Sermon August 27, 2017 PastorBryan
Mark 6:30-44 – Jesus Feeds Five Thousand
30 The apostles returned and met with Jesus, and told him all they had done and taught. 31 There were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his disciples didn’t even have time to eat. So he said to them, “Let us go off by ourselves to some place where we will be alone and you can rest a while.” 32 So they started out in a boat by themselves to a lonely place.
33 Many people, however, saw them leave and knew at once who they were; so they went from all the towns and ran ahead by land and arrived at the place ahead of Jesus and his disciples. 34 When Jesus got out of the boat, he saw this large crowd, and his heart was filled with pity for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began to teach them many things. 35 When it was getting late, his disciples came to him and said, “It is already very late, and this is a lonely place. 36 Send the people away, and let them go to the nearby farms and villages in order to buy themselves something to eat.”
37 “You yourselves give them something to eat,” Jesus answered.
They asked, “Do you want us to go and spend two hundred silver coins on bread in order to feed them?”
38 So Jesus asked them, “How much bread do you have? Go and see.”
When they found out, they told him, “Five loaves and also two fish.”
39 Jesus then told his disciples to make all the people divide into groups and sit down on the green grass. 40 So the people sat down in rows, in groups of a hundred and groups of fifty. 41 Then Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish, looked up to heaven, and gave thanks to God. He broke the loaves and gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 Everyone ate and had enough. 43 Then the disciples took up twelve baskets full of what was left of the bread and the fish. 44 The number of men who were fed was five thousand.
As we begin to examine this scripture it’s important to note, this miracle is the only one recorded in all four Gospels. It’s always a good rule of thumb to remember anytime something is repeated we should pay special attention. Such is the case with the story of Jesus feeding the multitude.
As the ministry of Jesus progressed he and the apostles found themselves very busy. They had a lot going on during this time. Everywhere Jesus went crowds followed and gathered around him.
He has roughly a year remaining before he will die on the cross and Jesus understands the limits of his time. There are Jewish leaders who want him gone and he had to be feeling the pressure. On top of all of this, John the Baptist who was his cousin and friend had just been beheaded.
His disciples had been out working hard on the Mission field and just returned. As they excitedly share all they have been doing and teaching Jesus recognizes they haven’t taken time to eat and to rest. He wants to take them away to a quiet place so they can all get some rest.
Jesus had them all get on a boat to get away for a bit. When they reached their destination there was a large crowd of people waiting for them. Jesus wasn’t upset because his plans were spoiled. Scripture says that when Jesus saw the crown he had compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus and the Apostles did what they had come accustomed to doing, they started ministering.
5 Encouraging Truths From This Scripture
- Jesus was moved with compassion
Jesus loved his followers and even in the midst of his own grief he put their needs above his own. He also knew his time on earth was short, and so there was a since of urgency. Jesus’ compassion comes from his deep love for us, but he is also able to relate to the struggles we face.
Scripture says “He is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Ps. 34:18.
This compassion the Bible records is the response Jesus has to lost people, people sinning, people hurting, people who have gone astray. He doesn’t bring wrath or condemnation down on them, Jesus has compassion.
- Jesus doesn’t ask of us more than we have
When the apostles brought what they saw as an issue to Jesus (the people need to eat) Jesus told them to feed the people. They saw it as an impossible task. Even at best if they spent everything they had it would only give everyone just a taste of some food.
After all they had been through with Jesus you would think by now they would be thinking outside of the box. After all, they were at the wedding where Jesus changed water into wine. However, they were still counting on their worldly wisdom.
Jesus asked them to get what they had which amounted to five loaves of bread and two fish. Scripture teaches that he fed the multitude and had food left over. When they brought the fish and loaves Jesus didn’t say, no we need more, go check again. If you can just get a basket full I can help you out. No, Jesus took what they had and worked with that.
This teaches us that Jesus never asks for more than we can give.
- When we selfishly give to others (tithes, outreach) God will multiply
We know by the account of this story in John that it was a little boy who shared this food with the apostles. It would have been natural for the little boy to think of himself and just keep the food. He could have rationalized that his little contribution couldn’t help anyone. However, it was this small sacrifice that Jesus used and multiplied it to feed the people.
This is an example of how God uses our tithes, our time, our efforts to multiply its effect for his kingdom. Maybe you’ve been struggling with paying bills or you have areas of your life which aren’t in order. Tithe your money and your time and watch how God multiplies your efforts and see it returned to you in blessings you hadn’t imagined.
- Jesus gave thanks and trusted
I love the story of the two farmers who prayed for rain. Both had full crops which they counted on for their yearly income. Both were praying for rain, but only one of the farmers prepared for the rain.
Jesus gave thanks for food that didn’t even exist at that time. However, when he had everyone sit down and prepare to eat, the food was there. We shouldn’t just pray for those things we need, we should be preparing to be blessed. Proverbs 3: 5, 6 says, trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will direct your paths.
- Jesus can do the impossible
When the apostles brought the problem to Jesus and he said, you feed him, wasn’t being sarcastic. In fact he knew very well they couldn’t. The point was to get them to count on him for their need. The same is true today, Jesus allows us to look around for solutions for our answers but ultimately he is the answer to any problem we have in life. He has the power and authority to make the impossible, possible.
“He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Eph. 3:20
Often when we have troubles turning to God is the last resort, rather than the first. Jesus wants us to put our trust in him for everything. He is standing by to bless us. So, when we bring our troubles or our requests to him, leave them at his feet and prepare yourself for the blessing.