“And they ate and were satisfied. And they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. And there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away. And immediately he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.” - Mark 8:8-10
Imagine sitting down to your favorite meal, perfectly prepared. You savor and enjoy every bite until your belly is pleasantly full. A sense of gratification and contentment settles over you. It seems that is how the crowd felt after Jesus fed them. He provided such abundance that all 4,000 people ate and were fully satisfied. They didn’t want or need more. They were content. When is the last time you experienced true satiety? It is a rare but wonderful gift.
In our fast-paced world, I sometimes wonder if people pause long enough to experience any sense of satisfaction at all. While enjoying a great lunch, we wonder what to have for dinner. We take an amazing vacation but start dreading our return or planning another getaway before the adventure is half over. Rather than celebrating a successful business deal, we stress about closing the next one and the one after that. What is enough? What will truly satisfy us?
Only Jesus. He alone could feed 4,000 people in a desolate place, and he alone can truly satisfy the human heart. Augustine of Hippo captured this truth beautifully in his famous quote: “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” Augustine knew whereof he wrote. He had chased after the things of this world – education, status, accomplishment. And yet, he discovered that nothing could truly satisfy him except the person and work of Jesus. Once he came to this saving realization, he dedicated the rest of his life to serving Christ and building his church.
Despite the fact that they worked and lived alongside Jesus, the disciples were a bit slow on the uptake. Fortunately, Jesus never gave up on them and he will never give up on us, even when we seek fulfillment in everything but him. When we, like Augustine, realize that only Jesus can satisfy the human heart, he will be there. He is always ready to embrace us, fill us with his Holy Spirit, and gratify our very souls.
Have you experienced this soul-deep satisfaction, pleasure and contentment? If not, Jesus invites you to his great messianic banquet. There is an abundance waiting for you. At his feast, there is food, not only food for today and tomorrow, but for eternity. And one day, you will see him face to face and experience a celebration like no other. Come – taste and see that the Lord is truly good and satisfying.
Reflect and Respond:
Do you long to feel the kind of satisfaction and contentment the Gentile crowd experienced? If so, will you accept the Lord’s invitation and to attend his messianic feast? He is so ready to receive you! We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Jesus calls the Holy Spirit a "gift" who will guide us, lead us, and empower us. Yet many believers don't experience the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. This unique Christian Bible study provides a space in which we can explore what it truly means to "walk in the Spirit" on a daily basis. The Spirit-Filled Life small-group curriculum centers on a 6-part video teaching series examining the life-giving and creative work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Begin to experience the gift today!
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