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Mark 11:12

ESV On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry.
NIV The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry.
NASB On the next day, when they had left Bethany, He became hungry.
CSB The next day when they went out from Bethany, he was hungry.
NLT The next morning as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry.
KJV And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:

What does Mark 11:12 mean?

Jesus and the disciples stay on the Mount of Olives, possibly in Bethany, during the night and go to Jerusalem during the day (Luke 21:37). Mary, Martha, and Lazarus share at least one dinner, and possibly two separate dinners, with Jesus and His followers (John 12:1–8; Mark 14:3–9). Most likely, they did not provide food for Jesus and the disciples twice a day, every day. As fully man, Jesus does experience hunger (Matthew 4:2), fatigue (Mark 4:37–38), and pain. A life lived in service to God does not protect Him from physical discomfort or harm.

Prior to this verse, Jesus had said, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on" (Matthew 6:25). He goes on to talk about how God feeds the birds and clothes the grasses of the field. "Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you" (Matthew 6:31–33).

Later, Paul will write, "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it" (1 Corinthians 10:13).

People through the years have translated these verses to imply that no true Christian will ever starve. Others suggest it inspires the cliché "God will not give us more than we can handle." Neither are remotely close to what the text is saying. The Greek root word for "added" used in Matthew chapter 6 is prostithēmi. It means "joined to or increased." It does not mean "entirely or sufficiently supplied." If we seek God's kingdom, He will supply us enough to accomplish His will, but He doesn't promise we will never go hungry or even starve.

The passage in 1 Corinthians is about being tempted to sin when we endure hardships. Paul is talking about the children of Israel who grumbled as God led them and provided for them in the wilderness. Paul isn't saying that God will never let us endure anything that will break us emotionally or even kill us. He's saying God will never let us be in a position where we have no choice but to sin.

The lives of Jesus and the disciples play this out. Jesus didn't die of starvation, but He did die without clothing. And both He and most of the disciples experienced hardships that resulted in death. Jesus never sinned (Hebrews 4:15), but of course, the disciples continued to sin. They, like other Christ-followers, were human and humans will sin until we receive our glorified bodies. But no matter what we face, it's important to remember that we sin because we choose to, not because God has placed us in a situation where we have no other choice.
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