The Blessing In the Breaking of Bread: The Giving of the Divine Nature of Christ

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by John Mark. More specifically today’s passage is found in the first thirty verses of the eighth chapter. “In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them, I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat: and if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for diverse of them came from far. And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness? And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven. And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people. And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them. So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets. And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away” (Mark 8:1-9). “And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha. And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? Verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation. And he left them, and entering into the ship again he departed to the other side” (Mark 8:10-13). “Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf. And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread. And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? Perceive ye not yet, neither understand? Have ye your heart yet hardened? Having eyes, see ye not? And having ears, hear ye not? And do not ye remember? When I brake the five loaves among the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven. And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?” (Mark 8:14-21). “And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly. And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town” (Mark 8:22-26). “And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am? And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say Elias; and others, One of the prophets. And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ. And he charged them that they should tell no man of him” (Mark 8:27-30). When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will once more find Jesus among the multitudes and among the crowds. The beginning of this passage opens with certain days during the ministry of the Lord Jesus and how the multitude was very great. What makes this particular passage so incredibly unique when you take the time to consider it is how not only was the multitude very great but they also had nothing to eat. Stop and consider the incredible truth that is found in this passage of Scripture for not only do we have a very great multitude present in the midst of those days around Jesus but we also find them having nothing to eat. If you continue reading the words found within this passage you will find that Jesus called His disciples unto Him and professed unto them how He had compassion on the multitude because they had been with him three days and had nothing to eat. What’s more is that the Lord Jesus didn’t merely profess His compassion upon the multitude and how they had been with them three days and had nothing to eat but He would also go on to speak unto them and say if He sent them away fasting to their own houses they would faint by the way. Jesus would also go on to describe of this multitude that many of them had come very far and traveled great distances that they might come into His presence. This is something we dare not and must not miss for although this would not be the second time Jesus would be among the multitudes it would be the second time He would be among the multitudes and physical hunger would be the subject of conversation. It is when you read the words found in this passage of Scripture you will be brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the multitudes being present in the presence of Jesus and their having nothing to eat. I sit here today thinking about the words presented in this passage and I am brought face to face with the truth surrounding the compassion which the Lord Jesus had upon the people who were present on this particular occasion. Perhaps one of the greatest truths we must needs gather when reading the words found in this passage is that of the compassion which the Lord Jesus had upon the multitude. If you take the time to read the four gospels found within the New Testament you will find various different accounts of the compassion which the Lord Jesus would have upon the multitudes. Beginning as early as the ninth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew we find perhaps the first narrative and account of the compassion the Lord Jesus had upon the crowd and upon the multitudes which gathered before and all around Him. It is absolutely impossible to read the words found in the four gospels and not encounter and come face to face with the incredible truth surrounding the compassion of the Lord Jesus toward those who had gathered themselves before and around Him. The gospels are replete with examples and accounts of the compassion the Lord Jesus exhibited toward the crowds—and not only among and towards the crowds but also towards those who came unto Him. There is something truly astonishing and remarkable about the four gospel narratives for they call and draw our attention to the truth which is found at the center of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus. What’s more is that before we delve into the compassion of the Lord Jesus we must needs consider and contrast it that which He did not come to bring—namely, condemnation. The more I read the four gospel narratives the more I am brought face to face with the tremendous truth that nowhere in any of the gospels will you find Jesus exhibiting and exercising condemnation toward those who came unto Him. Of course we know and understand that He was continually engaged in conflict with the religious leaders and sects of His day, however, we must recognize and understand that He never engaged in condemnation toward those who came unto Him with sincere, authentic and genuine hearts. There is something we must needs recognize and understand about the Lord Jesus for it calls and draws our attention to the truth surrounding the Lord Jesus being a man of compassion over and above being a man of condemnation. In fact it is when you read the fourth gospel narrative written by the apostle John you will find Jesus speaking of Himself—and not only of Himself but also of the Father which was in heaven. It would be during a nighttime encounter between Nicodemus who was a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews and the Lord Jesus at night Jesus would proclaim perhaps the most famous words at the very heart of the gospel itself. It would be when speaking unto this Pharisee by night the Lord Jesus would make the emphatic declaration and proclamation concerning God the Father and how He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. The purpose the Father would give His only begotten Son was so that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life. What we must needs understand concerning this is the direct contrast between the Father giving the Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish and