Sunday Sermon Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand Mark 6:30-44 Many of us know how Jesus miraculously fed more

than five thousand people. The event is recorded in all four gospels. We know about the little boy who had brought five barley loaves and two fish for lunch. Today, I d like to examine what the Book of Mark has to say about this event. Let s see what this miracle meant for Jesus disciples and why did all four Gospel authors include it. Mark says that Jesus had sent His 12 disciples out, two-by-two, to preach, cast out demons, and heal the sick, and that they were now returning and gathering around Him to report everything. Interestingly, the things that Mark says the 12 disciples did he also recorded Jesus as saying that all Christians would do in Mark 16. Jesus said that when we obey Him to go out and preach into all the world, these signs would accompany us: we would drive out demons and heal the sick. Mark 6:6b-13 Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. 7 Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. 8 These were his instructions: Take nothing for the journey except a staff no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9 Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. 10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them. 12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. Let s look at verse 30. Mark 6:30-44, Jesus Feeds Five Thousand 30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 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 quiet place and get some rest. The disciples returned and reported all they had done and taught. Our ministry is both doing and teaching. We must expect miracles to accompany us as we share about Jesus. Jesus called the disciples away to a quiet place where they could be alone and get some rest. And, because King Herod heard about all Jesus was doing and thought that Jesus was John the Baptist raised from the dead. Jesus was now in danger or arrest or even execution. For these reasons, Jesus called the disciples away. They got into a boat and travelled to another place down the shore of the lake, near Bethsaida.

32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. 33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 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. Jesus had compassion on these people, even though most of them only were there to receive something from Him or see miraculous signs. The Book of John says that after Jesus fed the crowd, He began teaching them that He was the bread from heaven, and that many people left Him after that. He also said to them, You are looking for me not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. So here, Jesus had compassion on the crowds. Matthew says that he healed their sick. Mark says Jesus had compassion and taught them many things. Luke says both. Jesus did both, as did His disciples. This is the Shepherd heart of God, to feed, care for, protect, and guide His flock. You may feel like a lost sheep in this life. Lost sheep are vulnerable and without protection from predators and the storms of life. They don t know where they belong, or where they are going. I want to tell you that you have a Good Shepherd. Jesus said He was the Good Shepherd, and that He laid His life down for your sake. Because He died to pay for our sins, we can have a close relationship with God and receive care and protection from Him. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. He knows what you are going through and He has compassion on you. 35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. This is a remote place, they said, and it s already very late. 36 Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat. The disciples and Jesus still had not eaten or had time to rest. They were concerned about the people, for there were 5,000 men, not including women and children. Very likely, the crowd following Jesus was more than 10,000 people. The lifestyle of those who are sent by God to preach the gospel is not leisurely. We must work hard, then rest. It is OK to rest because Jesus did so, and it is OK to take a vacation. But, there will be times when we have to do difficult things. We should expect and look forward to doing difficult things. Nothing truly worth doing is going to be easy. We should teach our children a lifestyle of serving God. Don t teach them to be lazy, but set an example for them of love and service. 37 But he answered, You give them something to eat. They said to him, That would take more than half a year s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?

Many times, we may feel overwhelmed by the demands of what God has called us to do. We look at the enormity of the task and compare that to our own ability. God has called us to go and make disciples of all nations. His vision is for the entire world. He desires all men to be saved and come into a relationship with Him. When we look around us, we see a world that is suffering, full of oppression and violence. Jesus tells us, You do something about it! And, we start thinking in natural terms: We need to do this and that. And, it gets overwhelming. How, Lord?! 38 How many loaves do you have? he asked. Go and see. When they found out, they said, Five and two fish. The disciples thought about what was needed, but Jesus asked them what they had. God does not ask more from us than we can give, but He does ask for what we have. As Paul wrote later, For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have. (2 Corinthians 8:12) Don t let the enormity of the task before us discourage you. Instead, let s find out what we have and look at the willingness of our heart to give it up to Jesus. He asks, How many loaves do you have? When the Lord Jesus asks of you what you have to give for His service, are you ready to take an account and offer that up to Him? Remember: God doesn t want us to get caught up in what is needed or what we don t have what He wants is for us to consider what we do have to offer, and then to give it over to Him willingly. 39 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. Notice what Jesus does next. Before the miracle, He directs the people to sit in groups. Jesus and the disciples knew they only had five loaves and two fish, but the prepared as though they had enough for thousands. In the same way, we should prepare for what God is going to do. We must prepare ourselves and prepare our church. Expect God is going to do great things! 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand. Jesus gave thanks to the Father for the meal. The miracle was this: God made the loaves and fish more than enough for more than 5,000 men. I believe that God caused the broken pieces of fish and loaves to multiply as the disciples handed them out. They just kept handing them out, just as the jar of flour and jug of oil did not run out for the widow who housed Elijah the prophet. They continued to hand out the loaves and fish until they all ate and were satisfied.

In this miracle, we can see that Jesus used the disciples, and that they miracle took place as the disciples distributed the fish and loaves. In the same way, we can expect God s miraculous power to be with us as we go out to do His work. He s going to be there to provide for our immediate needs. He s never ahead or behind us, but right there with us. As we work, He works. He s going to work with us until the job gets done. Conclusion Today, the message is for two groups of people. First, some of you don t have a close relationship with God. You re like a sheep without a shepherd. Jesus has compassion for you, and He demonstrated that by coming here to this earth to save you. By dying on the cross, Jesus made it possible for you to have a close relationship with God, including receiving everything you need: healing, joy, peace, and purpose in your life. The second group of people is already Christian. Many times, you get overwhelmed when you look at the enormity of the task that God has called you to. But Jesus asks, How many loaves do you have? I want to remind you today of what Paul said, For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have. (2 Corinthians 8:12) It s not about what you don t have or even what you think is needed. It s about what you do have and your willingness to give it over to God to use.

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