Malankara World Journal Issue 15 ( July 22, 2011) is now available online
- The Malankara World Journal Issue 15 (dated July 22, 2011) is now
available online at:
This week's cover picture is truly different. It is a picture of St.
Mary made with butterfly wings by an African artist. Amazing art!
This Sunday is the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost. The gospel reading is
from St. Matthew 15:32-39. It is the miracle of feeding 4000+ people by
Jesus Christ. Many people confuse this miracle with the miracle of
feeding 5000+ people plus with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish we had been
reading about in the past two weeks. But these are distinctly different
miracles. Here are a few major differences you see by perusing through
the Bible Analysis, Commentaries and Sermons provided in Malankara
World. ( The full list of sermons and commentary can be found at:
1. The number of people mentioned: 5000 men vs. 4000 men.
2. The number of fish and the number of loaves (5 loaves of bread plus 2
fish vs. 7 loaves of bread plus few little fish)
3. The number of baskets of left over food. (12 baskets vs. 7 baskets)
4. The type of baskets used to collect left over food was different.
In the feeding of the five thousand, the Greek word used for the basket
was cofinos. This was a small basket with a narrow neck with a small
opening on the top.
In the miracle of feeding 4000 we study this week, the Greek word for
the basket used is spureze. It refers to a hamper-sized basket, a big
basket. These generally had two handles. These baskets are used
predominantly in the Gentile territories by Gentiles.
When we read the bible, we may have the impression that there was more
food left over in the earlier miracle as the leftovers filled 12
baskets. So it's possible that actually there's more bread left over in
the second miracle (4000), considerably more than in the other one,
because, although only 7 baskets were used to collect the leftovers, the
actual baskets were much bigger than the earlier Jewish baskets.
5. Location of the miracle. The miracle happened on different sides of
the Sea of Galilee. The earlier miracle took place near Bethsaida, the
later miracle happened in the area of the Decapolis.
6. The time of year when the miracle took place is also different. The
miracle of feeding 5000 took place earlier in the year/season, possibly
at springtime or early summer when the grass was green. No mention of
green grass here, it's a little bit later in time. So the hot sun has
killed the grass.
7. The crowd's response is also different. After the earlier miracle,
the crowd wanted to make Christ their King right there. You don't see
that here at all, there's not that type of response.
8. The composition or the ethnicity of the crowd is different too.
Before, on the western side of the Sea of Galilee, it was a
predominantly Jewish crowd. Here it appears, for a good reason, that it
is predominantly a Gentile crowd.
9. In the miracle of feeding 5000, the bread and fish were supplied by a
little boy. In the feeding of 4000, the fish and the bread seems to have
been supplied by the disciples themselves; no mention of any boy.
These differences in the two miracles also signifies an important
paradigm shift. The early work of Jesus and the disciples was done among
the Jews. The left over food was collected in 12 baskets, perhaps
symbolically showing the twelve tribes of Israel, the most important
number for the Jews. The work of Jesus slowly expanded to the Gentiles.
The most important work in the New Testament period was done in Gentile
territories. In New Testament the most important number is 7. Seven is
used in New Testament to represent the church. For instance, there's the
seven letters to the seven churches mentioned in Revelation chapters 2
and 3. So, it is possible that there is more to the collection of the
remnant food in 7 baskets in the second miracle than meets the eye first.
We had been publishing the trip reports from the recently concluded
MGSOSA faith mission to Dominican Republic. This week we have included
the trip report for July 5-6. I have included an article by Varghese
Monai Karuthalackal titled 'True Beauty' as the focus of this week's
journal. Monai was moved by what he learned when he visited an orphanage
in Dominican Republic. He realizes that all the blessings in his life
comes from God. He shares what he learned from reading a book gifted by
his mother. It is a very moving article. (He also mentions one of my
favorite gospel song, "Ethratholam Yehovah Sahayichu".) We have a
companion article "How to Find God's Mercy Amidst Suffering." The two
articles will give you a different perspective on life.
Archbishop Chaput writes about how what we do will shape our eternity.
We spend more time watching TV than reading bible or spending time in
Church. So, TV and the media is what shapes our morality more than what
we read in bible. Are we ready to make some changes in our lifestyle for
Table of Contents: Malankara World Journal Issue 15
* Editor's Note
* Bible Readings for This Sunday
* Sermons for This Sunday
* Inspiration for Today
* Featured This Week: MGSOSA - Dominican Outreach Mission Trip Memories
* How to Find God's Mercy Amidst Suffering
* Our Choices Shape Our Eternity
* Obedience, Listening
* Health: 5 Foods that Keep You Thin
* Recipe: Cabbage Salad - Indian Style
* Humor: Confusion, Records
* About Malankara World
Please tell your friends and acquaintances about MW Journal and
Malankara World website. Thank you for your support and help.
In HIS Service
Dr. Jacob Mathew
Malankara World Journal
ID No: 956