the Father NOT sending the Son into the world to condemn the world. This concept of the condemnation which the eternal and only begotten Son did not come into the world to bring is in direct contrast to the compassion which He would exercise toward those who gathered themselves unto Him. I am sitting here writing these words and I am brought face to face with the truly amazing reality of the Lord Jesus who did not and would not come into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved. IT would be when speaking unto Nicodemus by night the Lord Jesus would declare that the Father sent not the Son into the world to condemn it but that the world through Him might be saved. What’s more is that when you turn your attention to the eighth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John you will find this reality played out—and not only played out but played out in the Temple of the living God. It would be in the Temple of the living God in the midst of the city of Jerusalem we find Jesus choosing compassion over condemnation—a reality which strikes at the very heart of His life and ministry. If you want to truly understand the nature and context of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus you must needs understand that this ministry was completely and entirely absent condemnation toward those who would come unto Him—and not only those who came unto Him but also those who were brought before Him accused and condemned. Even when others were brought before Him accused, judged and condemned by religion and by the religious leaders the Lord Jesus would not only deliver that person from the accusation and condemnation but He would also deliberately and intentionally choose not to condemn them. As if this weren’t enough we find Jesus delivering a parable concerning a publican and a Pharisee praying before the Lord God in the Temple. Within this parable Jesus would describe both of them praying before the living God and how only one would leave justified in the sight and presence of the living God. I am absolutely convinced we must needs pay close attention to the words found in the third and eighth chapters of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John for within these chapters we come face to face with the declaration Jesus Himself would make concerning the Father not sending the Son into the world to condemn it and Jesus actually choosing not to condemn a woman who was caught in the act of adultery, accused and condemned by religion according to the Law, and even brought into the presence of the Lord Jesus by religion as they sought to have this woman condemned by the Lord Jesus. Having said this I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the third and eighth chapters of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John. Moreover I would also like to call and draw your attention to the words which are found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the physician Luke concerning the parable Jesus taught concerning the publican and the Pharisee. Consider if you will the following passages of Scripture beginning with the third chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John: “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicocemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told your earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (John 3:1-21). “Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none by the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee? She said, NO man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:1-11). Before I present you with the words which are found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke I would like to call and draw your attention to the words which are found in the eighth chapter of the New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Rome. I am absolutely convinced that any discussion about Jesus not coming into the world to condemn the world cannot and should not be had without considering the words found in the eighth chapter of the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Rome. Moreover I find it absolutely necessary to draw your attention to the words which are found in the fifth chapter of the second epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Corinth. Having said this I invite you to consider if you will the following words which are found in both of these passages beginning with the first verse of the eighth chapter of the New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Roman saints: “There is therefore now on condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleith in you” (Romans 8:1-11). Now consider if you will the following words which are found in the fifth chapter of the second epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Corinth: “Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart. For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” 2 Corinthians 5:9-21). I am absolutely convinced we must needs recognize and pay close attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for they help bring us face to face with the fact that in Christ there is absolutely no condemnation. It was Jesus Himself who declared that God did not send Him into the world to condemn Him but that the world through Him might be saved and in the same gospel narrative written by the apostle John we find an actual example of this in the Temple. When the religious leaders and religion itself not only had someone who was caught in the act of adultery but was according to the Law of Moses guilty they brought her unto the Temple where they knew the Lord Jesus would be with His disciples. What’s more is that not only did they bring this woman who was indeed caught in the act and guilty according to the Law but they would also seek to accuse and condemn this woman according to the Law and in the presence of Jesus. CAUGHT IN THE ACT AND GUILTY ACCORDING TO THE LAW! How absolutely wonderful it is to read the words found in this passage and consider how Jesus not only dismissed all of her accusers and those who would condemn her but when He was left alone with her He would graciously and compassionately declare unto her that He did not condemn her. What a truly wonderful thought it is to read these words and consider the wonderful reality of the Lord Jesus delivering this woman from her accusers and those who would condemn her. Not only would He deliver this woman from her accusers and from those who would condemn her but He would also extend unto her compassion over condemnation. It would be within this passage of Scripture we find the words of the New Testament author put on full display in the presence of the Lord Jesus as mercy truly did triumph over judgment. With all of this being said I find it absolutely necessary to invite you to consider the following words which are found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the physician Luke. It is within the New Testament gospel narrative written by this gospel author we find Jesus delivering a parable concerning a publican and a Pharisee. