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Rev. Peter Greiner

Sun 9 Aug

They say that a good learning tool is repetition. To learn something you repeat it over and over in your mind. When I studied languages at Bible College – Greek and Hebrew – it required repetition. New alphabets were required. Grammars were different. Repetitive learning was required.

As we come to the incident of the feeding of the 4,000, one can ask why it is included when there is a feeding of 5,000 in the previous chapter. What had the disciples not learnt from the previous feeding of a multitude that they needed to relearn? Or was the repeat lesson meant for someone else?

Jesus’ followers were consistently on a steep learning curve no matter where they went. They were learning off the Messiah how to heal and restore people, and sometimes they weren’t successful and Jesus had to step in. They were learning from Jesus that He could calm storms and cast out demons.

We learnt last week that they were to take the good news to the Gentiles. People they were not on the best of terms with. Had they learnt last week’s lesson? How many lessons has God given us in taking the good news out? We have a community that is fearful, frustrated, angry, uncertain of what the future holds. Let us display the compassion of Jesus to them, just as Jesus had compassion for those who sat on the ground and listened to Him.