Matthew 15:32-39: Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.” 33 His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?” 34 “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked.
“Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.” 35 He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. 36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people.37 They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 38 The number of those who ate was four thousand men, besides women and children.39 After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan.
Is this a rerun of the feeding of the five thousand? There are some commentators that say it was the same story told with different facts and numbers. The same commentators try to undermine the faithfulness of the Scriptures in other places as well. But Jesus said that the “Scriptures cannot be broken.”
Haven’t you experienced similar events in your own life, events where you would think that you had learned your lesson only to have to learn it all over again? You run into a problem life and you worry about the outcome. Then, out of nowhere, God solves your problem. A few years later, you run into the same difficulty in your life, and it’s as if you forgot how God provided the first time. And God solves your problem again. It seems that the disciples had to learn the lesson that Jesus taught with the miracle of the loaves all over again.
God provides us with our daily bread. Even when we don’t notice. Even when we fail to give thanks. Even when we doubt because our cupboards are bare. God is forever faithful even when we are not.
Prayer: Lord God, thank you for providing for my daily bread, even without my asking and certainly without my deserving it. If I have not learned the lesson of your faithfulness from my experience, then teach me from the Scriptures that you faithfully provide for the needs of your people. Amen.
马太福音 16:1-4 约拿的神迹和复活的神迹
Matthew 16: 1-4: The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. 2 He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away.
马太福音 16:1-4 法利赛人和撒都该人来试探耶稣，请他从天上显个神迹给他们看。 耶稣回答说：“晚上天发红，你们就说：‘天必要晴。’ 早晨天发红，又发黑，你们就说：‘今日必有风雨。’你们知道分辨天上的气色，倒不能分辨这时候的神迹。 一个邪恶淫乱的世代求神迹，除了约拿的神迹以外，再没有神迹给他看。”耶稣就离开他们去了。
The Pharisees and Sadducees demanded that Jesus show them a sign from heaven to prove that he was the Messiah. The fact is that Jesus had already shown them signs, and they still refused to believe. He still storms, fed the thousands, healed the sick and even raised the dead. What kind of sign could Jesus do that would satisfy their unbelief? When he rose Lazarus from the dead, they said, “Now he’s really done it!” and made plans to kill Jesus. They could read the signs in the sky for good weather or foul, but they could not read the signs that proved that Jesus was the Son of God.
法利赛人和撒都该人都要求耶稣从天上显个神迹给他们看，证明他就是弥赛亚。其实耶稣在此前已经给他们行过了神迹，他们却是不信。他平静过风浪，在旷野喂饱了几千人，医治了各样的病人，甚至使死人复活。面对他们的不信，耶稣还能用什么样的神迹呢? 当他让拉撒路从死里复活的时候，他们说:“他真是上帝的儿子!” 但那之后呢？他们却计划杀死耶稣。他们能看懂天气的征兆，无论是好天气还是坏天气，但是他们不明白那些表明耶稣是上帝之子的神迹。
The only sign that they would receive is the sign of Jonah. Jesus’ is referring to his resurrection. Just as Jonah came out of the belly of the fish in three days, so Jesus would come out of the bowels of the earth in three days. If there is one sign that proves Jesus is true God and that he has accomplished what God sent the Messiah to do, it is the miracle of his resurrection. This sets Jesus apart from all other people who started a religion (Mohammed, Confucius, Buddha, etc.). No one else ever rose from the dead. But they would not even believe the resurrection of Jesus, even when they had to bribe the soldiers to lie what happened.
“He is risen! He is risen indeed!” says the Christian Church on Easter Sunday and in their hearts every day. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the only sign that we will every need. Our hope is in him who conquered sin and death and hell!
Prayer: Dear Jesus, I don’t need any evidence to believe in you except what you have given me in your death and resurrection from the dead. Satan cannot accuse me when I know you rose from the grave to seal the deal for my justification. Death cannot terrorize me when I know that I will rise again. Help me to celebrate Easter every day of the year! Amen.