Healthy Hunger


Have you ever been really hungry—not a mid-afternoon snack hungry, but an “I haven’t eaten in days” hungry? In today’s reading, Mark shares two stories of hungry people—one group was hungry for food and the other was hungry for a sign from heaven. Jesus’ response to each group’s hunger couldn’t have been more different!

  • What are you hungry for in life these days? Deeper relationships, more money, comfort, God?
  • How do these hungers help or hurt your relationship with God?


1 In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, he called his disciples to him and said to them, 2 “I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. 3 And if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way. And some of them have come from far away.” 4 And his disciples answered him, “How can one feed these people with bread here in this desolate place?” 5 And he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven.” 6 And he directed the crowd to sit down on the ground. And he took the seven loaves, and having given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and they set them before the crowd. 7 And they had a few small fish. And having blessed them, he said that these also should be set before them. 8 And they ate and were satisfied. And they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. 9 And there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away. 10 And immediately he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.

11 The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. 12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” 13 And he left them, got into the boat again, and went to the other side.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. Compare and contrast the needs of the crowd and the needs of the Pharisees.
  2. Compare and contrast the emotional responses (vss. 2, 12) we see from Jesus to the crowd and from Jesus to the Pharisees. What do Jesus’ emotional responses teach you about his heart?
  3. Whom do you relate to more in this passage, the crowd or the Pharisees? Why?
  4. If Jesus were physically present with you right now, what would be his emotional and physical response to your particular hunger?


Jesus shows great concern for our hunger. More importantly, he is more than capable to satisfy our hunger for the things we need. On the other hand, Jesus has no interest in satisfying a hunger for something that will either hurt us or drive a wedge between God and us.

  • Ask God to satisfy your righteous hunger with his abundant grace.
  • Take time to confess to the Lord where you are hungry for things or people that will drive you farther from him. Believe his grace is more than enough to satisfy the desires of your heart.