Mark 6:30-56 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Jesus Feeds The Five Thousand
Comments for Study 11

Mark 6:30-56
Memory Verse: 7

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I. He Had Compassion on Them (30-34)

>1. Where had the apostles just been? (7)

* Mark 6:7 "Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits."

* Most likely Jesus gave each one of them a region to preach in so that they wouldn't overlap and so that they would cover more area.

* Most likely they stayed within the region that Jesus had been sent to-Israel. More specifically this would be Galilee, Samaria, Judea, and the Decapolis which was move of the Israel that Abraham had been promised and which David's kingdom consisted of.

* Most likely Jesus had given them a time to report back to him.

* Jesus himself went on teaching and preaching in the towns of Galilee. (Matt. 11:1)

* Mark indicates by talking about John the Baptist death, that when the disciples were out preaching, John the Baptist sent his disciples to Jesus when Jesus was in Galilee by himself preaching. Thus he coincides with Matthew 11:2-3. However, Matthew doesn't record when the discples came back from their journey so we can not be sure. Luke is the same as Mark in that they talk only about John the Baptist's death in the same place as Matthew records John's disciples coming to Jesus (Lk. 9:7-9). No dought John sending his disciples to Jesus, John's death, and Jesus sending out his disciples all happened about the same time.

>What were they reporting about? (12,13,30)

* Mark 6:12 "They went out and preached that people should repent."

* Mark 6:13 "They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them."

* Mark 6:30 "The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught."

* 1) What they taught (preached).
    2) Those they anointed with oil.
    3) The people that were healed.
    4) The demons that were cast out.
    5) The people that repented.

* They did not have a building to meet in (a church) nor a conference sight; so most likely the disciples reported to Jesus while they were walking on the road , probably near Capernaum.

* "they had done"-seems to indicate the discples talked about themselves rather than what God had done. Although Mark credits these things to the disciples as well (6:12-13) without mentioning God.

>What small problem arose? (31)

* Mark 6:31 "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.""

* Jesus had obviously been teaching while the disciples were out on their journey because the people knew where he was at this time.

* "Coming" -to be healed. They wanted more.

* "Going" -after they were healed they returned to society, not doubt at Jesus' request.

* "that they" -The disciples are included in this. They helped the people that came too, just like they had did while being sent out. They were helping people while Jesus was there and helping people. Thus they couldn't eat.

>What did Jesus invite them to do?

* "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."

* Jesus took care of his disciple's needs.

>Why?

* "Come with me" -rest is with Jesus.

* "by yourselves" -Jesus was telling them that they would be alone with each other.

* "to quiet place" -so Jesus and his disciples could spend some time together with no interruptions. They went to Bethsaida (Lk. 9:10). However, they didn't go into the city because after the feeding Jesus sent the disciples to Bethsaida (Mk. 6:45). So it was south of Bethsaida. This would still be correct because even today five miles from a town, city, or village is called by the name of the town, city, or village.

* "and get some rest"-Jesus wanted them to get rest.

* Humanly our bodies need rest from the spiritual battle.

* It is not wrong to rest physically, but a lot of the time it is not necessary.

>2. What happened as they left in the boat? (32-33a)

* Mark 6:32 "So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them..."

* "a solitary place" -no towns, villages or even homes of farmers was in the area where they intended to go.

* "saw them leaving" -from shore a person can see for two to three miles out on sea. So it would be easy for the people to watch the disciples and Jesus from the shore for almost the whole trip.

>Who got to the other side first? (33b)

* Mark 6:33b "...and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them."

* "and got there ahead of them" -the crowd got there first. The distance was probably less than 10 miles (see "from all the towns" below.)

* "ran" -they were excited to meet Jesus. They were deliberately going there to meet Jesus ahead of his landing.

* "on foot" -they didn't have chariots or horses, or drawn carts. They were average people.

