Jesus Feeds Four Thousand

Open Your Bible

Mark 8:1-38, Mark 9:1, 2 Samuel 7:10-16, Daniel 7:13-14

In today’s society, we are familiar with the term “followers.” From big-time celebrities to your neighbor next door, we all have a group of people who “follow” us because they want a look into our lives—they want to know who we are and what we are about. We sometimes follow others because we want to emulate their marriage, parenting style, home décor, or eating habits. We think we are getting a clear picture on who this person actually is just by following pieces of their story. When Jesus invited His disciples to follow Him, He was asking them to watch what He did and learn from Him. Little did they know what Jesus was actually inviting them into. He wasn’t just asking them to take bits and pieces of His teachings; He wanted them to learn to emulate His whole life. 

His followers watched as He took a few loaves of bread and fish and fed four thousand people. Not four, not forty, not four hundred, but four thousand people! Yet, the disciples still did not quite understand who they were following (Mark 8:21). They observed closely as He healed a blind man with the spit from His mouth and the palm of His hands. A miracle! Yet, some still didn’t really understand who they were following. So Jesus asked them, “But you…who do you say that I am?” (v.29).

If we choose to follow Him, it’s important to ask ourselves, “Who is Jesus?” Because, unlike a celebrity we can choose to follow or unfollow with little to no consequence, following Jesus costs us our lives. Jesus said, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me and the gospel will save it” (Mark 8:34–35). 

So, who is Jesus? 

Peter wisely replies, “You are the Messiah” (Mark 8:29). The Greek word used for Messiah here is Christos, which means “anointed one.” Peter recognized that Jesus was more than a magician or healer; He is the Son of God. He is the anointed King described in Daniel 7:13–14, the one who has been given dominion and glory and a kingdom that will never be destroyed. 

The disciples were following the King of kings, and we have the opportunity to follow Him too. But we must discern the truth: Do our perceptions of Jesus flow from who He actually is? Or have we designed our own “personalized” Jesus, one whose teachings we can take or leave, depending on how we feel about them? As we learn to follow Jesus wholeheartedly, He continues to teach us more about Himself than we could imagine. Feeding four thousand people, healing the blind—these were just the start. 

(62) Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

62 thoughts on "Jesus Feeds Four Thousand"

  1. June Pimpo says:

    Yes and wow. Following Jesus costs us our lives. It is true. It is a shift in priorities and lifestyle when we agree to follow Him. Lord, speak to my heart today and show me what it looks like to follow you.

  2. Katie Goodson says:

    Can someone explain the scarfs?

  3. Susan Lincks says:

    Jesus will always give me what I truly need. Even though I do not treat Jesus right, He never lets me down.

  4. Diana Davis says:

    This really made me question who I decide to “follow” and why

  5. Beverly Reed says:

    I love that he gave thanks for the bread and fish even though it didn’t seem like enough at first. It reminds me to always thank the Lord for what I have

  6. Jocelyn Ledbetter says:


  7. Brandy Deruso says:

    Lord i give my life to you.

  8. Marianna Kwan says:

    Who is Jesus to me? Something I want to reflect on. He is one that does indeed care for both my physical and spiritual needs. He is the only one who can save; I am amazed that whenever I feel exhausted – it’s always because I’m not coming to the source of all healing and knowledge and truth but rather relying on myself to further my own plans. Following Jesus is freedom. Freedom to lay down my life, my plans, my interests, my sickness. He offers a better way. I just need to take his hand

  9. Sumire Arai says:

    which shall not pass away

  10. Monique Simmons says:

    This is amazing. Opened my eyes so much.

  11. Dom Sch says:

    V34-35 have stood out so much to me lately. The older I get and the closer I get to Jesus, I realize how we have to “lose” our life for him. I know one day it could be literally and not figuratively and I pray I am ready for that.

  12. Taylor Landers says:

    So good, Addy! Yes—daily acts of obedience, choosing to follow Him in every moment, helps us to see and know Jesus more clearly!

  13. Addy says:

    I am coming to the reading later today, but I was so touched how Jesus expressed compassion for the croup telling his disciples, “If I send them home, they will collapse along the way.” Reading that I felt warm and fuzzy inside that Jesus like a good father or older brother cares for our well being. In the middle of a hectic crowd he tells his disciples that the needs of the people need to be met. He cares for our spiritual and physical needs. Wow! We have such a good savior!

