If you are just joining us or missed the pass two postings, you may view the retelling of the story on our YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/9oa439_ctgw To catch up or review the last two posts, you may find Part 1 HERE and Part 2 may be read by clicking HERE.
Feeding of the 5000 – Mark 6:31-44; Luke 9:10-17; Matt. 14:13-21; John 9:12-17
34“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. 41 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.42 And they all ate and were satisfied.” Mark 6: 34,41,42
There are 3 points that I believe the Lord has spoken to me to share with you concerning this Biblical account:
I don't know about you, but during these holiday seasons I find myself more tender-hearted. Just eating in a restaurant can sometimes cause me to tear up! I think about what the life of the waiter may be like and how they need to leave their family to work and provide. I wonder about the lives of the other patrons who are eating and what causes them to be away from family...or if they even have one! I'm talking about the people that carry a certain look. Surely you've seen them, too! You can see in their eyes, a loneliness, pain, frustration, or burden. They move and carry their body distinctively with expressions that are rather hollow and distant. I try to sink my watery eyes deep into the menu and swallow back my own emotion. Since childhood, I occasionally experience these sudden, out of the blue, tender-hearted moments...I guess I'm weird that way. One would probably call it compassion, but compassion is something that moves us to action. And that is exactly what Jesus does! Compassion is far greater than sympathy or empathy. Compassion produces action – it’s a type of love fuel that moves us to acts of kindness and mercy when confronted by those who are suffering or vulnerable.
There are many other scriptures that tells us of the compassion Jesus had for others. I encourage you to do a personal search about this topic. It is quite uplifting to learn of His compassion for us. Here are just a few examples:
When Jesus saw the people, with lavish compassion he….
God is moved with Compassion when He Looks at you!
Likewise, Jesus is our example of offering Compassion toward others.
In my own life, I have noticed that I have selective compassion. Some times prejudices or presuppositions sink in. Oh, to have a heart like God’s. Does our heart break for what breaks the heart of God?
1st John 3:17, “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”
When we take on the challenge of demonstrating authentic compassion, we will be transformed!
“Compassion needs to be nurtured and practiced
or even this basic love response can grow dull and cold.”
Even when Jesus, needed rest and a time to grieve, holding nothing back, He moved ahead of his own physical need and moved toward others with a gaze of compassion…not just for their physical need, but for their spiritual need as well.
I love this paragraph from one of D.L. Moody’s sermons:
“Did you ever hear of one coming to Christ that he did not accept? He doesn’t care what position in life you hold. No matter how low down you are; no matter what your disposition has been. You may be low in your thoughts, words and actions; you may be selfish; your heart may be overflowing with corruption and wickedness; yet Jesus will have compassion upon you. He will speak comforting words to you, not treat you coldly or spurn you, as perhaps those of earth would, but will speak tender words, and words of love and affection and kindness.“
Even in the midst of the storm, Jesus saw His disciples struggling against the torrential waves. With lavish love and a heart of compassion, He walked out to them. He offered words of encouragement, and once He entered in with them, their hearts were calmed. Do you recognize when He climbs into your storm tossed boat? Do you recognize it as a heart of compassion for your life?
Pause now and thank Him for His tender compassion toward you. You may wish to make a list or write in a journal. I encourage you to think about the emotions that are linked with compassion and remember that healing fell hand in hand with His compassion for others. Let Him heal your hurt, frustration, or physical need right now by wrapping yourself in His Word, through prayer, and believing that He desires to be with you.
The feeding of the 5K story doesn't end when the disciples picked up the left-overs! Be sure to read through Mark 6:45-56 as Jesus walks on the water and calms the storm.
List the ways you saw Jesus providing for the people throughout this full Biblical account Mark 6:30 - 56.
Here are just a few that I came away with:
It seems that our Lord is always providing! From the beginning of the world in the garden of Eden, He provided food and fellowship with Him. He has also provided manna from Heaven, not only for the Hebrew children of Moses' time, but Christ, our manna from heaven, who takes away the sin of the world so we can fellowship with the most Holy. He is Jehovah Jireh, The Lord who provides!
Matthew 6:8 "Your Father knows what you need before you ask."
Philippians 4: 19 “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!”
Matthew 6: 25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,
yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
When Jesus received the boy's lunch, He did 3 things that I believe are important to examine.
Looked into Heaven, Blessed, & Broke
Communication with God does not require a certain physical position, but postures do give expression to the attitudes of our hearts.
I have thought about the way I often pray. Mostly, my head is bowed…in reverence and my eyes closed. Looking toward heaven in prayer seems to display a more boldness in coming to the throne. I should do that more often!
Looking a person in the face indicates confidence and honesty. It is indicative of an open, trusting relationship. The Gospels record many instances when Jesus prayed, looking up into heaven.
Like a small child looks to his/her parents for help, this position of prayer reflects purity of heart and expresses the following attitudes:
My come away with this phrase is two-fold:
First, I can look Abba Father into the face with my hands raised, showing my dependency on Him.
I thank Him for all things – the good, the bad, and the ugly – In faith, I offer Him what I have – He breaks me so that I know it is He that does the amazing and astonishing work with which to declare His glory, apart from any actions of my own. His faithful hand of mercy touches and miraculously takes what is broken and multiplies it for good – and His Kingdom purposes.
The second is this, the story of the Feeding of the 5K is a foreshadowing of things to come for him.
He is the Bread of Life, He was wounded and broken for our transgressions and bore the iniquity of us all. Jesus is our Bread, He is the feast…He distributes Himself and gives freely for all. He that eats is satisfied and hungers & thirst nevermore.
Let me leave you with this thought as I close out this 3 part mini series:
Evening approached (the end of daylight) – In your life, you may feel like you are moving into a time of darkness. Storms are on the brink. You fill out of control. You cannot find your way.
You sense Jesus calling you to come away…be still…Come to a remote place – This remote place represents your witts end. It is barren and desolate, but you know that God has you in this place for a purpose. You long to feel His tender arms carry you on. You, like the crowds are searching for answers, wisdom, healing…you are hungry & fatigued.
Do you hear Jesus inviting you to sit on the soft green grass? His eyes and heart of compassion are heavy for you. He desires to satisfy your longing soul. He invites you to eat and be fully satisfied. And Your hungry soul - He will fill with good things, if you but feast on the abundance of all of His provisions. He will calm the storm and carry you safely to shore. Trust His heart for you and your need! With a compassionate heart, He will provide!
Finding His Compassion and Provisions new every morning,
Resources: Sermons- John McArthur (gty.org) & Dr. R.C. Sproul (Ligonier Ministries), Desiring God -John Piper, Articles/Blogs from Faithgateway.com,
Sally Clarkson, Commentaries: Matthew Henry, Oliver B. Greene. Logos Software, Lexicon, Strong’s Concordance
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