Summary: This sermon is for an audience with experience in the Word and in serving others. It challenges us to give of ourselves to meet the needs of others. PLEASE RATE
Mark 6:30-44 – Real Ministry
The apostles returned to Jesus and told him ALL that they had done and taught. 31 And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place 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 desolate place by themselves.
33 Now many SAW THEM going and recognized them, and they RAN there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.
35 And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. 36 SEND THEM AWAY to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” 37 But he answered 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 it to them to eat?” 38 And he said to them, “How many loaves do you HAVE? Go and see.” And when they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39 Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties.
41 And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. 42 And they all ate and were satisfied. 43 And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. 44 And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.
Christians are called ---- to serve others. And today’s passage shows us what that means.
The story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 reminds us of the sufficiency of Christ in the face of overwhelming need. But that isn’t the ONLY message here. The ultimate takeaway for ME is - - I get a chance to see what REAL ministry looks like.
The disciples had just returned from their first ministry assignment. If you read the verses prior to these, you will find Jesus commissioning the twelve to take the gospel into the community. This was their FIRST opportunity to perform ministry without our Lord being physically present.
Not only did He commission them to preach, He gave them ability to perform miracles. This power would authenticate their message - proving that God was in it. For the first time in their lives, ordinary men could do extraordinary things. And in verse 30, they came back to Jesus with glowing testimonials of ALL the miracles they had accomplished.
But as successful as they were - they still had MUCH to learn about ministry. So what happens next will teach them what real ministry looks like.
Which made me think of OUR church. Some of you are being impressed by the Lord to serve in various capacities... you long to see God do great things in our church and really want us to reach people. BUT before we can truly serve others, there are three lessons we must learn:
1. First, this story teaches us of the Power of Real Ministry in vv. 30-32…
Where does the power to SERVE come from??? Look at verse 30...
“The apostles returned to Jesus and told him ALL that they had done and taught. 31 And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place 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 desolate place by themselves.”
I’m sure it blessed the Lord to hear their excitement as they recounted all the things they had seen and accomplished. But if you look closely, you will see something even MORE important than RESULTS: the Lord drew his disciples away from the crowds to a more private setting.
WHY??? Why was it so important that the disciples get alone with Jesus? I can think of three reasons:
First, because they needed rest – ministry is physically, emotionally, and spiritually demanding. You've GOT to be at your very BEST when you serve. You can’t serve the Lord half-heartedly.
They had spent themselves in ministry… and they needed rest. Because the Lord knew that the devil will often use fatigue to discourage God’s servants. When you're tired, things look worse than they really are.