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand concerning this particular parable it’s that it was delivered as an example unto those who trusted in themselves and who trusted in their own righteousness. There is a great need for us to recognize and understand this for in the Sermon on the Mount we find Jesus indicting the “righteousness” of the scribes and the Pharisees and did so exposing it as a farce and nothing more than smoke and mirrors. It would be the Lord Jesus who would declare that unless the righteousness of those who heard and listened to His words exceeded that of the scribes and Pharisees they would not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Having this in your mind I would like to call and invite you to consider the following words which are not only found in the fifth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew but also the words which are found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the physician Luke: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach. Men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:17-20). And now the words which are found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke concerning the parable of the publican and the Pharisee: “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (Luke 18:9-14). The words found in this passage of Scripture are absolutely incredible when you take the time to think about them for this parable the Lord Jesus spoke would be delivered and directed unto those who trusted in themselves. What’s more is that this parable was not only delivered unto and concerning those who trusted in themselves but also despised others. If there is one thing we must needs recognize it’s the intrinsic link and connection between those who trust in themselves—and not only trust in themselves and their own righteousness but also look down upon and despise others. Oh there is a great and terrible tragedy that surrounds those who trust in their own righteousness rather than the righteousness that is found in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and is appropriated and activated through faith. This something we must carefully consider in light of the words which are found in the second chapter of the New Testament epistle written by Jude. What’s more is I am also convinced we must needs consider the words which are found in the fifth chapter of the New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Roman saints. I would dare argue that we must needs consider the words which are found in the first epistle written by the apostle John unto the saints which were at Ephesus concerning this reality as well. We cannot truly understand the compassion of the Lord Jesus without recognizing these words for it was the compassion present within the heart of Jesus that would enable Him to be able to engage Himself in effective ministry among the multitudes and crowds. Consider if you will the following words which are found in each of these passages of Scripture beginning with the second chapter of the epistle written by James: “My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; and ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the por, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? Hearken, my beloved brethren, hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him: But ye have despised the poor. Do no rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? IF ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment” (James 2:1-13). “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstandingye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath. Not works, is dead, being alone. Yea a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know. O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had receive the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:14-26). “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his glood, we shall be saved from the wrath t hrough him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ by whom we have now received the atonement” (Romans 5:1-11). “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but indeed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is the commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us” (1 John 3:15-24). Before I get into the compassion of the Lord Jesus on the multitudes I find it necessary to call and draw your attention to the words which He delivered unto His disciples which are recorded for us in the twenty-fifth chapter of the gospel written by the apostle Matthew. I am absolutely convinced there is a great need to consider the final words Jesus spoke unto His disciples concerning the Last Days and the judgment to come for if you read these words you will find the Lord Jesus teaching the disciples concerning the compassion that was and would be needed within their own hearts and lives. We must needs recognize the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for they bring us face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the need for compassion within our hearts and souls toward our brother and sister. It is absolutely necessary and imperative we understand these words for they bring us face to face with the truth that we ourselves are extensions of the compassion which the Lord Jesus exercised toward and in the midst of the multitudes and crowds. With this being said I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the final verses of the twenty-fifth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew: “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and b efore him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? Or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? Or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me not meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Matthew 25:31-46). The words which we find here are absolutely astounding and remarkable when you take the time to think about and consider them for what we find within them is a strong and powerful picture of two different groups of people which will have their deeds manifested and exposed before the judgment in the Last Days. It is as you read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you can and will be brought face to face with the incredible truth surrounding Jesus describing those who will hear in the Last Days how He was hungry, how He was thirsty, how He was a stranger, how He was naked, how He was sick and how He was in prison and how there were those who ministered unto Him and those who chose not to minister unto Him. These words found in this portion of Scripture highlight and underscore the compassion which must needs be manifested within our hearts and souls. We dare not and must not have a conversation about the compassion of the Lord Jesus without recognizing and understanding that we have been called to be vessels and conduits of that same compassion. Any discussion about the compassion of the Lord Jesus must inevitably have at the very heart of it a call for us to walk as He walked and talk like He talked. We cannot afford to have a discussion and conversation about the compassion of the Lord Jesus and not at the same time recognize that we ourselves must needs be an extension