After their first missions trip, the disciples Jesus had sent out (see March 25th post) returned to report to Him all they had done and taught. They must have been really successful, because many were coming to Jesus. Jesus and his disciples took a boat to get away from the crowds so they could rest, and maybe reflect on God’s powerful work in their lives.
Thousands saw them and came from all directions to where Jesus and His disciples hoped would be a solitary place. So by the time they arrived at that “solitary place”, there were 5,000 people sharing it with them.
Jesus saw that these people were like sheep without a shepherd (Mark 6:34), so despite His weariness, despite His desire to share in the joy of His disciples’ first assignment, Jesus taught the 5,000 people until late in the day.
Now these people had journeyed quite a distance from any food, and would certainly need to be fed before they started back. Jesus used the opportunity to teach the disciples something more. So He instructed the disciples to feed the 5,000 people. Though they had just returned from healing and casting out demons, and being fed and sheltered by godly people, they couldn’t quite wrap their heads around feeding 5,000 people – either financially or logistically. So Jesus taught His Father’s assurance of provision in a new way.
They had five loaves of bread and two fish. With that small portion, the 5,000 were told to sit in groups of hundreds and fifty’s. He thanked God and gave the disciples the bread and fish to distribute. All five thousand had their fill, and there were lots of leftovers!
Even though they had just experienced God’s provision on their recent assignment, the disciples witnessed God’s abundance in a new way, as thousands received both spiritual and physical food that day.
Are you compassionate for the lost like Jesus is? Will you help them to find Jesus even though you may need rest?