Summary of passages: Matthew 15:29-39: Jesus traveled back to Galilee and healed many on a mountainside. He says that he has compassion on these people who have been with him for 3 days and have nothing to eat. The disciples ask where could they get enough food to feed them. Jesus, just like in the feeding of the 5000 (Matthew 14:13-21), gave thanks for a few loaves of bread and fish and broke the food, resulting in enough to feed the crowd with some leftover.
Mark 7:31; 8:1-9: Mark’s version of the same story. Jesus wants to feed the people so they don’t collapse from hunger on the way home. The disciples wonder where they will get enough bread to feed them. Jesus again breaks bread and feeds all.
13a) In the feeding of the 5000, the people only had to wait one day (Matthew 14:15; Mark 6:35; Luke 9:12). In the feeding of the 4000, the people waited 3 days (Matthew 15:32; Mark 8:2).
In the feeding of the 5000, the disciples ask Jesus to send the crowds away so they can buy their own food (Matthew 14:15; Mark 6:35-36; Luke 9:12). In the feeding of the 4000, it is Jesus who notices their need (Matthew 15:32; Mark 8:2-3).
In the feeding of the 5000, there are 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish (Matthew 14:17; Mark 6:41; Luke 9:13). In the feeding of the 4000, there are 7 loaves of bread and a few small fish (Matthew 15:34; Mark 8:5; 7).
In the feeding of the 5000, Jesus looks to heaven as he breaks the bread (Matthew 14:19; Mark 6:41; Luke 9:16); while in the feeding of the 4000, this is not mentioned (Matthew 15:36; Mark 8:6-7)).
In the feeding of the 5000, there were 12 basketfuls of broken pieces left over (Matthew 14:20; Luke 9:17). In the feeding of the 4000, there were “several” basketfuls of broken pieces leftover (Matthew 15:37) according in Matthew and Mark says there are 7 (Mark 8:8).
Of course, the number of people was different: 5000 (Matthew 14:21; Mark 6:44; Luke 9:14); 4000 (Matthew 15:38; Mark 8:9).
In the feeding of the 5000, Mark and Luke mention how the people sit in groups of hundreds and fifties (Mark 6:40; Luke 9:14). In the feeding of the 4000, the people are merely told to sit (Matthew 15:35; Mark 8:6).
[Scholars say the different in the grass indicates a difference in the seasons.]
NOTE: The Greek word for baskets is also different between the 5000 versus the 4000 (the baskets are larger here). I did not mention this because it could just be a translation error so one can not conclusively say that the baskets for the 4000 were larger than for the 5000.
b) Personal Question. My answer: Anything is possible with Jesus. Jesus has great compassion on the people both spiritually and physically. Even when other doubt Jesus never does.
c) Personal Question. My answer: Believe that I can accomplish anything with Him.
Conclusions: Loved part a where we compared both miracles. Thought part b and c were lackluster. A better question would have been a focus on how the disciples lacked faith AGAIN when it came to Jesus feeding the 4000 after witnessing the miracle of the 5000.
Matthew mentions Jesus then went to a place called Magadan after the feeding of the 4000. If you google this, you’ll see this is a modern town in Russia. Some scholars think this refers to Magdala (location known) and the alleged hometown of Mary Magdalen. However, others think Magadan is correct; the location today is just unknown.
Mark calls the place Jesus went after the miracle Dalmanutha, which its location is also unknown but believed to be on the Sea of Galilee.
This MAP is a guess as to the location of Dalmanutha: http://bibleatlas.org/dalmanutha.htm This map also shows possible locations of Magadan and Magdala.
Good explanation on possible locations: http://bibleencyclopedia.com/magadan.htm
End Notes: Most scholars agree that this was the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee–a predominantly Gentile place known as the Decapolis. Hence, Jesus did heal and minister to the Gentiles as well as the Jews. Matthew’s description of the people praising the “God of Israel” also supports that these people were Gentiles. Note how God is praised, not Jesus.
The leftovers show how God provides abundantly.
Scholars say the feeding of the 5000 and the 4000 foreshadow the predicted Messianic banquet. However, the Jews did not see this because they believed the Messianic banquet did not include the Gentiles.