Matthew 15:29-39 A Gentile Mission.

Matthew 15:29-39 A Gentile Mission.

Going up a mountain and sitting could certainly be symbolical of Jesus future reign at the right hand of the Father. “Mark indicates that these events took place in the Decapolis (7:31), a predominantly Gentile area. It follows the story of the Canaanite woman” (NGSB 1531). Decapolis means ‘ten cities’. In the bible mountains often refer to kingdoms and power. From his vantage point he most likely could see all around for some distance, perhaps even the ten cities. Was this his way of inviting the crowds to come? In any case they did come and laid the sick at his feet, and he healed them (vv. 29-30 Cf. 11:5; Mk. 7:25, 31-37; Lk. 7:38; 8:41; 10:39; Is. 35:5-6). The people marveled and glorified God (v. 31 Cf. Lk. 5:25-26; 19:37-38). Jesus compassion for the people, who had been with him for three days, also extended to their most basic need for food, as they would faint without food as they returned to their homes (v. 32 Cf. Mk. 8:1-10).

He called his disciples to him for their help in feeding some four thousand men, plus women and children (v. 38). Once again they asked where they might find enough bread in what was a wilderness (v. 33). It hearkens back to the exodus of course, but also to the ministry of Elisha (II Kgs. 4:42ff.), so there was precedence for those familiar with the word, but for the disciples it should have also hearkened back to the previous feeding of five thousand plus (14:13ff). As he had previously multiplied five loaves and two fish, this time he did so with seven loaves and a few little fish (v. 34). As then, so now, upon giving thanks and distributing through his disciples, the bread and fish did not run out. In fact, more was left afterwards than they had at the beginning (vv. 35-37). Sending the multitude away, now full, he journeyed with his disciples to Magdala, or Dalmanutha, on the other side of the Sea of Galilee (Mk. 8:10).

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