MARK 6:30



The Bible says in Mark 6:30-31, “And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart unto a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.” Jesus taught the disciples how to work: how to do the work of spreading the gospel; and Jesus also taught the disciples the importance of rest. There is a time to work, but there is also a time to rest. There are only twenty-four hours in a day for a reason. There are seven days in a week for a reason, and at least one of the days should be a day of rest. Of course, Jesus understood the pace that life should take, and He wanted His disciples to understand it also. No one should be too busy that they cannot get the proper rest. Yes, there is a lot of work to do, but you are only supposed to do your share. That’s the will of God.


Jesus cared that the disciples got the proper rest and nutrition and He also cared about the multitudes. Jesus cared about both the spiritual and the physical needs of those to whom He ministered. The Bible says in Mark 6:32-34, “And they departed into a desert place by ship privately. And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran by foot there out of all cities, and came before them, and came together unto Him. And Jesus when He came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things


Many times in the Bible people are compared to sheep. There are several ways in which people are compared to sheep. One of the major ways is the fact that without a shepherd the sheep will go astray. It says in Isaiah 53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray…” Jesus said to Peter in John 21:16, “Feed my sheep.” A shepherd guides the sheep, feeds the sheep, and protects the sheep from wolves. Jesus is the Great Shepherd. If you follow Jesus as your shepherd, you will not go defenseless, you will not go hungry spiritually speaking, and you will not go astray from the right path. The Psalmist said in Psalm 23:1-2, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters


Notice what Jesus did to be a shepherd to these people. Mark 6:34 says, “And he began to teach them many things.” If you are taught the things that you need to know from God’s Word, then you will be protected from wolves who are false teachers because you will not be fooled by their false teachers. If you are consistently taught things from God’s Word, then you will be fortified spiritually speaking. Spiritual strength comes from God’s Word. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God.” If your ideas about life come from a correct understanding of God’s Word, then you will be prepared for decisions that you will have to make in life. You will have wisdom. You will make decisions that will result in you going where you ought to go. Psalm 119:105 says, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path  


Jesus is the Good Shepherd and the Great Shepherd, but there are also under-shepherds that He assigns to do some of the shepherding work. Jesus said to Peter after the resurrection, “If you love me, feed my sheep.” The people of God are fed and led and protected by opening up to them and teaching them the Word of God. Too bad that there are not more pastors who understand that the number one thing in being a pastor is opening up God’s Word and feeding God’s people from it. Too bad that there are not more congregations who look for this kind of pastor. Too many of them look for teachers, having itching ears. In other words, they look for teachers who will tell them what they want to hear, instead of what they need to hear. I am afraid that they have found what they looked for.


Sometimes the problem is with the congregation, but sometimes the problem is with the pastor. Too bad that there are not more men who look at people the way that Jesus looked at them. Mark 6:34 says, “And Jesus when He came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things


In Mark 6:35-44 we are told the incident of the feeding of the five thousand. The Bible says, “And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed: Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat. He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat? He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes. And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass. And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties. And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. And they did all eat, and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes. And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men


The last part of Mark 6:35 says that Jesus “began to teach them many things.” And then Mark 6:35 says, “And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed.” In other words, Jesus must have been teaching for a very long time, perhaps many hours, and then finally people noticed that the entire day had gone by and they had not eaten. It must have been wonderful to hear Jesus teach. No man ever spake as this man. Listening to Him, hours would seem like minutes.


Now there was a problem to solve. What about the hunger of the people? The mistake that the disciples made in this situation is that they approached the problem from an entirely human and material standpoint. There was not enough food for these thousands of people, and the disciples did not have enough money to buy all the food that would be needed. The conclusion that the disciples made was that the people should be dismissed and then fend for themselves as best they could in near-by villages. The conclusion that the disciples came to was very logical. They cannot be faulted for their human logic. But Jesus used this situation to show the disciples one more time that with God all things are possible. The disciples were thinking and acting the way that people think and act who do not believe and who do not trust in the Lord on a daily basis. They used human logic and human logic only. There is nothing wrong with human logic, but it should never be used to the exclusion of remembering that with God all things are possible, and there are circumstances in which God will override human logic. When God does so, things turn out much better than human logic could have ever envisioned. That’s why human logic by itself is flawed: it leaves God out. But with God and with Christ all things are possible.


Another important lesson to learn from the feeding of the five thousand is the fact that the Lord took the very small amount of fish and bread that was given to Him by the disciples and then multiplied it to accomplish a great thing. Who did the great thing? The Lord did. Who deserves all the praise, and all the honor, and all the glory for what was accomplished? The Lord does. Serving God in every endeavor works the same way. A believer offers his gifts, talents, and abilities to the Lord; and then the Lord uses those things that were offered to Him to accomplish and fulfill the work of the Lord. No human being should ever receive the praise for what the Lord has done. To do so would show one’s carnality and lack of spiritual understanding. Don’t be a follower of man and don’t be someone who praises man. The Apostle Paul referred to this spiritual problem that exists among some Christians when he wrote in First Corinthians 1:3-4, “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?” You cannot praise both God and man. If you praise the one, you will fail to praise the other. If you praise man, you will fail to give credit to the true source of all accomplishment. Paul emphasized this fact in the following verses. He wrote in First Corinthians 1:5-7, “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase


After feeding the five thousand, the Bible says about Jesus in Mark 6:45-52, “And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people. And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened


The Lord set the disciples up to teach them a lesson about the futility of the arm of the flesh and the efforts of man against the difficulties that one might encounter in this life. The Lord sent the disciples away in a boat, while He went to pray. When the disciples went into the boat, a storm came against them. The Lord knew that the storm would come against the disciples. That was part of the lesson they were to learn. The Lord knows about the storms in your life also. Notice what it says about the disciples when the Lord saw them alone in the boat: “And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them.” The emphasis is on the fact that their human efforts were making little or no progress. They were essentially spinning their wheels trying to row that boat against the wind. As we see in this incident, as soon as the Lord joins them in the boat, everything is different. With the Lord they no longer have the elements of the world restricting their efforts. With the Lord, there is peace in their lives instead of turmoil. If you do not have peace in your life, maybe you have not learned how to make sure that Jesus is in the boat with you.


The way that you make sure that Jesus is with you is by becoming aware of His presence with the eye of faith. The disciples had the contrariness of the wind, and they also had fear that compounded their troubles. When they first saw Jesus walking on the water, they thought that they had seen a ghost and they had great fear. Human beings are always subject to fear: especially the fear of the unknown. That is why we easily fear the future: we do not know what is going to happen in the future. Notice how the disciples had their fears alleviated. It was Jesus who took their fears away. Once Jesus was close enough to them and once they heard His words, their fear was taken away. Jesus said to them in Mark 6:50 in all of their toil and fear, “And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid


Whatever storm you may be facing in your life, the way to find peace in the midst of the storm is to find it in the same place that the disciples did: in the presence and the person and the Word of Jesus. The King of Creation is able to control the storm and He will stop it when he sees fit to do so just like He did for the disciples. No matter what you are facing, the Prince of Peace is able to give you peace. There is no better solution than to have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His power and love for you. Of course, you can only do that if you already know Him as Savior. If you do not yet know Him, you can repent of your sins today and call upon the name of Jesus and believe in Him to forgive of your sins.                 




Copyright; 2002 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved