Summary: Jesus takes somethings so small and feeds many. Although He was tired, He could not send the tired mass home-hungry, so He fed them and proved that He was no ordinary person.
PROVIDING PROVISIONS PRODUCES PLEASURE
I. THE POVERTY: Mark 6:35-38
A. The Place 6:35
B. The Plea 6:36
C. The Pious 6:37
II. THE PROVIDING: Mark 6:38-41
A. The Possessions 6:38
B. The Plan. 6:39, 40
C. The Prayer. 6:41
III. THE PROVISIONS: Mark 6:42-44
A. The Peasantry. 6:42
B. The Prodigiousness. 6:43
C. The Prototype. 6:44
The day is now gone and the sun is beginning to set in the Western sky and yet the people stayed. Christ has been teaching them, “many things” in verse 34 and still the people stay, mesmerized by His teachings. Christ was aware of the situation and yet He continued to teach. Finally the disciples could not hold their anxiety about the situation any longer and approached Christ about the people and their need for food. Evidently, Christ was waiting for a chance to do a miracle and He allowed the turn of events to get to this place so He could prove just who He really was. It is important to remember the previous verses about the beheading of John. Some thought that John was the Messiah, yet he was gone and now here is Christ and He is preparing to do a miracle to prove that He was the true Messiah. He knew that word would circulate back to Herod and with the news that this Man fed such a motley group, Herod would indeed begin to worry as to just what was going on in his realm. He, Herod, had just silenced a popular preacher and soon word would circulate that a greater than John the Baptist was alive and working miracles. Herod would have to worry as to the real identity of this Man and also contemplate that he murdered a prophet of God.
I see three things here in this passage before me. The first thing I note is that there was great POVERTY in connection with the feeding of the five thousand. Next, I see the great PROVIDING that Christ did for the people as He preformed a miralce in front of their eyes. Lastly, I see the PROVISIONS that He made as He fed the multitude.
* THE PROVERTY: I notice where this miracle took place and the situations surrounding it. It was out in the open and there were many people involved. This lends itself well to the Poverty setting of this miracle.
The Place where the feeding took place was in a barren, open place. Mark, at first, calls this place a “desert place.” Later, he mentions that there was green grass growing. The bottom line is that it was in the open, with no stores, no food and nothing to provide sustenance to the people-a barren stretch of land. This typifies the world today in relation to the Church and to the Gospel. We are in a barren land even as we live on this earth-it is the domain of Satan and we are pilgrims passing through his territory. There is nothing here to give us sustenance and nourishment for our souls. This was what sparked the disciples remark to Jesus for help for the people.
I then notice the Plea. These disciples had the idea that the best way to handle hungry people was to “send them away.” I wonder how often the Church of Jesus Christ has did exactly this very thing to many who came to hear the Master, who grew hungry and who hung on His words only to be sent away, still hungry? We are the Church in a wilderness and the only answer some of us can give to the hungry person is to, “go away and fend for yourself!” However, that was not the plan of Jesus. He asked them what they had and what they had was not very much.
The last part of this Poverty topic has to do with the Pious ones-the disciples and their idea of helping the mass of people who were listening to Jesus preach and teach. Their first inclination was to send the multitude away and let them fend for themselves in the markets nearby. Instead of trying to see what they could do for these hungry people, the disciples’ plan was to dismiss them-even though they were all hungry-and let them make their own way for their salvation-the satisfying of their hunger, by themselves. How many times have the pious ones of the Church of Jesus Christ sent the many away to go and fend for themselves in the markets of the world?
** THE PROVIDING: I notice that Jesus was not deterred in His wishes to help the hungry multitude.
The first thing I note is that there was someone or a few who were there who had a Possession-albeit small, yet it was all that Jesus would need to feed the people. When Jesus asked them what they had, the answer came back that they had very little.