"For He satisfies the longing soul and the hungry soul He fills with good things."
Psalm 107:9 ESV
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:
“Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.”
(For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.)
Mark 6: 31 NASB
Used more than 3,000 times in scripture, we find the word “Come.” This invitation is used about 1300 places as a word of encouragement. As bookends, we hear God in Genesis inviting Noah to a "Come" to place of safety in the ark. In the Song of Solomon, the call is to “Arise my beloved and "Come" away.” We are beckoned throughout the Bible to “Come.” It is His characteristic word! Upon Jesus entering his earthly ministry, he invited the disciples to “Come and see” and it is one of the last words we hear Him speak from His place in heaven, The Spirit and the bride say, "Come". His invitation to “Come unto me” is His message to all of us. We can only find our rest for our souls in Christ alone. You should RSVP daily to this invitation from Christ. Then show up! His desire for us is to find our rest in Him. He loves us so much!
At the heart of Restore Ministries, our message has always been that of what Jesus so purposefully beckons of us.
To Come Away!
We believe that the Lord wants to restore and redeem the brokenness, the wounds,
and the weariness of our souls, as we find our wholeness in Him.
The value of rest should never be underestimated. It is essential for fruitful labor. A quiet secluded place is necessary to recharge the mind, heart and body. Rest was just what Jesus had in mind for His weary friends, the disciples. They had spent much time "doing ministry" when Jesus sent them out two by two. On this particular day, they reconvened to report all that they had done in Jesus' name. When Jesus saw them, I believe he saw a weariness, a heaviness, and tired bodies. They had just heard the news about the beheading of John the Baptist, their friend, and there was also an emotional drain. Not only were their spirits depleted, but scripture tells us that they didn't even have time to eat! So their physical bodies were also depleted. They seemed to be in such a hustle and with constant hurry. Jesus' invitation to them was to come away to a secluded place and rest a while.
Can you relate? Do you find yourself hustling...and with good cause? How long has it been since you took some time to restore, replenish, and rest?
Pulling away to be refilled is crucial to the many acts of kindness, love, and the out-pouring of our heart. Ministry is often draining. There is not only a physical exhaustion that takes place with much doing, but a spiritual exhaustion as you pour out and into the lives of others. We must remember that we can only pour out what has been placed within.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29
Unrest leaves us in a state of chaos and confusion. Our soul cries out for peace.
The Bible says, “The wicked are like the troubled sea, When it cannot rest, Whose waters cast up mire and dirt” (Isaiah 57:20). “In the morning you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were evening!’ And at evening you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were morning!'” (Deuteronomy 28:67).
We are being slammed on every side! Everyone wants a piece of us. Deadlines quickly arise and we find ourselves grasping for every single minute. I don’t need to tell you what it’s like. You are very much aware. We hunger for just a moment to breathe!
It’s sad that I have to remind myself to BREATHE! And I’ll admit my fault, I’m the queen of unrest, but I do know it’s value. I am an example of “a work in progress” as I seek quiet times for restoration.
There is also something to be said about stillness and solitude.
I believe REST is something that everyone seeks. We hunger for it! "Unrest" seems to lie at the core of a hungry heart!
As I move about my days and decisions I face, there are times I find myself being hijacked. What is it that is being taken? My peace. My rest. My ability to keep my mind focused on Kingdom purposes and opportunities to display God's glory. Even my joy is often stolen. And I ask myself, how is this possible? Most often, it's because my battle plan is weak. I have not taken to heart the seriousness of resting...and resting IN HIM!
Rest also comes with being still…when we quieten our body, mind, and spirit, it is then that we experience great communion with God. He commands us to Be still and know that He is God. We need to remember to GO INTO OUR CLOSET and SHUT THE DOOR! Communion with the Father provides rest for our hungry soul. He fills it with good things as is stated in the Psalm 107:9 verse.
Passover celebrated one of Israel’s key stories, the moment that God took a bunch of Hebrew slaves, liberated them from oppression and started to build them into a nation. Suddenly a whole narrative starts playing into this miracle – after all, didn’t God feed his people when they were in the wilderness? And, when they were in the wilderness, weren’t the people arranged in administrative units of hundreds and fifties, just like Jesus commands in verse Mark 6:40?
Jesus notes in verse 34 that the people were “Like sheep without a shepherd”, and again this is linking to a whole other narrative, the Old Testament idea that leaders – kings, priests – had a duty as the shepherds of their people, and yet many of them had completely failed in this. Again, we can go back to the birth of Israel to see where this idea comes from – In Numbers 27:15-17, Moses asks God to appoint his successor so that Israel won’t be, you’ve guessed it, sheep without a shepherd. This idea recurs throughout the Bible – Ezekiel 34 is an extended attack on the bad ‘shepherds’ and points out that God himself will act as a good shepherd, which is also a very famous description of Jesus.
And you know it from what scripture? God mentions green grass, shepherding, and provision? Psalm 23!
Suddenly the feeding of the five thousand is linked with one of the greatest expressions of God’s love and support ever committed to paper. This miracle is about God supporting his people, protecting them, looking after them, loving them. And it’s tied into a bigger story, that of God’s rescue plan for humanity that culminates in Christ’s death and resurrection. And even this story is a foreshadowing of yet another account in scripture when Jesus serves His disciples in the upper room.
Even in Ezekiel 34:15 The Lord declares that He will have them lie down!
God has a way of making you lie down if you don’t take time for yourself! When you find yourself in a "Holy reclining position," God’s compassion runs warm like a blanket tucked in. Then, you are ready to receive His wondrous provisions!
So listen to God's invitation to you today. Come...find rest! I promise you won't be sorry, but encouraged as you find in Him ALL that your hungry and longing soul seeks! Strengthen your battle plan. Call together an army of close friends that will pray for you and remind you look toward the Good Shepherd who will restore, revive, invite you to rest, and will lead in you paths of righteousness...for His name sake.
The Good Shepherd - Psalm 23
The Passion Translation
23 David’s poetic praise to God[a]
1 The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd.[b]
I always have more than enough.
2 He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love.[c]
His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss.
3 That’s where he restores and revives my life.[d]
He opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure
and leads me along in his footsteps of righteousness[e]
so that I can bring honor to his name.
4 Lord, even when your path takes me through
the valley of deepest darkness,
fear will never conquer me, for you already have!
You remain close to me and lead me through it all the way.
Your authority is my strength and my peace.[f]
The comfort of your love takes away my fear.
I’ll never be lonely, for you are near.
5 You become my delicious feast
even when my enemies dare to fight.
You anoint me with the fragrance of your Holy Spirit;[g]
you give me all I can drink of you until my heart overflows.
6 So why would I fear the future?
For your goodness and love pursue me all the days of my life.
Then afterward, when my life is through,
I’ll return to your glorious presence to be forever with you!
In our next blog, I'll share a little insight about His Compassion and His Provision as we finish up the short series of The Feeding of the 5K.
It is our prayer that you will accept His Invitation to “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while” and allow the Lord to restore and redeem the brokenness, the wounds, and the weariness of your soul, as you find your wholeness in Him.
Sharing in His Feast,
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