* "from all the towns" -Capernaum and Bethsaida, which was on the north end of the Sea of Galilee, had populations of approx 3,000 respectfully. They were among the biggest cities in the region of Galilee. However, the whole area of the Sea of Galilee was very populous because of the fertile soil and travel routes and natural resources. Still a big part of the population of the area went to meet Jesus and the disciples on another shore of the lake. Most likely this was South of Bethsaida, on the north east shore.

>Why do you think they ran on foot so fast?

* They didn't want to be away from Jesus.

* The people had a good reason to go so quickly, if Jesus landed before them, he could have disappeared into the desert regions east of the sea of Galilee or into the remote mountains where it would be hard to find him.

* They had spiritual desire and need.

>When Jesus landed, how did he see the crowd of people, and why? (34a)

* Mark 6:34a "When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd."

* "he had compassion on them" -this is a shepherd's heart of love; warm and affectionate.

* "like a sheep without a shepherd" -sheep can do nothing without a shepherd. They were helpless. They long the presence and care of the shepherd.

* Jesus did not reject people who came to him by faith.

* Jesus wasn't angry with the people for interrupting him.

* God looks at people like this.

* Jesus saw himself as a shepherd for the people.

* Jesus did not forget about his plans for his disciples. He just delayed it till 7:24.

>What did Jesus do for them? (34b)

* Mark 6:34b "So he began teaching them many things."

* "many things" -Jesus and his disciple left in the early morning. When the crowd awoke, they left right away seeing the general direction Jesus was headed. After the less than half day's journey there was still time for Jesus to heal and teach till evening. This was another long day for Jesus and his disciples.

Jesus taught and healed for about four hours. Assuming Jesus and the disciples left Capernaum by 10:00 a.m. and the trip took three hours our less, then they probably landed at around 1:00 p.m. The gospel writers tells us that it was late in the afternoon when the disciples approached Jesus asking him to send them away. (Luke 9:12). This is taking into account for the people to eat, the disciples to collect the leftovers, and Jesus to dismiss the crowds (one to three hours). Therefore, Jesus probably taught from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Jesus taught them in parables as he had usually done. The gospel writters did not record the teachings. We can assume that what Jesus taught at this time was nothing that we don't have already somewhere else.

* He did not feed them first, but he taught them first.

* Note that they were eager to hear him so Jesus taught them.

>What can we learn here from Jesus?

* See people from a spiritual standpoint.

* With a shepherd's heart.

* Teach people the word of God as of first importance. This is a true shepherd's heart.

* He cared for the sheep's needs.

II. "You Give Them Something to Eat" (35-44)

>3. When it was late, what did the disciples say? (35,36)

* Mark 6:35-36 "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. Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat."

* The people were hungry for they had left from the other side of the lake in a hurry. They didn't think much about taking food with them.

* There was no food in the area.

* There were many people.

>4. What did Jesus say to them? (37a)

* Mark 6:37a "But he answered, "You give them something to eat.""

>In what way was his command impossible for them to obey?

* "You" -Jesus directly challenged them. We are to obey God, but sometimes his direction for us seems impossible.

* "give" -from nothing.

* "something" -Not a seven course meal. Anything. He didn't specify what to give. He left it open for them to fill in the details.

* Verse 44 says that there was over 5,000 men plus women and children, an impossible direction was given them.

* They didn't have any food nor much money and there was no place to get food in the remote area.

>What was Jesus trying to teach them through this?

* Jesus challenged them to have a better shepherd heart and a leader in many aspects.

* Jesus challenged their faith.

* They came for rest, didn't get any, then Jesus challenged them. They were at this level of faith and challenge.

* Jesus challenge of faith is no different than the Lord telling Abraham to sacrifice his son, than Moses to go to Pharoah and say, "Let my people go."

>5. How did they respond to his command (37b)

* Mark 6:37b "They said to him, "That would take eight months of a man's wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?"

* They were being sarcastic. In other words they were saying, "Ya, right, all 5,000 men plus the women and children too."

>How do you think they felt?

* They would lose out on personal things.

* They were a little synical in verse 37b.

* They were hungry and tired.

>How did Jesus help them? (38)

* Mark 6:38 ""How many loaves do you have?" he asked. "Go and see." When they found out, they said, "Five--and two fish.""

