6:30-32 The Report
Finally we learn how the disciples did when they went out to preach the message of Jesus from chapter one verse fifteen (1:15) that the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news.
Going back to verse 12, they went out and preached that people should repent. And in the next verse they drove out demons and healed many sick people. When they returned they first reported on all they had done and only after that what they had taught. That is why in Luke 10:19-20 Jesus cautioned them saying I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. Jesus was concerned they were in danger of being overcome by pride at the work they had done and not in the message he had given them. Thus he sent them away to a place to rest and eventually eat.
6:33-34 The disciples had become celebrities. Like celebrities they might have ignored those who chased after them, but Jesus had compassion on them. Why? Because they were like sheep without a shepherd. The shepherd of sheep was a common figure of speech in Israel for that of a leader like Moses or Joshua. But Jesus saw they needed a teaching of truth – namely that the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news.
6:35-44 Jesus knew the disciples could not feed the 5,000 so what was his point. He would show them once again who He was/is like Moses in the stories they had heard since childhood how manna came down from heaven every morning and the evening quail. Now Jesus would provide for 5,000. Jesus is revealing Himself to His disciples and to us. Earlier He had brought Jarius daughter back to life, calmed the wind and sea, now He fed 5,000. Feeding the group was beyond the ability of his disciples, the very thing He wanted them to understand … for it was not beyond His ability. What was left over after everyone had eaten – 12 baskets of bread and fish. The exact number for His disciples who had not eaten.
What was the reaction of the 5,000 to this miracle? Mark does not tell us, but we find out in John 6:14-15
After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.
6:45-46 Immediately, after everyone had eaten what happened? After He dismissed the crowd He left them and went up on a mountainside to pray. Jesus was a praying man, He set the example for us in prayer. How did he feed 5,000? Go back to verse 41, Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. He gave thanks! The NT show us Jesus praying over two dozen times.
6:47-52 Between Matthew, Mark, and Luke it is only Mark who writes Jesus was about to pass by them.
Strong’s Outline of Biblical Usage says the Greek word parerchomai could also mean to come near, come forward, arrive. The disciples went through a range of emotions upon seeing Jesus walking on the water, first they were terrified thinking they were seeing a ghost, after He joined them they were completely amazed. John 6:21 tells us after He entered the boat, immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading. Their hearts were hardened not by sin or by being against Christ, but simply dullness through an unawareness of who Jesus really is. We can be amazed at this after He fed the 5,000, raised Jarius’ daughter from the dead, calmed the wind and the sea, gave them authority to drive out demons and heal the sick. BUT are we any different? When we go to bed tonight, what would be written in the book of remembrance mentioned in Malachi 3:16 for those who fear the Lord and honor His name. Are our hearts hardened? Do we fear the Lord and honor His name and if we do what do we do that would be written in the this book of remembrance. We know so much more than the disciples, yet all too often our hearts too are dull and hardened with the world.
6:53-56 What a difference! Remember His first visit He drove the spirits out of the man who was possessed and into a large heard of pigs? The people could not get rid of Him soon enough, except one. The man who had been demon-possessed. Instead He told him, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” Mark 5:19 This man did not put his lamp under the bed or a basket or bowl. He told everyone. The result, the people could not get enough of Jesus.
Will we conform to the pattern of this world? Or will we tell the world around us the good news that the kingdom of God has come near? Will we be like the man who was healed or will we keep our light under the bed or a basket or bowl … or will we give our own personal testimony and talk about the need to repent? Or will we be quiet as the souls of those around us remain lost? Do we care about the lost souls around us?
Or are we merely listening to the Word, but not putting it into practice as those in Ezekiel 33:30-32 “As for you, son of man, your people are talking together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, saying to each other, ‘Come and hear the message that has come from the Lord.’ My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. Their mouths speak of love, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.