The setting reminds us of the Sermon on the Mount, but this time the emphasis is on healing rather than teaching. Back in Galilee, Jesus has drawn a crowd. Again.
And again, the compassion of Jesus comes to the front. First he heals many people with intractable issues. The way the healing session is described, we are reminded of the Isaianic messiah criteria and the question asked by John the Baptist.
Then, he feeds the people. The miracle of feeding the people is pretty much parallel to the last time he did so.
The disciples seemed to be caught flatfooted again, and it is surprising, given that they had witnessed the feeding of 5000 not that long ago. But my surprise was overtaken by lament when I realized that I do the same thing. God has proven himself over and over to me, yet I have my moments of doubt. I too am flatfooted.
The people who eat are satisfied. I wonder if many of them were often unsatisfied with their available meals at the end of a day. Jesus makes them satisfied on this day. There is more than enough food.
Then to the boat and the scene changes.