of that compassion. There is a great need for us as the saints of God and as those who profess to be disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ to be vessels and conduits of the same compassion which the Lord Jesus extended unto the crowds and multitudes. What’s more is that we must not only recognize how this compassion is exercised in offering healing to the sick, sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, cleansing for the lepers, deliverance for the oppressed and the like. The compassion of the Lord Jesus must also extend into our willingness to both break bread and to give bread unto those who are in need. I sit here today thinking about the compassion of the Lord Jesus and I am brought face to face with the fact that the compassion of the Lord Jesus is not only manifested in the blessing, breaking and giving of bread unto His disciples but it is also manifested in the blessing and breaking of the bread itself. If you want to truly understand the compassion of the Lord Jesus you must needs acknowledge and come face to face with the truth that it is more often than not seen in the blessing, the breaking and the giving of bread. Oh it is indeed true that Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead, delivered those oppressed by unclean spirits, restored sight to the blind, restored hearing to the deaf, cleansed the lepers and the like, however, we must also recognize and understand that He was also one who fed the crowds and multitudes. What’s more is that Jesus was not only one who blessed and broke bread that He might give it unto the multitudes but He also blessed and broke bread that He might have and demonstrate fellowship with others. There would be two distinct times when the Lord Jesus would bless and break bread that He might feed the crowds and multitudes while there would be two distinct times when the Lord Jesus blessed and broke bread in the place of intimacy that He might demonstrate fellowship. This is something we must needs understand for there is a blessing and breaking of bread that manifests itself in the feeding of others while there is a blessing and breaking of bread that is manifested in fellowship together with others. Not only this but this directly ties into the words which we find in the final verses of the New Testament book of Acts concerning the early Church and the fellowship they had one with another. Oh it is with this in mind I invite you to consider the two accounts of Jesus blessing and breaking bread that He might feed those who were hungry as well as the two accounts of Jesus blessing and breaking bread as a sign of fellowship. Moreover I would like to call and draw your attention to the words which are found in the second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts: “When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities. And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick. And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past: send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. He said, bring them hither to me. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children” (Matthew 14:13-21). “And Jesus departed from thence, and came nigh unto the sea of Galilee; and went up into a mountain, and sat down there. And great multitudes came unto him having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them: insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel. Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way. And his disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude? And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full. And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children. And he sent away the multitude, and took ship, and came into the coasts of Magdala” (Matthew 15:29-39). These two passages highlight and underscore the blessing and breaking of bread in direct relation to feeding the multitudes. There were two distinct times recorded within the Synoptic gospels of the Lord Jesus feeding the multitudes of people—the first being the account of Jesus feeding the five thousand with five loaves of bread and a few fish and the second being the account of Jesus feeding the four thousand with seven loaves of bread and a couple fish. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand concerning the words found in these passages it’s the truth surrounding the blessing and breaking of bread as means of feeding those who are hungry. In both of these cases we find Jesus giving Himself to the blessing and breaking of bread that the multitudes might be filled—and not only filled but filled to the full. What’s more is that it is in direct connection to the feeding of the five thousand we find the Lord Jesus describing how He was indeed the bread of Life which came down from heaven. This is something worth noting and recognizing for it calls and draws our attention to the incredible reality of the Lord Jesus doing more than simply blessing and breaking physical bread but also blessing and breaking Himself. I firmly believe that when the Lord Jesus blessed and broke the loaves of bread He didn’t merely multiply the loaves of bread but He also took and gave of Himself. There is not a doubt in my mind that when the Lord Jesus blessed and broke the loaves of bread on both of these occasions He fed the crowds and multitudes with more than just earthly and natural bread but also fed them with Himself who was the bread of life. It was Jesus Himself who said that unless we ate of His flesh which we know to be a reference to partaking in His crucifixion we would have no part in Him. Oh there is a great need to recognize within this passage of Scripture that when Jesus blessed and broke the bread and gave to the disciples to give to the multitudes He was actually giving of Himself that the multitudes might be fed and filled. It is with this being said I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the following words which are found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke. It is in this gospel where we not only find the account of the Last Supper when Jesus celebrated the Passover together with His disciples but also where Jesus would reveal Himself unto two travelers from Jerusalem unto Emmaus through the breaking of bread. There would be a blessing and breaking of bread in fellowship prior to the suffering, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and there would be a blessing and breaking of bread in fellowship after His resurrection as He would reveal Himself—and not only reveal Himself but also reveal Himself as alive unto two men who journeyed from Jerusalem unto Emmaus. I firmly believe we must needs recognize and consider each of these passages of Scripture for they call and draw our attention to the absolutely wonderful and beautiful truth surrounding Jesus’ blessing and breaking of bread and how it would be in direct connection to this act that He would give Himself unto fellowship to others. Oh that we would indeed recognize and understand the words which are found in these passages of Scripture and consider the truth surrounding the Lord Jesus revealing Himself in the blessing and breaking of bread through fellowship. