Mark 6:33-44 Feeding the Five Thousand

In his epistle written around A.D. 66, John Mark began his letter by introducing John The Baptist, God’s messenger by describing how his role was to announce the coming of the Messiah, and baptize Him in the Jordan River so Jesus could fulfill all righteousness, and be identify with those He came to redeem.

After He was baptized, Christ was tested by Satan in the wilderness for forty days but the Messiah persevered and resisted temptation as He prepared for His ministry, which He started in Galilee while John The Baptist was imprisoned for rebuking Herod Antipas.

The Lord’s ministry began along the Sea of Galilee where He recruited His first four apostles, Simon, Andrew, James and John, who were all fishermen from Capernaum, a small fishing village located on the northern shore of the lake. This was the location where Jesus performed His first recorded miracle when He healed a possessed man, delivering him from a demon. Jesus followed His first miracle with another when He miraculously healed Simon’s mother in law who was gravely ill, then as word spread about these healings, the entire population of the city gathered outside the house door where Jesus answered the call to heal the sick.

Then, Jesus embarked on a missionary journey through the region which eventually lead him back to Capernaum where He furthered His ministry through preaching and healing the sick. But, when He healed a man on the Sabbath, the Pharisees and Herodians began plotting to kill Him.

Before they could get to Him, Jesus chose His twelve apostles. The first was Simon, whom Jesus renamed Peter. Next came James, one of the “Sons of Thunder” who accepted the call to follow Jesus along with his brother John, Andrew, the dean of His apostolic corps Philip, the curious, Bartholomew, the honest one, then Matthew, the “money-getter” for the ministry, Thomas, the doubter as well as the twins, James and Thaddaeus Alphaeus, the group’s chief ushers, Simon, the Zealot and lastly, Judas, the traitor.

After they returned to Capernaum, Jesus and His apostles walked into a house where the Messiah confronted scribes who were out to get Him arrested, claiming He was possessed. But, Jesus rebuked them, then He continued to exhort them while He enlightened the others present, eventually warning those who blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, that their spiritual destiny involved suffering and agony, forever.

While He was teaching, Jesus’ mother and brothers came for Him claiming He was not of right mind, in hope this would dissuade the Scribes and stop the plot to arrest the Messiah. When He heard His family was outside the house, Jesus revealed His plan for His church, that all those who believe would become part of a family, a spiritual body.

Next, for the second time at Capernaum, Jesus resorted to the sea to further His ministry. This time, the Messiah leveraged the natural ability for water to carry sound, as He continued to teach the multitude using parables, starting with the parable of the sower, which He followed by a statement meant for those who reject Him, that parables could only be understood by seekers and believers alike.

Later, when He was alone with the twelve, Jesus continued to enlighten His apostles by revealing the mystery found in the parable of the sower, that, among those who hear the word of God, only a few will receive the word, believe and be saved from the wages of sin which is death and agony, forever.

Jesus followed His exhortation with the parable of the light under a basket, calling on His followers to spread His love throughout the world, then He carried on with more parables, including the parable of the mustard seed in which the divine Teacher compared the evolution of the kingdom of God to the greatest of miracles among its kind, that the smallest of all seeds would grow to be the largest plant of its kind.

Next, Jesus revealed how He used parables to enlighten seekers and believers alike, and the same parables to obscure the minds of those who deny the truth or reject His deity.

After this, Jesus performed a miracle as He rebuked the wind and the waves while He was crossing the sea of Galilee, onto Gersa, located directly across the Sea from Capernaum where the Lord miraculously healed a possessed man by casting out his demons.

Because they were afraid of Him, those at Gersa requested Jesus leave their Land, and upon His return to Capernaum, He performed two more miracles. The first happened when Jesus healed a woman who touched His garment, and also brought a prominent Jewish man’s child back to life.

However, when He came to Nazareth, the town where He grew up, Jesus was not well received by those who knew Him as a child or were acquainted with members of His family. The journey throughout Galilee continued until the day when Jesus called the twelve and sent them out two by two, giving each one power over unclean spirits.

“30 Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught.” (Mark 6:30)

At the conclusion of their mission through Galilee, the twelve returned to Jesus and gave Him a report of their activities since each one had been called and set out on the Great Commission.

“31 And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.” (Mark 6:31)

Here, Mark shares how Jesus called on His apostles to rest at the conclusion of their missionary journey, understanding both the physical and emotional demands that come along ministry, including persecution by Satan and his army.

“32 So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves. 33 But the multitudes saw them departing, and many knew Him and ran there on foot from all the cities. They arrived before them and came together to Him.” (Mark 6:32-33)

Once again, a boat is used to transport the apostles, this time from Capernaum to a deserted place where the twelve could get rest. While the boat did provide privacy as it floated along the shore, the slow moving vessel was engulfed in by the multitude when it came to shore.

“34 And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.” (Mark 6:34)

When He saw the size of the crowd that followed Him, Jesus was once again moved and compassionate toward them, and He was led to teach and enlighten them.

“35 When the day was now far spent, His disciples came to Him and said, “This is a deserted place, and already the hour is late. 36 Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread; for they have nothing to eat.” (Mark 6:35-36)

As the day grew long, the multitude grew even larger and the apostles became concerned for the crowd seeing that there was no way to feed them in the deserted place where they had gathered to rest. Because their location was so remote, the apostles suggested Jesus send them away before night fall.

“37 But He answered and said to them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to Him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat? 38 But He said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they found out they said, “Five, and two fish.” (Mark 6:37-38)

Jesus knew there was not nearly enough feed to feed the crowd, and He also was prepared to perform yet another miracle but He wanted to make certain the twelve were fully aware of the miracle that was about to happen.

“39 Then He commanded them to make them all sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in ranks, in hundreds and in fifties. 41 And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all.” (Mark 6:39-41)

The Lord used His divine power to multiply the loaves and the fish to such an extent, it was enough to feed all those present.

“42 So they all ate and were filled. 43 And they took up twelve baskets full of fragments and of the fish. 44 Now those who had eaten the loaves were about five thousand men.” (Mark 6:42-44)

At the conclusion of the feast, to the amazement of the apostles, there were twelve baskets full of leftovers after over 5,000 men and their families were fed. Like the loaves, Jesus is the bread of life and whoever comes to Him, their cup will be filled as each one is loved unconditionally by our heavenly Father. Let’s pray!

Father God;
We thank you for your blessings in our lives,
We praise you Lord for the wisdom found through the gospel of Mark,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we continue to learn more about you through your word.

Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.

God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your ways, your everlasting wisdom and strength.

May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.

We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.

Praise God,
Amen!

This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre
Email: danielstpierre@thrivethroughchrist.com

Posted in Bible Studies.

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