The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught.And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii[a] worth of bread and give it to them to eat?” And he said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.”And when they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.
Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray. And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night[b] he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said,“Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.
When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored to the shore. And when they got out of the boat, the people immediately recognized himand ran about the whole region and began to bring the sick people on their beds to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.- Mark 6:30-56
This miracle of Jesus feeding the 5000 is the only miracle recorded in all 4 gospels other than the resurrection of Jesus. Other than the resurrection of Jesus, this is probably the greatest and most amazing miracle that Jesus performed. 5000 men were listed because only men were counted when numbering the crowds. Most scholars believe that this was closer to 15,000-20,000 men, women and children. This miracle is so great that in the Gospel of John which we will read in a moment records that the people were ready to forcefully set Jesus in as the King!
1. Jesus is the Baker
Jesus had been healing the multitudes, raised a little girl from the dead, drove out 1000’s of demons from a man, calmed the storm. . .and now when this massive crowd is hungry, the disciples suggested that Jesus send them away. The disciples didn’t send them away but suggested Jesus send them away. Nowhere in the book of Mark so far has Jesus ever denied someone who was in need.
-Why in the world would they send the people away?
-If Jesus could do the miracles that he had already displayed, could he not also feed the people?
Of course he could. We know by John Chapter 1 that all things were created by Jesus. If he created the universe He could certainly create bread for a few thousand people. These two stories illustrate the mentality, hard heartedness and unbelief that Jesus was battling. Is this not like us?!?! People had been listening to the teaching all day by Jesus, but when it came to meeting the needs of the people, they disciples said. .. “Yea, send the people to the store so they can get their own bread” So Jesus responds and says NO YOU give them something to eat. You can’t just give them the sermon and tell them to go home??
The first mistake of the disciples was not sending them away to get bread for themselves, but recommending that people go into town to purchase bread when baker and the bread were right in front of them!
2. Jesus is the Bread
-The Gospel of John records 2 parts of the story not listed in Mark. This is what happens after Jesus walks on the water.
Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.- John 6:15
The people didn’t want to make Jesus king because of the miracles He did. They wanted to make Him king because here was this man who could feed their bellies. They didn’t want Jesus, they wanted what Jesus could give them. Problem was that Jesus was more substance and fulfillment than any bread could offer.
On the next day the crowd that remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. Other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.
When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.“- John 6:22-35
He says to them, “you don’t want me”. You want bread. But what you don’t understand is that I AM the bread. Isn’t that what the prosperity Gospel is?
-Jesus will give me that? Well I want that!
-Jesus will fix my marriage? Well sign me up!
-Jesus will bless me with a new car? Well I want a new car!
That doesn’t take any faith. . . .Even a dog will follow you around if you feed it enough. (Just ask my dogs.) That’s not the Gospel, that’s Idolotry. They didn’t care about Jesus, he was just a means to their end of stuff! He was the doorway to the room of blessing! Nobody comes to faith by looking at Jesus as a door.
Jesus is not the way to get to your “destination” but He is the “destination” Jesus is the doorway and the destination
3. Jesus is the Buoy
1. Jesus commanded them to go to the other side of the sea
2. Jesus goes to the mountain to pray
3. Jesus sees the disciples toiling at the sea.
-Isn’t it comforting to know that Jesus sees us when we are struggling. When you are struggling in the storms of life. . .He knows. He sees. And I would almost guarantee you that while Jesus was on that mountain that he was praying for His disciples.
Do you not struggle and get angry at God and think “Where are you?”. And don’t realize that he is in Heaven interceding for us.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;- Romans 8:31-36
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
4. Jesus walks on the water (He meant to pass by them)
a. He meant to come along side them or come to them
b. He man to pass by them
c. Jesus had to get to the other side, why look for a boat when he could just walk?
5. The disciples see Jesus and they panic
a. This passage doesn’t say that the disciples were in a ferocious storm like they were before.
b. They begin to fear when they see Jesus
c. Their hearts were still hard and still were not fully believing in who Jesus was and what he could do.
6. Jesus greets them.
a. Take heart it is I, be not afraid. (Be of good cheer! Matthew 14)
7. Peter Walks on Water
And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”- Matthew 14:28
8. They return to land and are astonished because they did not understand the loaves
Where are you lacking in your trust of Jesus?
When the you are rowing against the current of life, what do you turn to?
Are you trusting in Jesus not only as the provider of your needs, your bread, but trusting in Him as the bread.
Does he fill you? Sustain you? Nourish you?
Are your prayers consist more of requests for Jesus to fix your situation and struggle, or for you to have more of Him?
Peter’s request wasn’t for Jesus to calm the storm, but to be near Jesus.