This is a TWO PART post looking at two incidents in Mark ch 6.
The Feeding of the 5000 (Mk 6:32-44)
[caption id="attachment_130" align="alignright" width="300" caption="The countryside by Galilee"][/caption]
The Setting for the Miracle:
At the outset to the miracle, it is the disciples that set the scene: "this is a desert place and the time is far passed". This is an observation which is true of our arena of service today also. This world is indeed a desert place, it can sustain no spiritual life on it's own, we must look to the Lord for our spiritual sustenance in a place such as this. The time is also far passed - how often have we commented that we are surely living in last days! The day of grace will soon draw to a close as we look at the state of the world around us, the Lord will not tarry long, so we must 'redeem the time' and seize the opportunity for service while we have it!
Two Sets of Responses:
It is interesting to once again compare the response of the disciples to the response of the Lord Jesus to this situation. In response to the multitudes lingering at the end of a long and busy day they said to the Lord "Send them away" They looked to the Saviour to send these people away! It is interesting therefore to notice the response of the Lord, as he counters this with "Give ye them to eat" He asked them to provide the solution, full knowing that they could not. He was causing them to see the reality, that they needed to look to him not to callously send them away but to supply the solution and meet the need as only he could. How true this is of ourselves sometimes, as we ask the Lord to take a certain situation away from us, yet sometimes the Lord wants us to ask him to help us and meet our need to sustain us through the situation. We can also look at it another way; they were asking the Lord to do something, whereas the Lord turned it back on themselves to do something. This also can be a lesson for us, to learn that sometimes we need to not only just pray and leave it with the Lord but that on certain matters we need to take action as well! For example when we pray that people will come into the gospel meetings, it is often the case that we ourselves never ask or bring people into the hall to hear the gospel! Let us challenge our hearts with this.
The Fragments that Remained:
The scriptures tell us that on this occasion there were 12 baskets of fragments gathered up. In Mark ch 8 we see the feeding of the 4000 where there were 7 baskets of fragments gathered. It is interesting to learn that there are 2 different Greek words used here for 'basket', and in this we see 2 different lessons regarding the wonderful provision of the Lord Jesus Christ for his people.
Mark ch 8: Here the word 'basket' implies a very large, circular/cylindrical shaped basket often made of reeds. These baskets were so large that we read of such an item being used in Acts ch 9 where the Apostle Paul is concealed in one as they lowered him down over the city wall of Damascus. As there are 7 baskets in this account, we can see something of the complete, perfect and abundant provision of the Lord Jesus. All our need can be met by him and found in him!
Mark ch 6: In our account here a different word is used for 'basket' which really means a smaller, hand-basket probably made of wicker which would contain a certain measure of capacity. As there are 12 gathered, this would work out as one for each disciple and this shows me something of the daily provision of the Lord for his people. Surely we should look to him daily to meet all our needs, spiritual or otherwise! Let us challenge ourselves - do we come to him for our daily provision from his Word?
We trust these simple lessons will be of benefit to our hearts.
Yours in Christ, Mark