    I find the Healing a Blind Man story fitting right after the exchange between Jesus and his disciples, “don’t you understand yet” just like the blind man could only seeing with blurry vision after Jesus touched him the first time he depended on Jesus to work again to see clearly. Coming to Jesus once isn’t enough to see clearly, we need to keep coming back and read the truth everyday!

  14. TJ D says:

    Wow ! I totally agree ! All I can say is Amen Amen Amen !

  15. Nicole Calvert says:

  16. Adrienne * says:

    Who do WE say He is? ❤️ Let’s live what we know, right?

  17. Adrienne * says:

    If we take out the parts of the Bible we don’t like and bits of Jesus too… it is not the Bible. We must take it all, even the hard parts and follow Him, no matter what. So hard, huh? (It is for me anyway!)

  18. Paula Strong says:

    Jesus gives us so much more. He wants us to give him us our lives but he gives us such a better life. I remember worrying about my money and not really tithing but now I give my tithe first and it’s amazing how far my money goes. It’s not my money just like it’s not my life. It’s better.

  19. Anastasia Broadus says:

    One thing that I don’t believe a lot of people know or believe if the fact that it “costs us our lives” it truly does. I wouldn’t have it any other way and I am grateful that I do not have to figure it out without Him. Thank you Jesus!

  20. Mercy says:

    There is no cost to follow someone on Instagram, on Facebook or on Youtube, just hit a button, but it costs us everything to follow Jesus. Amen. I did not know this cost when I was first invited to believe in Jesus, when I took the class before my Baptism, I was not introduced the cost of “dying completely”, the trial process, the refining of character through fire – the cost. I was hit by surprise immediately by waves of crazy events after receiving Jesus. This is one of the reasons I feel can some believers fall away in their faith walk, I witnessed some struggles, as the refining part comes, harsh trials arise, they never know the cost up front, they drift away. I was among them. If there had not been for a thing called Grace, Deep Grace, Amazing Grace, Abundant Grace, Invisible Grace, I wouldn’t be able to hold on to this narrow path, and pay that cost. And the beautiful thing is, He that purchased me, together with me, by His strength, each day He gives me the resources to pay the cost. If there is no brokenness, we won’t know He can heal. If there is no falling away, we won’t know He is faithful to receive us back. If there is no hunger, we won’t know He is the bread of life. I am thankful for the steep cost, and I am willing to pay, because He is worth it.

  21. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I pray I would follow after who Jesus truly is. I don’t want to follow after my own idea of who Jesus is. I want my life to reflect my belief that Jesus is the Messiah.

  22. Chelsea Little says:

    Great observation!

  23. Karen Adams says:

    Beautiful. This is my prayer today too. ❤️

  24. Ana Valenzuela says:

    I, myself am learning to emulate Christ. I feel my mind has been renewed and I give Him thanks every day. I know I have been transformed bc I no longer am the same person. I give my life to Him and will raise faithful children in His mighty name.

  25. KJ Johnson says:

    Linda I take it as a picture of the abundance of God. He doesn’t at time just meet our needs but gives us abundantly more than we ask or need- he’s so precious,

  26. Terany Garnett says:

    I want to control my life and it’s a daily struggle but I’m getting better at believing Jesus when He tells me that He will never leave me. God has been giving me success in brokenness, so that I can depend solely on Him. I want it this way so I can continue to learn from my creator who lives within me. I wish I was perfect and I didn’t disappoint but that unrealistic I wasn’t born to be perfect, I was born to show my community to continue fighting for the relationship and God will do the rest to help me.

  27. Bev says:

    In CH 6, Jesus used a boy’s Lunchable to feed 5,000. Today, Jesus asks his disciples, “How many loaves do *you* have?” — He was asking them to give up their *personal* food!
    How easy is it to be generous with other people’s money?
    #truth: We are safe giving everything we ‘have’ to Jesus. God will provide out of His abundance.

  28. Jos ByHisGrace says:

    Thank you Lynne Cox

  29. Jos ByHisGrace says:

    Most of people here that really seeks Jesus are those who are in need, afflicted, in despair. Those situation brought them to encounter Jesus, The King of Kings, personally. This truth somehow starts to change my perspective on suffering…..

  30. Melody Bates says:

    That last paragraph is very convicting. How often do we, myself included, wrap up Jesus in this picture of who we think He should be, instead of looking at who He really is?

  31. Dorothy says:

    Bailey mention about how Jesus wanted the disciples to emulate Him. I want to emulate Him in what I do. I want people to know I’m a Christian not by my words but by my actions, by what I do and how I do it. Christ is my Savior and I plan on trying to live a life that emulate Him.
    Lord, help me to live and walk in Your ways and when I do stray bring me back as quickly as you can. Amen.
    Have a great day sisters.