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke: “Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the Passover must be killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying, GO and prepare us the Passover, that we may eat. And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guest chamber, where I shall eat the Passover with my disciples? And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the Passover. And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after the supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:7-20). “And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmasue, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jeruaslem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the seuplchre; and when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was salive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw. Not. Then said he unto them, O fools, and slew of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. And they drew night unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward the evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the Scriptures? And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread” (Luke 24:13-35). “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possession and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:41-47). There is something truly astonishing about the words which are found in these passages of Scripture for within the four New Testament gospels we find two distinct accounts of Jesus blessing and breaking bread as a means of feeding those who were hungry lest they fast and faint along the way after departing from His presence. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this reality for it calls and draws our attention to the incredible truth surrounding the breaking of bread as a means of feeding those who were hungry—something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of. What’s more is that as you read the four gospel narratives you will find the blessing and breaking of bread as a sign of fellowship. What makes this particular truth regarding fellowship so incredibly unique is when you consider that it was not only a sign of fellowship in the present tense as Jesus would enjoy and experience fellowship with us in the here and now but it would also be a sign of fellowship which was to be in the coming age. There is something truly astonishing and unique when you think about and consider this for it calls and draws our attention to fellowship as a presently reality and as a future hope. Oh this is something we must not ignore when reading the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke for within it we find fellowship demonstrated prior to the suffering, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus as well as fellowship demonstrated after His resurrection from the dead. Oh how absolutely astounding this truly is when you take the time to think about it the New Testament gospel narrative brings us face to face with the wonderful reality of the blessing and breaking of bread as an invitation to fellowship in this present age as well as an invitation to fellowship in the age which is to come. I sit here today thinking about and considering the incredible truth found within the four gospel narratives and I am brought face to face with the strong demonstration of blessing and breaking of bread and how the blessing and breaking of bread not only serves as a means of feeding those who were hungry but it was also a sign and symbol of fellowship which was to come between the Lord Jesus and His disciples. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely wonderful and beautiful it truly is for there is something incredibly special about the blessing and breaking of bread. What makes this all the more intriguing is when you consider the New Testament book of Acts written by the beloved physician Luke. The New Testament book of Acts would be written by Luke who also wrote the gospel narrative concerning the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. Within the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke we find both accounts of Jesus’ blessing and breaking of bread that He might feed the five thousand as well as the four thousand. Oh I continue to believe that when the Lord Jesus blessed and broke the bread and fed the five thousand and the four thousand He did more than simply feed them with physical and natural bread but He also fed them with Himself who was indeed the bread of Life which came down from heaven. Just as Moses would feed the children of Israel with bread in the wilderness so too would the Lord Jesus feed the multitudes with physical bread as well as with and of Himself. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for it calls and draws our attention to the incredible reality of the blessing and breaking of bread as a means of feeding those who are hungry . As I bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to draw your attention to the New Testament gospel written by Luke for not only do we find both accounts of the blessing and breaking of bread as a means of feeding those who were hungry but we also find it presenting the blessing and breaking of bread as a sign of fellowship. What’s more is that not only was the blessing and breaking of bread a sign of fellowship but it was also an invitation to further fellowship. Jesus blessed and broke the bread in the upper room together with His disciples and it was not only a sign of fellowship during those days but it was also an invitation to fellowship in the age which was to come. Not only this but when you continue reading this gospel you will find Jesus blessing and breaking bread in the village of Emmaus with the two men who journeyed from Jerusalem after the alleged resurrection of the Lord Jesus. In fact the New Testament gospel written by Luke not only describes how Jesus made Himself known in the breaking of bread but I would also argue and contend that Jesus’ blessing and breaking of bread there in that house would call and draw their attention to the invitation to fellowship—and not only fellowship with Him but also fellowship with the disciples and with those who would be witnesses of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh we must needs recognize and understand this for it calls and draws our attention to the incredible truth surrounding the blessing and breaking of bread which would be found in the second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts as the body of Christ and fellowship of believers would continue giving themselves to the blessing and breaking of bread from house to house as a sign of fellowship one with another as well as fellowship together with the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh that we would pay attention to this and truly understand it for it is true we have been called to a place of fellowship together with the Lord Jesus Christ but we have also been called to a place of fellowship together with His body which is the Church and the saints of God.

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