Summary: Mark is sharing with us the miracle of feeding the 5,000. It is a miracle that teaches us that we can live as Christ followers who can 1. Do more than point out problems 2. Provide Real Solutions by putting things in the hands of Jesus etc...
Title: Get Involved - Be a Problem Solver!
Theme: Leading and Feeding
Sermon - Mark is sharing with us the miracle of feeding the 5,000. It is a miracle that teaches us that we can live as Christ followers who can 1. Do more than point out problems 2. Provide Real Solutions by putting things in the hands of Jesus and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in and through us.
Grace and peace from God our Father and from Jesus Christ our Savior and King who came to take away the sin(s) of the world!
There is nothing like the truth to mess up some of your favorite preconceived notions when it comes to certain scripture passages. The one we read this morning is one of those in which once you know the truth it actually makes more sense and leads us to understand even deeper truths.
As a child I always pictured this story of feeding the 5,000 this way -
All these families from the surrounding villages setting out early one morning and spending the whole day with Jesus. That is why there were over 5,000 of them and why after a day of speaking they found themselves without food. While Jesus was speaking to the adults the children would be playing and things would be very picturesque. It did bother me why they only counted the men but I figured back then it was a man's world and that was the reason. Today, they would have counted the men, women and children.
However, as I grew up and began to study this passage in more detail I began to realize that perhaps the story was not quite as picturesque as I first thought. Perhaps, it was not as leisurely a stroll as I first pictured. But as I dug into the passage I began to understand it's passion and drive. I began to understand that Jesus planned this whole event very much on purpose.
Let's go back to the passage and set up the scene.
+Jesus and the boys (the disciples) are just getting back together after his time at home and them coming back from their mission tour. Bible scholars tell us that they were somewhere near the city of Capernaum. While all that was going on news had come that King Herod had recently murdered John the Baptist. So, you can imagine the distress of hearing such news had on both Jesus and all His disciples.
+Everyone was a little exhausted from their time of preaching, teaching, healing and casting out demons. They were still celebrating all that the Good God of Creation had done through them but they also were looking forward to some down time. Therefore, Jesus planned a little go away retreat. Not very far away from where they were was a little fishing community near Bethsaida of Julius, located on the north-east side of the Sea of Galilee in King Philip's territory away from the reach of King Herod Antipas.
Nearby Bethsaida, was this perfect little secluded area that would allow them to have a couple of days of R and R. It was to be a nice time of debriefing, resting and getting ready to go again.
+It would take them a few hours to get there by boat. They would be going against the normal winds (about 14 mph northwest during Spring time) so what would have been a quick four mile journey over the waters was going to take them somewhere between 2- 4 hours. It would be a nice way to start their retreat; resting in the boat, listening to the soft sounds of the water and enjoying the nice wonderful sunshine that came with Spring time in Israel.
+Mark tells us in verse 33 that some people spotted Jesus and the disciples getting in their boat and over heard them saying that they were going towards Bethsaida. While these people didn't have a boat they knew that they could walk across the upper shore to get to where Jesus was going to disembark.
It is right here that the story begins to get really good. For you see, from the area that they started to where Jesus was going to end up was at around 7 miles away on foot. Now, think about that for a moment. We read these stories in our Bibles and at times we gloss over such essential facts.
While the road between some of the ancient cities were well worn and some even paved with stones it was still a seven mile hike going up and down the hilly path. The weather was good and there was plenty of places to take a rest but 7 miles is still 7 miles. And they wanted to arrive at the shore line before Jesus and the disciples arrived in their boat.