I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now
been with me three days, and have nothing to eat.
Mark 8 : 2.
Behold, what a sympathetic Christ we have, who even provides
food for us. Here new hope is awakened and man is comforted
through the words of Christ, when he says: Here they
are and they listened to me until the third day. I must now give them
also what they need. Here you see that all who faithfully cling
to the Word of God will be fed by God; for that is the nature
and power of faith, which flows alone out of the Word of God.
Therefore let us make a beginning to belief; for unbelief
is the cause of all sin and vice, which now abounds in all stations
of life. How does it come to pass that everywhere there are
so many foolish women and rogues, so many rank impostors,
thieves, robbers, loan sharks, murderers, and sellers of indulgences?
It all comes from unbelief. For such men judge alone according
to human reason, and the reason judges only according to that
which it sees ; what it does not see it does not wish to accept.
But Christ wishes to set before us a twofold picture, namely,
one of faith, that we should not be overanxious; and also a
picture of love, that as he does to us, is anxious about our welfare,
feeds and clothes us out of free love, not for the sake of
his own advantage or because of our worthiness; so we should
also do to our neighbor, freely and gratuitously, out of pure
love. This is beautifully portrayed in the visible picture of the
four thousand men who cling to God by a faith which says:
God will indeed feed us. They commend themselves to God
and freely lay all their need upon him. Then Christ comes,
before they have any care and before they ask him to come, takes
all more to heart than they do themselves, and says to his disciples,
"I have compassion on the multitude." In this confidence
and hope let thy faith run its course, acknowledge that God is
thy friend, flee to him in greatest need; believe and expect it
and he will help you ; this you should not doubt. In harmony
with this you should serve your neighbor freely and gratuitously.