this
        oppose Him, it is particularly sad to note   second occasion was, therefore, a mixed
        that His neighbours from Nazareth did   multitude of Jews and pagan Gentiles.
        not believe in Him, and His own disciples   Second, while the 5000 had remained
        misunderstood His teaching.           with the Lord for one day, the 4000 were
          In recent articles we have considered   with him for three days. Yet the disciples
        the adversity of Herod and the Pharisees   had not, on this second occasion, raised
        to the Lord and His disciples. The Lord   the issue of their need of food as they did
        encouraged His disciples in the face of   with the first crowd. It was the Lord who
        political pressure and exemplified to His   personally raised the need of the 4000 with
        disciples the proper response to religious   the disciples: “I have compassion on the
        opposition. Following on from exposing   crowd, because they have been with me
        the Enmity, Externalism, Exclusivism and   now three days and have nothing to eat.
        Egotism  of  the  Pharisees  in  chapter  7,   And if I send them away hungry to their
        Mark records two more events which re-  homes, they will faint on the way. And
        emphasise and underline this message in   some of them have come from far away”
        8:1-13 before concluding with a warning   (8:2-3 ESV). The Lord is, therefore, delib-
        to His disciples in 8:14-21.          erately instigating this act of compassion
        The Exclusivism of the Pharisees      toward the mixed multitude.
        Revisited (8:1-9)                       Third, while the disciples had to check
          The feeding of the 4000 is not as famous   for food for the 5000, they already knew
        as the feeding of the 5000. Mark records   they had seven loaves and a few small
        both incidents. But why is this second nar-  fish on the occasion of the 4000. Having

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