Jesus was all about doing what His Father told Him. The two miraculous feedings were NOT coincidental.
25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings [the King’s kids].
Matthew was all about presenting Jesus as the Jewish Messiah to his fellow Jews. In chapters 14 and 15, he gives us two accounts of Jesus feeding the masses in miraculous ways. They are Matthew 14:13-21 and 15:29-38. Let’s compare the two accounts.
Feeding #1: We find in Luke 9:10-11 that Jesus and the disciples have retreated to Bethsaida, which is at the top of the Sea of Galilee, Northeast of Capernaum. The crowd consisted of about 5000 Jewish men, not including women and children. Jesus fed them with a boy’s lunch, and they gathered up 12 small baskets of leftovers.
Feeding #2: According to Mark 7:31, they traveled to the region of the Decapolis (10 cities), which is on the East side of the Sea of Galilee, a decidedly Gentile area consisting of the people from seven nations. Here, Jesus fed them with a few small fish and some bread. In about 4000 men, not including women and children, they had 7 large baskets of leftovers.
The two miracles are nearly identical, except for the number, which was close, and the number of baskets of leftovers. Could it be that Jesus intended for the 12 small baskets to represent the 12 tribes of Israel and the 7 large baskets to represent the 7 nations in the Decapolis area? Why would Jesus make such a grandiose illustration?
Jesus told us in John 5:16-17 that He and the Father are always at work. He was in the process of expanding His kingdom. Ephesians 2:14-18 explains that Jesus was in the process of creating in Himself one new humanity out of the two [Israeli and Gentile], thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross. These two events announce the process of fusion through expansion of the Assembly (we will cover “the Assembly” tomorrow).
Abba, thank You for making peace in Your body through the cross. We are forever grateful. Amen.