“What food do we have with us?” Jesus asked His disciples.
“A few fishes and some loaves of bread,” they replied.
“Then have them all sit, we’ll feed them with this.”
Four thousand people had been following Jesus for the past three days now, and no one had brought any food with them. He was done teaching and was going to send them home, but He knew that in the hot sun, many would faint on their journey home. They needed food. So, in His deity, He took the seven loaves and a few fishes and multiplied it, and fed the thousands.
Mark says that “straightway” or “immediately,” He and His disciples left that area and went to a port called Dalmanutha. As they came ashore, they caught the eye of the Pharisees. The Pharisees were already skeptical of Jesus’ teachings, and they constantly wanted to challenge Him in public. This time, they came to Him and said “Show us a sign.” Basically, they were saying, “Prove you are deity. Do some marvelous work.” This was nonsense. He had just fed 4,000 people with 7 loaves of bread and a few fish. This would be like someone coming up to Michael Jordan and saying, “Here’s a basketball, let’s see if you can make a shot!” Mike could hand them the ball back and say, “Six NBA championships, 30,000 plus points scored in my career, get a VCR and go grab some old playoffs tapes. I don’t need to prove anything to you.”
These Pharisees had completely missed what had just happened possibly even earlier that day. Now they wanted to see for themselves the veracity of His deity claim. But He didn’t play along. He didn’t need to vindicate Himself to them. He didn’t need to prove to these unbelieving antagonists that He was God. He had come to minister and to care, not to stop the mouths of His opponents. His warfare was against Satan, not the spiritually blind, sign-seeking religious crowd. Where they became pawns of Satan, He would correct them, but other than that, He just maintained a healthy distance. Their “prove it to me now, or else” mentality was not the humble faith that He desired to work through. So they left, unchanged, unbelieving, unconverted.
Food For Thought: Read Romans 1:21-22. What phrase does Paul use to describe the mindset of these wise-feeling Pharisees?