Gospel of Mark | Feeding | Mark 6.35-44 | movementministriesblog.com

by | Jan 15, 2024

“By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. 36 Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” 37 But he answered, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages[e]! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?” 38 “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.” When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.” 39 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.” Mark 6.35-44

When Jesus saw the crowds, he said that they were sheep without a shepherd. And so what does the shepherd do? He steps in to care the sheep. He does this through preaching the word and giving them physical food for their bodies.

His disciples were not total idiots…they realized they were in a remote region and that it was very late. The people needed some nourishment. It’s not like they could call in dozens of food trucks to meet the need! Something had to be done, and from the beginning, Jesus had a plan.

So Jesus, the master shepherd, who is always teaching says, “You give them something to eat.” Again, the disciples are not completely foolish but sometimes we wonder! After Jesus says these words the disciples begin to find out reasons why they couldn’t do the impossible. Instead of believing in a God who can do all things — he’s already risen the dead, driven demons from people, and healed many people – surely he could create a potluck out of thin air.

Jesus asks them “How many loaves do you have?” Five loaves and two fish. (“See Jesus, we told you. It’s impossible!”) But Jesus deals in the unimaginable. He had the people all sit down in groups of hundreds and fifties (assuming for order and so later people might not mistake how many people were cared for that day). He then does a miracle, give thanks and “broke the loaves and divided the fish” and gave it to his disciples to distribute. And all the people were “satisfied,” as the disciples picks up twelves baskets of broken pieces of bread and fish, “and the number of men who had eater was five thousand.”

This is not a new story but the lesson remains fresh — Jesus, as our good shepherd, is the only one who can truly feed our souls and meets our needs. He who created the world out of nothing does it again with the multiplication of bread and fish. He who has compassion upon the people still loves us today.

Have you put your faith in Christ? Allow him to be your good shepherd — the author and redeemer of your soul and the one who can meet your every need.

“O Lord God, it’s January and it’s cold! I’m praying for protection today for everyone who is in the cold, without shelter, and in need of warmth. I’m praying for those without food, without adequate clothing, without hope. Mobilize your church to meet their needs. Call us to action to be your hands and feet. Come now, Lord Jesus, allow us to be used by you. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen