Date written: January 15th, 2006
Scripture ref: Mark 6:35-44
SUBJECT: Passage Study, Miracles, Faith, Correct Standards
TITLE: Lessons from the Feeding of the 5000
PROPOSITION: From the story of the feeding of the 5000 we learn about 1) The Ministry of Jesus, 2) The Methods of Man, 3) The Miracle of Feeding.
Objectives: That each would understand the feeding of the 5000 and the lesson that it teaches.
1. Read: Mark 6:35-44
2. About the Text:
1) The story of the feeding of the 5000 is found in all four gospel accounts.
2) It is preceded by the story of the death of John the baptizer and the return of the apostles from the limited commission.
3) Upon hearing the news of John's death and when the apostles returned, Jesus purposed for them all to rest.
4) Luke says that they were near the city of Bethsaida (Luke 9:10).
5) This was the home of Peter, Andrew, and Philip.
6) It was on the west side of the Sea of Galilee.
7) But instead of finding solitude, the multitudes followed them.
8) So Jesus taught them.
3. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.
I. The Ministry of Jesus
1. The teaching.
1) Mark says, "And he came forth and saw a great multitude, and he had compassion on them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things" (Mark 6:34).
2) Luke says, "and he welcomed them, and spake to them of the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:11).
3) Jesus was always concerned about teaching.
4) John 6:45 "It is written in the prophets, And they shall all be taught of God. Every one that hath heard from the Father, and hath learned, cometh unto me."
5) John 7:16 "Jesus therefore answered them and said, My teaching is not mine, but his that sent me."
2. The healing.
1) Matthew says, "And he came forth, and saw a great multitude, and he had compassion on them, and healed their sick" (Matthew 14:14).
2) John says, "And a great multitude followed him, because they beheld the signs which he did on them that were sick" (John 6:2).
3) Luke says, "and them that had need of healing he cured" (Luke 9:11).
4) Jesus both proved his teaching to be true and had compassion on the multitudes through his ministry of healing.
5) Consider John 5:36 "But the witness which I have is greater than that of John; for the works which the Father hath given me to accomplish, the very works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me."
II. The Methods of Man
1. The twelve disciples reasoned as follows.
1) The hour was late (Matthew 14:15, Mark 6:35, Luke 9:12).
2) The place where they were at was deserted (Matthew 14:15, Mark 6:35, Luke 9:12).
3) The people need to eat (Matthew 14:15, Mark 6:36, Luke 9:12).
4) The people need a place to sleep for the night (Luke 9:12 - only one that mentions lodging).
5) The disciples' solution was to send the multitudes away.
2. Jesus solution, however, was different.
1) Jesus first asked Philip where they were going to buy bread (John 6:5).
2) John also tells us that Jesus' did this to test or prove Philip and that Jesus already knew what he was going to do (John 6:6).
3) Then Jesus said for them to give them to eat (Matthew 14:16, Mark 6:37, Luke 9:13).
4) The disciples replied.
a. We don't have enough money, only 200 shillings (Mark 6:37, John 6:7).
b. Then they said they didn't have enough food, only five loaves and two fishes (Matthew 14:17, Mark 6:38, Luke 9:13).
c. John tells us that this food came from a boy and that the loaves were barley (John 6:9).
d. And Andrew said, "but what are these among so many" (John 6:9).
3. Here is a great lesson on faith.
1) According to man's methods, there would be no way to feed all of these people.
2) They didn't have the money.
3) They didn't have the food.
4) But God says, "That's not a problem for me."
5) Proverbs 3:5-6
III. The Miracle of Feeding
1. Jesus takes control of the situation.
1) He commands that the multitudes sit down on the grass (Matthew 14:19).
2) Mark says "in companies" and that they sat down "in ranks by hundreds and fifties" (Mark 6:39-40).
3) Luke says that Jesus had them sit down in companies about 50 each (Luke 9:14).
2. Jesus blesses the food.
1) John tells us that Jesus gave thanks (John 6:11).
2) Matthew, Mark, and Luke say that he looked up into heaven and blessed the food (Matthew 14:19, Mark 6:41, Luke 9:16).
3. Jesus distributes the food.
1) Jesus gave the food to his disciples and the disciples then distributed them to the people.
2) All four accounts say that Jesus was the one who "broke" both the loaves and the fishes.
3) This indicates that as He was "breaking" them, the quantity was growing.
4) Matthew and Mark tell us, "They all ate, and were filled" (Matthew 14:20, Mark 6:42).
5) Luke says, "They ate and were all filled" (Luke 9:17).
6) John says they ate, "as much as they would" and then "they were filled" (John 6:11-12).
4. Jesus collects the scraps.
1) Matthew and Luke say that of that which was left there was twelve baskets (Matthew 14:20, Luke 9:17).
2) Mark says that this also included the fish (Mark 6:43).
3) John states the purpose, "that nothing be lost" (John 6:12).
5. This shows us several things.
1) Jesus was thankful.
a. Colossians 3:15 tells us, "and be ye thankful."
b. Paul told Timothy, "For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it be received with thanksgiving" (1 Timothy 4:4).
2) Jesus was generous and wanted to take care of his creation.
a. Matthew 10:29-31 "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows."
b. Romans 8:32 "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?"
3) Jesus was orderly; the people sat down "in ranks."
a. God is an orderly God.
b. "But let all things be done decently and in order" (1 Corinthians 14:40).
c. "for God is not a God of confusion, but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints" (1 Corinthians 14:33).
4) Jesus was thrifty; they took up the scraps.
a. Jesus knew Proverbs 18:19, "He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster."
b. If we are to be stewards of God, we must not waste. "Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful" (1 Corinthians 4:2).
1. From the story of the feeding of the 5000 we learn about . . .
1) The Ministry of Jesus
2) The Methods of Man
3) The Miracle of Feeding