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                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                  Feeding The Five Thousand (6:32-44)


1. One of the better known miracles of Jesus is "Feeding The Five
   a. With just five loaves and two fish
   b. With twelve baskets of fragments left over!

2. It is the only specific miracle performed by Jesus recorded in all
   four gospels...
   a. Mt 14:13-21; Mk 6:30-44; Lk 9:10-17; Jn 6:1-13
   b. We will let Mark's account be the starting point for our study

[Many lessons can be gleaned from this miracle.  What I found striking
is first...]


      1. He wanted His disciples to rest, but compassion moved Him to
         serve - Mk 6:34
      2. Compassion that moved Him to send the apostles out earlier - Mt
         9:36; 10:1
      3. That later moved Him to feed the four thousand - Mt 15:32-38
      4. That qualifies Him to be a perfect High Priest - cf. He
         4:14-16; 5:1-2
      -- This miracle reveals the wonderful compassion of our Lord!

   B. POWER...
      1. The power to feed 5000 men with five loaves and two fish - Mk
      2. 5000 men, besides women and children (possibly 10,000?) - Mt
      3. With twelve baskets of fragments left over - Mk 6:43
      4. The sort of power that provides more than one needs - cf. Ep
      -- This miracle reveals the overwhelming power of our Lord!

      1. Jesus arranged the multitude in groups and ranks - Mk 6:39-40
      2. Such orderliness is typical, evidenced by His creation - cf.
         Col 1:16; Ps 19:1; Ro 1:19-20
      3. He desires it in the organization and worship of His churches
         - 1Co 14:33,40
      -- This miracle reveals the careful orderliness of our Lord!

[Jesus' compassion, power and orderliness can be gleaned from Mark's
account of this miracle.  From John's account in his gospel, we can also


      1. Their initial reaction was correct
         a. That Jesus was the Prophet who was to come into the world
            - Jn 6:14
         b. As foretold by Moses and confirmed by Peter -  cf. Deut
            18:15-18; Ac 3:18-26
      2. But their desire to make Him king reveals their
         a. They wanted to make Him a literal king - Jn 6:15
         b. His kingdom was not to be a literal kingdom - cf. Jn 18:36;
            Lk 17:20-21
      3. Today, we should not presume to know what is God's will
         a. His ways and thoughts are often much different than our own
            - cf. Isa 55:8-9
         b. Thus we should be quick to hear, rather than presume - cf.
            Ecc 5:1-2
      -- The response to this miracle reveals man's ability to
         misunderstand God's will!

      1. They sought Jesus for the wrong reasons
         a. They wanted the physical food He provided - Jn 6:26
         b. They should have sought food that endures to everlasting
            life - Jn 6:27
      2. He wanted to give them true bread
         a. That gives life to the world - Jn 6:32-33
         b. The bread of life, given to those who believe - Jn 6:34-35
      2. Today, people often choose churches for the wrong reasons
         a. Entertainment, youth programs, etc.
         b. When they should be looking for spiritual things - cf. Ro
      -- The response to this miracle reveals man's tendency to desire
         material things

      1. They complained about Him
         a. Because of His claim to be bread from heaven - Jn 6:41
         b. Because they saw Him only as the son of Joseph and Mary - Jn
      2. They struggled over His sayings
         a. Taking Him literally - Jn 6:52
         b. Even many of His disciples left Him - Jn 6:60,66
      3. Today, many demonstrate a similar dullness
         a. Unwilling to stay with Jesus (unlike the apostles) - Jn
         b. Unwilling to make use of their time to learn and apply - cf.
            He 5:11-14
      -- The response to this miracle reveals man's propensity to
         spiritual dullness


1. The miracle we have studied offers insight into the person of Jesus
   a. His compassion for the souls and bodies of mankind
   b. His power to provide for every need of man
   c. His orderliness in the work He sets out to perform

2. The reaction to this miracle reveals insight into the propensity of
   a. To misunderstand the will of God
   b. To seek after material things of the world
   c. To be dull of heart, which leads to the first two

3. What will be our response to this wonderful miracle...?
   a. Let our spiritual dullness to take it lightly, or ignore it
   b. Let it increase our faith in Him who provides our every need?

Jesus' intention was to draw men to Him as the Bread of Life which
nourishes our souls.  May we not be so blinded by the materialism that
we fail to labor for that which leads to everlasting life (Jn 6:27)...
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