Mark 8:1

About that time, when there was again a great crowd of people who had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him, and said,


in those and every day
crowds are hungry
deliberately disenfranchised
intentionally dispossessed
purposely enslaved to wages
sick and weakened
widows children
endangered species
. . .

designed to show status
hunger is a primary
controlled fear
of not enough
yearning for a star
qualifying entitlement
attention must be paid
protestation made
. . .


Oh,oh. It wasn’t that long ago that there was a large crowd with nothing to eat. The disciples saw both a need and a way out of the need by sending folks off to fend for themselves.

Remember where that went—“Feed them yourselves!”

It appears that Jesus isn’t going to wait around this time, but had instructions ready to go in this foreign land.

Sergeant Jesus is about to give orders to his troops and so ears are perked up.

What’s it going to be this time? How much of my tucker-bag is going to go this time? Hopefully it will be bread and fish again and leave my date supply alone! If this is feeding/eating business is going to become expected, we’re going to have to be more conscious about what we carry with us, no longer looking for hospitality as being able to offer it in a breath.

This is an example of Mark’s working in doublets. Robert M. Fowler’s chapter on “Reader-Response Criticism” in Anderson69, reminds us of the dynamic of repetition:

By repetition, the reader’s insight into the narrative can be built up or solidified; repetition can also weary us, confuse us, or make us suspicious. Repetition giveth and repetition taketh away. It is always wise to consider each moment of reading on its own merits.

Taking them on their own merits, Carrington161f places them liturgically as an echo of early church convocations at Passover (manna) and Pentecost (eucharist). He notes the possibility of confusion of two different streams of tradition and that “Mark has made the best of it…. and recorded them so… and with our Western sense of verbal logic we… made too much of a formal discrepancy.”

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