by Robert M. Solomon

Day 20

Read Mark 6:30-44

Apart from the resurrection of Jesus, the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 is the only one recorded in all four gospels. It has a special place in the memory of the church. The text begins where it left off in Mark 6:13. The disciples returned to Jesus to report ″all they had done and taught″ (v. 30). It is important to keep returning to Jesus to prevent pride and distractions from leading us astray in our ministry. Given the ever-present crowd, Jesus invited His tired disciples to ″Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest″ (v. 31; cf. Mark 9:30-31). But the crowds followed relentlessly. Jesus felt compassion for them, for they were ″like sheep without a shepherd″ (v. 34). So He taught them.

The miracle points us to Jesus, in whom our deepest spiritual hunger is satisfied

Then a massive catering problem arose. It was getting late and the disciples advised Jesus to send the crowd away. Can we forget human need by simply dismissing the needy? Jesus asked the disciples to give the people some food (v. 37). The pragmatic among them made some quick calculations and remarked that it would take eight months' of a man's wages to feed everyone present. They did not realise that Jesus was about to perform a great miracle. When He asked them what food was available, they said there were only five loaves and two fish. In John's account, the sheer impossibility of the situation is conveyed through humour-there was a ″great crowd″ (John 6:2, 5), a young boy with a few small loaves of bread and some fish (6:9), and ″plenty of grass″ (6:10).

Yet, by the power of Jesus, it was enough for all. He gave thanks, broke the loaves, and distributed them. ″They all ate and were satisfied″ (v. 42). Moreover, after the meal, the disciples picked up ″twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish″ (v. 43). In a kind gesture, Jesus provided sufficient supplies for each disciple. While Mark does not explain why Jesus performs the miracle, other than that the people were hungry and in need of physical food, John links this event with the truth that Jesus is the ″true bread from heaven″ and the ″bread of life″ (John 6:32-35). The miracle points us to Jesus, in whom our deepest spiritual hunger is satisfied.

Think through:

Why did Jesus invite His tired disciples to go away quietly with Him to rest? How can you do this regularly in your own life?

Jesus stretched the limited resources miraculously. How does God involve us in His miracles? What does it say about God and His methods?




About Author

Robert Solomon served as Bishop of The Methodist Church in Singapore from 2002-2012. He has an active itinerant preaching and teaching ministry in Singapore and abroad. He is the author of more than 25 books, including The Race, The Conscience, The Sermon of Jesus, and Faithful to the End.

Author of Journey Through Series:

Our Daily Bread Journey Through® Series is a publication of Our Daily Bread Ministries.

We exist to help make the life-changing wisdom of the Bible understandable and accessible to all.

Rights and Permissions  |  Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy