Today in journey through Mark we look at the feeding of the 5000 in Mark 6:30-44:
Feeding the Five Thousand
30 The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 33 Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 34 As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. 35 When it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now very late; 36 send them away so that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy something for themselves to eat.” 37 But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “Are we to go and buy two hundred denarii[a] worth of bread, and give it to them to eat?” 38 And he said to them, “How many loaves have you? Go and see.” When they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39 Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all. 42 And all ate and were filled; 43 and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. 44 Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men.
Today is one of those stories that we have all heard a million times. We know about Jesus feeding the 5000. We’ve heard stories about it, we’ve heard sermons about it, we’ve read it, we know it. So, today, go back and read it, like you’ve never heard it before. Don’t rush through it, don’t think about how you’ve heard it before. Go back and read it like it’s the first time.
Ok, what do you notice? What did you see in this reading that you never really noticed before. That’s one of the ways to hear God’s voice in scripture; what jumps out to you? What did you notice that you didn’t notice before?
Let me tell you what I noticed today when I read this passage.
First, in 31, we see Jesus concern for His disciples. They had been working and serving and hadn’t had any time to rest. That mattered to Jesus. He tells them, let’s go away. Let’s get some rest. Take care of yourself. It’s ok to focus on your needs. Not to the exclusion of others as we will see in a moment, but take care of yourself. Get enough food. Enough rest. Enough care.
These bodies, this life, they are gifts from God. Take care of them. Jesus noticed they were exhausted. And the said, let’s go rest.
But then, notice in 34, when people came to them, He didn’t say, nope, we are busy. How often in our lives do people irritate us when they interrupt our plans? What did Jesus say and do? He had compassion. He had compassion for them. He and the disciples took time to serve them. That’s a great reminder to us when things don’t go as we plan them to or desire them to. Don’t lose sight of the humanity and the need of other people, even when they come at an inconvenient time for you.
Serve them anyway.
And I love what it says in 42. They ate, and they were filled. Jesus filled them completely. He took care of them. He loved them. He cared for them. He made sure they had what they needed.
He does the same for us. He loves you. He cares for you. He meets your needs.
That’s who He is.
Today, what did you notice the reading of this familiar story?
Monday we’ll look at Mark 6:45-52.
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