Summary: The feeding of the 5000 shows us what is involved in doing ministry.
Title: What is ministry?
Most of us have heard of the word ‘ ministry’ but what does it mean? From our text we will discover what ministry means from a practical application.
1. Ministry is work.(v30-31)
“ The Apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quite place and get some rest.”
Why is the ministry work? If I could summarize it in one word, it would be the word “change”. For we read “so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat”.
The ministry is work because people change. In our scripture we are told people were coming and going. In other words some people were receptive and others were not.
Whenever you have this type of reception ministry is hard work.
2. Ministry is everywhere(v32-33)
“ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them”
Ministry has a way of finding us. A need will recognize a need filler. If you are a need filler some need will seek you out. It is a law of nature that opposites attract. People were attracted to Jesus because he was the opposite of them. They were needy and he was the need filler. Jesus as much as said this himself when he said, “ it is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17 (quickview) )
3. Ministry is heart-felt(v34)
“ When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.”
I would like to read this same verse from the Message. It reads;
“When Jesus arrived, he saw this huge crowd. At the sight of them, his heart broke- like sheep with no shepherd they were. He went right to work teaching them”
Ministry is an issue of the heart whether it is ministry unto God or man but how do we get a heart for ministry?
The obvious answer is you pray for a heart for ministry but is this the correct answer?
Notice that Jesus shows us a pattern for having a heart for ministry here in this verse.
The pattern is three-fold.
1. Jesus saw.
Now Jesus is not talking about looking with physical eyes only. He is also talking about looking with spiritual eyes as well. For it says that as he looked on the crowds they were like sheep without a shepherd.
2. Jesus sorrowed.
The word compassion is a very strong word it means to enter into the suffering of another.
3. Jesus served.
Jesus saw, Jesus sorrowed and Jesus served.
The bible tells us that Jesus served by teaching the people many things.
It is true that we can serve without love but we cannot love without serving.
4. Ministry is anytime(v35-36)
Let me again read to you from the Message. This time I would like to read verses 35-36.
“ When the disciples thought this had gone on long enough- it was now quite late in the day-they interrupted:” We are a long way out in the country, and it is very late. Pronounce a benediction and send these folks off so they can get some supper.”