Two more loaves, and few less people than last time. Day 15 begins with Jesus feeding just the four thousand people this time. Are his standards slipping? Actually Mark is telling us more than simply ‘Jesus did it again’ – he is setting the scene for a section on the disciples’ failure to grasp what was going on. Doh 


Today's reading is from Mark 8:1-21. You can find it on page 768 of your Higher Bible.
You can also read it online here.


Jesus is trying to warn the disciples about something important and their minds jump to, ‘Whose turn is it to pick up the Hovis?’ Double-doh! You know when your maths teacher has to repeat algebra to you a gazillion times and you still don’t get it? Well, Jesus probably felt like your deflated maths teacher right about now. You see, there’s no point simply flicking to the back of the textbook for the answers – you’ll learn nothing that way. Similarly, Jesus needs the disciples to start thinking for themselves. The bad yeast he’s warning them about is the diluted vision of God’s kingdom that the Pharisees are teaching. The Pharisees want God all to themselves, looking after their own business – more of a ‘genie-in-a-bottle’ than God. But Jesus’ vision reaches out to everyone: the sick are healed, the lonely befriended, the hungry are fed. The feeding of the four thousand isn’t a case of Jesus’ lack of imagination; it’s a sign so important that he repeats the miracle. Why? It demonstrates how Jesus is the food for life (elsewhere in the Bible he’s called, ‘the bread of life’, John 6:35). In other words, Jesus is enough to sustain your life, to satisfy your hunger. 


Jesus never threw the towel in with his disciples, despite them constantly missing the point. He won’t lose his rag with you either. Ask him to help you understand anything you’re struggling with so far in the Bible.

Live It

Today’s reading is a good warning for us not to get caught up in our own affairs at the expense of caring for others. Keep on the lookout for ways you can help others rather than helping yourself.


The argument between Jesus and the Pharisees today is a sure indicator that trouble is brewing fast. No wonder he wants the disciples to catch up, he knows he won’t be around much longer to explain it all. The road to the cross is edging nearer. Peter catches on fast in tomorrow’s Higher Bible reading. See you there!