  32. Lucy Goodwin says:

    @m h , I can see that being the reason!!

  33. Katarina Friedman says:

    Who is Jesus? That is a great question that I have realize over the last few years has been shaped by my experience with others and my family then what it truly says about God. I have always been a huge people pleaser and I realize that there are times that I try to earn Gods love or try to fix the problem before coming to him because that is how it was in my family. Perfection is not a thing and is not obtainable but I need to remember daily who Jesus is and approach him that why instead of my false pretense. Jesus wants me and all of us just the way we are

  34. Laurel says:

    Thank you for speaking my heart today…and on many other days.

  35. Christie Beyeler says:


  36. Lynne Cox says:

    Thoughts From Mark 8:25:
    Jesus didn’t abandon (get mad or frustrated with) the man when he could not see clearly at first. Jesus stayed with him & touched him again. The man didn’t give up after the first attempt to see either. He was honest with Jesus with what he could see, and then “looked intently & was restored”. Oh how I love Jesus!! We can always tell Jesus with all honesty where we are at, what we’re struggling with to see. As we intentionally look for Him, we’ll find that He is already right with us.

  37. Maura says:

    He is so good. Beautiful prayer Jenn, thank you. Indeed, Churchmouse such a good reminder of what our prayers are meant to be. So thankful for His grace for me as I ponder this morning all the times He has provided for my needs, whether they have been necessities, physical, mental, spiritual. He is the Bread of Life, and is the same yesterday, today and forever. When the disciples are discussing that they only have one loaf of bread on the boat, when Jesus is right there. The very One who just fed 4,000. I realize how many times I have wondered how I would manage something when the One who has always been there has not ever left me. My head going to the size of what is needed instead of coming to my Provider, who has never failed me and asking for His blessing and provision. Lord forgive me when I don’t seek you first, humble this old heart may I lay it all before you with trust in Your faithfulness and goodness for your loving kindness never fails. Hugs to you Sisters. He is more than able. And so worthy of all honor and glory and praise.

  38. M H says:

    @Lucy Goodwin, I think it was because He had more to do in His ministry. It was not yet time for Him to be crucified. Too many people knowing might have accelerated the pace. Look at John 7:1-9. That might help. God bless you!

  39. Taylor says:

    Jenn, I also echo your prayer today. Thank you for sharing that with us! How stubborn/selfish am I that I so constantly put my concerns over God’s? Thank you for whoever wrote in the comments “I must surrender my life in order to find it.” I wrote that in my journal as a reminder – especially in this very season of life that I’m in. Also challenged by following the whole Jesus, as I know I’m guilty of trying to “take and leave” certain teachings.

  40. Makayla White says:

    I assumed having 12 leftover baskets was symbolic of each of the 12 disciples having their own basket to eat from and not be hungry or one for each of the 12 tribes of Israel.

  41. Claire says:

    Why is it when I hit reply to someone’s post it jumps it to the top and not under the person/thought I am replying to? When we first started this years ago it did. One of the reasons I don’t post often, I don’t know where it will end up. Help?

  42. Claire B says:

    Exactly, well said

  43. Lynn Walker says:

    In response to Jenn’s prayer.

  44. Lynn Walker says:

    Yes and Amen..this is my prayer also.

  45. Gina says:

    “You are the Christ!” The Messiah. The Anointed One. Truly amazing! They were following the King of Kings. And we are privileged to follow Him as well. Not only follow Him, but carry His very Spirit in our hearts. Truly honored. Truly blessed.

  46. Linda Gilbow says:

    Is the main lesson of feeding the 4,000 to show who Jesus is? Is there a meaning behind the leftover baskets?

  47. Katie Christy says:

    Reading that part also affected me-who is Jesus? Am I really understanding who He is, or am I building something in my mind that is what I WANT to believe? Glad we have a community here and also my church community that all helps point the way to things that are true.

  48. ERB says:

    I LOVE Bailey’s question at the end: “ Do our perceptions of Jesus flow from who He actually is? Or have we designed our own “personalized” Jesus, one whose teachings we can take or leave, depending on how we feel about them?” This is SUCH an encouragement and also an exhortation. We must follow Jesus/God/HolySpirit WHOLEHEARTEDLY!!! ❤️

    I also took NOTE of what Jesus said to Peter (Mark 8: 33) “Get behind me, Satan! You are not thinking about God’s concerns but human concerns.” …can you imagine being called Satan? Whoa!!! Jesus knew Peter’s heart..that it was FOR Him and not against Him… but still He had to say “get behind me Satan” …this tells me that Jesus was tempted every single day but CHOSE to be SO in-tune with His Father that He could EASILY see when a temptation was approaching and he told it to BACK-OFF!!!! What an AMAZING example of FAITH and TRUST!!!! Also, notice that Peter didn’t get offended…how AWESOME is that?!!