* "loaves" -Jesus didn't say this before.

>What does it mean to "go and see"?

* Don't give up. Act in faith with what is around.

* Do what is possible even if it is small for God can bless.

* When he called them he said, "come and see". (John 1) Now he was saying, "Go and see".

* "see" -act and experince for yourself.

>What can we learn here?

* Not to calculate.

* Do have a "by any means" spirit.

* Don't sit and wait for God to work. God wants us to practice our faith.

* Challenge those in our care to have faith.

* Jesus told the disciples to sit the people down (39).

* Involve others who have a desire into our ministry if at all possible and have them experience what God can and is doing.

>6. When the disciples brought what they had, what was the result? (39-44)

* Mark 6:39-44 "Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 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 set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand."

* "5,000" -This is a different incident than the feeding of the 4,000.

>What can we learn from this?

* Have faith when we offer "five loaves and two fish".

* Even if we are tired like the disciples were, we need to have faith and help others.

* God blesses our work by faith.

* The disciples still participated even though Jesus had to teach them by doing it himself.

* Jesus had the disciples make an enviroment of order.

III. "Take Courage! It Is I" (45-56)

>7. What did Jesus do immediately after feeding the crowd? (45)

* Mark 6:45 "Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd."

* "Immediately" -Jesus wanted to leave right after collecting the left over twelve baskets. Note: the sun was setting.

* "made the disciples get in a boat" -Jesus personally took care of his disciples so the people wouldn't follow them. The miracle was experience by the people, then Jesus withdrew from them for the sake of the twelve.

* "and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida" -Jesus gave them a mission.

* "while he dismissed the crowd" -so this time they wouldn't see them leave. Maybe he wanted the disciple to rest now. One man dismissing the crowd of over 5,000 wasn't easy.

>Why did he pray alone? (46)

* Mark 6:46 "After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray."

* Quiet time with God on a personal level. I have found that the most of the most meaningful times in my life have been personal times with God in prayer and meditation.

* "pray" -Prayer is a two way communication with God. We are told to pray continually, not just at a church service, or before we eat, or before we go to bed. (1 Thessalonians 5:17) We are to pray all the time. Several men of God are said to have "walked with God." Walking with God means to have fellowship with him all the time; that is continual prayer. Prayer is two way. We tell God all in spirit and truth and he responds back. God answer to prayer requests are either yes, no, or wait. The apostle Paul wrote that the Spirit searches our hearts and intercedes for us with groans that word cannot express. (Rom. 8:26)

* When we get wrapped up in the world and helping sheep it is easy to forget to have quiet time with God in prayer.

* "he went up on a mountainside" -Not that it got him closer to God. Rather, it was the only place he could find that someone wouldn't bother him. Jesus sought a private place to pray as we should. (Matt. 6:6)

>What happened to the disciples that night? (47, 48a)

* Mark 6:47-48a "When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them."

* "middle of the lake" -They must have worked hard at the oars for some time to get that far. They didn't give up. They kept trying to go to Bethsaida as Jesus instructed. Perhaps they thought it was another test like when he had asked them to feed the 5,000.

* "he was alone on land" -He had told them to go ahead without him.

* "He saw the disciples" -Jesus sees us when we are struggling hard.

>8. What did Jesus do? (48b)

* Mark 6:48b "About the fourth watch of the night he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them,"

* "About the fourth watch of the night" -This is refering to the Roman army and temple guard's watches. The fourth watch is from 3 to 6 AM.

* "he went out to them... was abot to pass them" -Mark is indicating that Jesus was going to pass them.

>How did the disciples respond? (49, 50a)

* Mark 6:49-50a "but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified."

* "ghost" -When a person dies his spirit and soul separates from the physical body. Those who die in this age (if believers this is before they have received a resurrection body) leave their physical body decaying in this world and their souls go to one of two waiting places; one is in heaven and the other is the torment side of Hades (Sheol in Hebrew). Hades means grave. All non-believers’ souls go to Hades and stay there until Jesus judges them at the great white throne.

