Posted 3/21/2009

Mark 6:30-44

Jesus feeds five thousand men with 5 loaves and two fish.
Tired disciples
At the beginning of this chapter, Jesus sent the disciples in pairs around the country to cast out spirits and heal diseases. He specifically instructed them to take nothing extra with them at all; no food, no money, no extra clothes.
They were completely dependent on the people they stayed with for all their daily needs. They were hard at work preaching repentance, casting out demons, and healing sick people by anointing them with oil.
After this period of evangelism, they returned and reported back to Jesus all they had been up to. Here we find out they'd been so busy that they had often not even had time to eat. They were obviously exhausted, hungry, and probably sick of crowds of people.
They'd probably been all excited at first, but it's human nature Ecc 2:11 to get tired of anything the same, regardless of how good it is. They'd had their share of successes and rejections; they'd seen God provide through their needs through the people, as He promised would happen.
So, they're gathered around Jesus, and He's promised them a break by themselves for a little while, away from all these annoying people. Unfortunately from their point of view, those crowds of people had a different idea, and followed them around the edge of the lake to where they landed.
Jesus' Reaction
"When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things."
He sees the people as they are: lost, wandering, and clueless. He then responds by giving them what thy need, His teaching (i.e. spiritual food). However, He also didn't ignore their physical needs. When the disciples wanted to send them all away to fend for themselves, He had His same plan: meet the need.
  1. He keeps them around to teach them.

  2. He told the disciples to feed the people

  3. He instructed them to find out what food was available

  4. He fed the people, using the disciples to distribute the food

  5. He made so much, they had 12 baskets extra

Disciples' Different Reaction
  1. First, the disciples get worried about how late it's getting and see the legitimate need for everybody to eat. Their suggestion is reasonable as can be expected in human terms.
  2. Then they respond to Jesus' command to feed them with an incredulous estimate of the cost of buying barely enough food.
  3. They found a meager amount of food
  4. They took the endless supply of bread and fish to feed everybody
  5. They finished by gathering up all the leftovers


All verses in this article