  49. Deanna says:

    Bessie, I agree. And I feel as if I know exactly how Jesus does when he “sighed deeply” because I do it with my kids weekly!

  50. Melissa Mcronney says:


  51. Door holder says:

    Our church spent twelve weeks in Mark this past fall and the way my pastor explained the chapter 8 healing of the blind man has stayed with me. Jesus, who we saw yesterday can heal a woman’s daughter when he’s not even in the same area, choose to not fully heal the man’s eyesight on the first go round. The blind man could now see, but only blurry images. The second time Jesus placed his hand on the man’s eyes brought full sight. Our pastor explained that the first way of viewing Jesus is often how the disciples (and ourselves!) can view Him. Hazy, not so sure who He is or what He is about. May we, us “shes” and readers of the Word, see Jesus and His purposes, will for us, etc. more clearly the more we study and stay in scriptures.

  52. Bessie H says:

    The verse that jumped out at me was Mark 8:12, ‘and he sighed deeply in his soul’
    Here Jesus was among them, teaching and performing miracles and they wanted one more sign. It made me think about how I can get so obsessed with myself that I miss the fact that Jesus is right here. How often does He sigh deeply that I still don’t get it?

  53. Lisa Spodnik says:

    Jenn- thank you for this prayer. I am praying it too. I needed those words. Grateful.

  54. Debbie S says:


  55. Kate Condran says:

    Struck especially by the questions at the end of the devotional- am I following after Jesus or a “Jesus” I’ve constructed based on things I listen to or choose not to listen to…. humbling to think about.

  56. Mary CumbiePrince says:

    I needed the reminder of the cost today. This year has been long and hard for me, but suffering has always been part of the Christian life. I must surrender my life in order to find it.

  57. Heidi says:

    I see that too, Churchmouse..

    It’s all right there-
    “You are not thinking about God’s concerns, but human concerns.”
    So I’m praying for a discerning heart to recognize what are truly God’s “concerns”, along with a mind that is open enough to reset false thinking/beliefs that are just not Kingdom-worthy.
    I don’t want to be (metaphorically) asked to get behind Him… to miss out on a front row view and hands-on experience of ushering His Kingdom in. I want to be hand-in-hand with the One Who really matters.

  58. Erin Hudgins says:

    The disciples thought they knew him, but they had a misunderstanding of who he truly is. I pray for our misunderstandings of who we think he is to be broken down and we might come to fully understand the Christ.

  59. Jenn says:

    This takes me back to the Faith in Practice study from the beginning of the year. We are called to live like Jesus lived. Lord fill me with the Holy Spirit to lead me, guide me, convict me. Make me more like Christ. Align my heart with yours so that my wants become your wants. Direct my steps so that I may live out the purpose you have for my life according to Your will. Most of all God, HUMBLE me. Strip me of any pride that is hiding in my heart. YOUR WILL YOUR WAY! May I be down on my knees every day telling you I don’t know how to live this life without You. May I always remember above all else that Your presence is the most important thing. We don’t deserve glory, we can’t handle glory. May it all be reflected back to you. In Jesus Holy Name, Amen

  60. Churchmouse says:

    Way too often I say hello to God and then give Him my laundry list of needs and desires. This verse from Mark 8 hit me this morning: “You are not thinking about God’s concerns but human concerns.” Jesus Himself taught his disciples (and us) the order for priorities when we pray. In the Lord’s prayer we are to start with acknowledging Who He is and surrendering our will to His. It is His kingdom agenda which is to be desired rather than my own. God’s concerns are to reign above my concerns. My will is to submit to His. Only then am I to move on in prayer. Only then do I have the right heart attitude. I’m grateful for the reminder in the Scripture today.

  61. Tricia Cavanaugh says:

    I need more and more of Him. I long to know Him more so that I can truly answer when I am asked Who He is. The best way to know Him more is to be in His word and learn His story.
    Blessings to you today sisters!

  62. R H says:

    What a big passage, and a challenging devotion. Seeing and hearing Jesus challenge his disciples to know him and follow him, in turn challenges me to know him more through his Word and follow Him myself.