Matthew 15:35 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 15:35, NIV: "He told the crowd to sit down on the ground."

Matthew 15:35, ESV: "And directing the crowd to sit down on the ground,"

Matthew 15:35, KJV: "And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground."

Matthew 15:35, NASB: "And He directed the people to sit down on the ground;"

Matthew 15:35, NLT: "So Jesus told all the people to sit down on the ground."

Matthew 15:35, CSB: "After commanding the crowd to sit down on the ground,"

What does Matthew 15:35 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

For the last three days, people from the mostly Gentile region of the Decapolis have received healing and miracles from Jesus. He has expressed His compassion for their hunger, saying He does not want to send them away only to faint on the way home. He has collected the tiny amount of food the disciples have with them: seven loaves and a few fish (Matthew 15:29–34). In this way, the miracle again emphasized how God can take what little we bring Him and make it into abundance: so much so that there's a considerable amount left over (Matthew 15:37).

Now Jesus directs the people in the crowd to sit down on the ground. During the first miraculous feeding (Matthew 14:13–21), the people were made to sit in groups of 50 and 100, which would have made it easier to count them and to hand out the food in an orderly way. We're not told if that happened in this case, though it seems likely since Matthew has a count of the number of people present.