Many believe it is possible for disembodied souls to roam freely on the surface of the earth, some to haunt homes, hotels, factories, grave yards, and wooded lots. The Bible does not support this view. The Bible does record humans use of mediums and spiritualists. (Isaiah 8:19) They are not channels of the dead as they say. Rather, they are mouth pieces of demons who seek to pervert all that is right and good. Jesus taught that dead unbelievers go to Hades immediately and cannot leave. (Luke 16:19-31)

As Jesus’ believers die before his return they go to heaven to await their marriage to Jesus, receiving a new resurrection body, rewards for acts done in this life, and their Millennium rule under King Jesus. Phil. 1:23 says they wait in “a far better place than this current earth.

In the Old Testament when a person of God died physically it was written, “He was gathered to his people.” (Gen. 25:8, 17, 35:29, 49:33) From the time of Adam to Jesus' death and resurrection believers left their physical body and their souls would go to the comfort side of Hades. When Jesus died he descended to this place, preached to them, and escorted them to the waiting place in heaven mentioned above. (Acts 2:27, 31, Eph. 4:8-10) This is why paradise is referred to as “up”. (Rev. 2:7, 2 Cor. 12:4)

The Bible records one incident where Saul, the first king of Israel asked the Witch of Endor to “Bring up Samuel from the comfort side of Hades because God stopped giving him messages. (1 Sam. 28) She did not do this and was very surprised and alarmed when Samuel suddenly came out of the earth. Samuel did not want to leave the comfort side of Hades because it is a far better place than this earth. Still Samuel appeared to Saul to deliver God’s message to him. This lone incident does not say that mediums and spiritualists are able to communicate with human disembodied spirits. It was only allowed by God because Saul would not obey.

>What did Jesus say to them? (50b)

* Mark 6:50b "Immediately he spoke to them and said, "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid.""

>What was their problem?

* Fear. No courage. They had wrote ideas about ghosts, superstitions. Without faith we have fear.

* "terrified" -Even though Jesus gave them authority over demons they were terrified of a ghost. I would have been terrified too. I know I am no different than them.

>What happened when Jesus climbed into the boat?

* Mark 6:51 "Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed,"

* "completely amazed" -They were not aware that he could do this.

* Mark does not record as Matthew does that Peter tried to walk on water too probably because Mark learned from Peter and thus did not want to bring up this embarrassing incident.

>What does verse 52 mean?

* Mark 6:52 "for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened."

* "understood about the loaves" -He who has faith can walk on water.

* "their hearts were hardened" -Just like the parable of the seeds the words Jesus spoke to them did not sink in. They did not think about them. In chapter 8:17-21 we learn that when Jesus feed the 4,000 they still did not think about what he did and learn from him.

>Through this "storm training," what did Jesus want to teach them?

* Where Jesus is there is comfort and peace.

>9. What happened when they landed? (53-55)

* Mark 6:53-55 "When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was."

* "Gennesaret" -they left for Bethsaida, but the storm drove them off course.

>What does this scene reveal about Jesus?

* Popularity for being good amongst the people.

* Compassionate heart.

* Power to heal.

>What happened as Jesus traveled about? (56)

* Mark 6:56 "And wherever he went--into villages, towns or countryside--they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed."

* "villages, towns or countryside" -Jesus did not go to big places alone to teach. He went places of all sizes.

* "They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak" -The edge of Jesus' cloak refers to the tassels (tzitzit in Hebrew) that the Lord commanded the Israelites to have at the corners of piece of a rectangle clothe that they would rap around their necks (Num. 15:37-41). Malachi 4:2 says, "But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall." The sun of righteousness refers to the Messiah and his wings are the tassels. Those who touched Jesus' tassels by faith, including the woman with a bleeding problem in Mark 5:24-34, were saying that they believe that he is the Messiah.

>What does it suggest about the work of the disciples?

* Successful for many people were ready for him when they came.

* They must have magnified Jesus when they went around.

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