Chapter 24

The master of the miraculous
Mark 6:30-44 (NASB)

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30 And the apostles gathered together with Jesus; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught. 31 And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) 32 And they went away in the boat to a lonely place by themselves. 33 And the people saw them going, and many recognized them, and they ran there together on foot from all the cities, and got there ahead of them. 34 And when He went ashore, He saw a great multitude, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things. 35 And when it was already quite late, His disciples came up to Him and began saying, “The place is desolate and it is already quite late; 36 send them away so that they may go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” 37 But He answered and said to them, “You give them something to eat!” And they said to Him, “Shall we go and spend two hundred denarii on bread and give them something to eat?” 38 And He said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go look!” And when they found out, they said, “Five and two fish.” 39 And He commanded them all to recline by groups on the green grass. 40 And they reclined in companies of hundreds and of fifties. 41 And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food and broke the loaves and He kept giving them to the disciples to set before them; and He divided up the two fish among them all. 42 And they all ate and were satisfied. 43 And they picked up twelve full baskets of the broken pieces, and also of the fish. 44 And there were five thousand men who ate the loaves.

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Mark 6:30-34
Report back-and rest?

The twelve apostles report back to Jesus all that they have done and taught. It is good to share with Christ our plans to serve Him and afterwards to review our work with him. Then we learn how to improve our service, and thank Him for His help. The twelve meet with Jesus physically. We meet Him spiritually in prayer as our ‘Emmanuel’ or ‘God with us’[1].

Jesus cares for His servants, knowing when they need a rest. His team has no time to eat, so Jesus calls them to rest. They go by boat together, but are recognised and overtaken by crowds who run ahead of them. So much for their rest! Sometimes serving Christ is like that. There is nothing wrong with sometimes taking time out—but others’ needs and urgency to share the gospel may mean we can miss out.

Jesus looks compassionately. The large crowd, is like sheep without a shepherd. But because they need to receive God’s word, Jesus begins to teach them many things. Thank God for those who have shared God’s word with us and helped us to trust God, know Him better, and understand the Bible.

Mark 6:35-44
Feeding the five thousand

Twice Jesus feeds thousands with very small amounts of food. Here is first time He feeds a large crowd, including five thousand men. As they meet in a remote place and it is late, the disciples ask Jesus to send the people away to buy food. Jesus’ staggering reply is You give them something to eat. Their reply shows they have insufficient funds to buy the necessary food. Jesus makes them collect any available food. They gather five loaves and two fishes from a lad’s lunch pack, according to John’s Gospel.[2] Jesus organises the crowd into groups of hundreds and fifties. He blesses and breaks the loaves and divides the fish. His disciples distribute it. Everyone eats all they need. Twelve baskets of scraps are gathered!

This miracle reminds us that the Lord Jesus is God the Creator in flesh and that when God works mightily and miraculously, He nevertheless requires good organisation and teamwork. He includes His disciples as He blesses others. Today, many people are starved of the word of God and know little of Jesus, the Bread of Life.[3] Christians should share His word with those who lack understanding of the good news of forgiveness through Jesus. As the gospel message is shared, many people who are hungering for reality and meaning will come to know Christ. They will experience real satisfaction which only Jesus can give—and which expands into perfect blessing in Heaven.

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[1]    .  Matthew 1:23.
[2]    .  John 6:9
[3]    .  John 6:35, John 6:48.

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Questions on Chapter 24
Mark 6:30-44 The Master of the miraculous.

A. What happens when Jesus and the disciples go to rest together? What do the actions of the disciples tell you about their attitude?   Mark 6:32-24

B. Why does Jesus have compassion on the large crowd? What does He do to help them?   Mark 6:34

C. What balance is there here between Jesus’ miraculous power, good organisational management, and team work? How should we seek that balance, in following and serving Him?  Mark 6:38-41, 43 1 Corinthians 14:40