The Answer to a Mother's Prayer
Loaves and Fishes
Matthew xv: 21 to
Mark vii: 24, to viii: 26.
the feeding of the five thousand, and the talk which
followed it in the synagogue of Capernaum, Jesus no
longer sought to preach to the people in crowds, as
he had preached before. He had spoken his last words
to the people of Galilee, and now he sought to be
alone with his disciples, that he might teach them
many things which they needed. Jesus knew that in a
few months, less than a year, he would leave his
disciples to carry on the work of preaching his
gospel to the world. Before that time should come
Jesus wished to teach and train his disciples; so he
tried to be apart from the people and alone with
these twelve men.
With this purpose in his mind, Jesus led his
disciples away from Capernaum, across Galilee
westward, to the land of Tyre and Sidon, near the
Great Sea. On the border of this land he came to a
village, and in it went with his disciples into a
house. Jesus did not wish the people of the place to
know that he was there; but he could not be hid.
A woman of that place, who was not of the Jewish
race, but belonged to the old Canaanite people,
heard of Jesus' coming. She sought out Jesus, and
fell down before him, and begged him to come to her
house and cure her daughter, in whom was an evil
spirit. At first Jesus would not answer her, for he
had not come to that place to do works of healing.
But she kept on crying and calling upon Jesus to
help her daughter, until the disciples said,
"Master, send this woman away, for she is a trouble
to us, crying out after us!"
They thought that a Gentile woman, one who did not
belong to the race of Israel, was not worthy of the
Lord's care. But Jesus wished to teach his disciples
that he did care for this woman, though she was a
Gentile and a stranger. To show them how strong was
 her faith, he said to her, "I am not sent to
the Gentiles, but only to the lost sheep of the
house of Israel."
But the woman would not be discouraged; she kept on
saying, "Lord, help me!"
Jesus said to her again, "It is not fitting to take
the children's bread, and throw it to the dogs!"
Then the woman said, "It is true, Lord; yet the
little dogs under the table eat of the children's
And Jesus said to her, "O woman, your faith is
great! It shall be done even as you ask. Go your
way; the evil spirit is sent out of your daughter."
The woman believed the words that Jesus spoke. She
went to her home, and there found her daughter
resting upon the bed, freed from the evil spirit.
So many people sought to see Jesus in that place,
that he left that land with his disciples, and went
around Galilee, and came again to the country called
Decapolis, on the east of the Sea of Galilee. You
remember that Jesus had visited this country before,
when he cast the army of evil spirits out of a man
into the hogs, as we read in Story 125. At that time
the people almost drove Jesus away from their land;
but now they were glad to see him, and brought their
sick to him to be healed. Perhaps  they had
heard from the man out of whom the evil spirits had
gone; how kind and good and helpful Jesus was.
They led to Jesus a man who was deaf, and could not
speak plainly. He was what we would call
"tongue-tied." They asked Jesus to cure him; but
Jesus would not do his work as a sight for men to
look upon. He took the man away from the crowd, and
when he was alone with him he put his fingers into
the man's ears and touched his tongue. Then he
looked up to heaven, and gave a sigh, and said to
the man, "Be opened!"
Then the man's ears were opened, and his tongue was
set free, so that he heard and spoke plainly. Jesus
told the man, and those with him, not to let others
know what he had done; but they could not keep from
telling the good news to everybody. They were full
of wonder, for they had not before seen the works of
Jesus; and they said, "He has done all things well;
he makes even the deaf to hear, and the dumb to
And in the land of Decapolis, as before in Galilee,
great crowds of people came to see and hear Jesus.
They followed him, without thinking that they would
need any food to eat; and Jesus said to his
disciples, "I feel a pity for this people, for they
have now been with me three days, and they have
nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they
will faint by the way, for many of them came from
The disciples answered him, "How can we find bread
for such a great crowd of people, here in a desert
place, so far from the villages?"
"How many loaves of bread have you?" asked Jesus.
They said, "We have seven loaves and a few small
Then he told all the people to sit down on the
ground. When they were seated, Jesus took the seven
loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks to God, and
broke them, and gave them to his disciples, and they
gave them to the people. Then, as before, he caused
them to gather up the food that was left, and they
filled seven large baskets with the pieces. At this
time four thousand men were fed, besides women and
children. And at once after the meal, he sent the
people to their homes, and with his disciples went
on board a boat, and sailed across the lake to a
place on the western shore. There he stayed only a
short time, and then sailed northward to Bethsaida,
at the head of the lake.
 At Bethsaida they brought to him a blind man,
and asked him to touch his eyes. But Jesus would not
heal the man while a crowd was looking on. He led
the man by his hand out of the village alone. Then
he spat on the man's eyes, and touched them with his
hands, and said to him, "Can you see anything?"
The man looked up, and said, "I see men; but they
look like trees walking."
Then again Jesus laid his hands upon the man's eyes.
He looked once more, and now could see all things
clearly. Jesus sent him to his home, and said to
him, "Do not even go into the village, nor tell it
to any one in the village."
For Jesus wished not to have crowds of people coming
to him, but to be alone with his disciples, for he
had many things to teach them.
Loaves and Fishes