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43: Feeding Five Thousand Men and their Families

May 14, 2009

Major Text: Mark 6:30-46

Harmony Texts:

Mark 6:30                                               Luke 9:10a
Matt. 14:13-21      Mark 6:35-44    Luke 9:10b-17     John 6:1-13


  1. Sharing                            Mark 6:30
  2. Leaving                           Mark 6:31-37
  3. Greeting                           Mark 6:33-34
  4. Feeding                            Mark 6:35-44
  5. Sending                            Mark 6:45


After the disciples finish their on-job-training, they report to Jesus [probably in Capernaum] and share their experiences and results.  The people are aware of His presence and crowd around them so much that they are unable to eat.  Jesus recommends they leave, traveling to Bethsaida by boat.  The people see them leave and follow them on foot along the north shore of the Sea of Galilee.  They pick up more people at each town they go through and actually arrive at Bethsaida ahead of Jesus and His disciples.  Jesus sees all the people, has compassion for them, and they follow Him up to a place on the nearby mountain.

After teaching and ministering to the people, the disciples want to send the people on so they can find something to eat.  But Jesus asks the disciples to feed the crowd which easily could reach 15000 in total.  My guess is that Jesus wanted the disciples to teach them in smaller groups like they had done when on their training mission.  But food is the only thing on the disciples mind so they seek out a boy with two fish and five loaves of bread and bring them to Jesus.  Jesus blesses the food, places it in twelve baskets, and asks the disciple to distribute it to the people.  They do so and pick up twelve full baskets after all have been nourished.

It is close to the end of the day, 6PM, so Jesus dismisses the crowd, sends His disciples down to the boat, and proceeds to go higher up the mountain to pray.

This story is the only one recorded in all four gospels except for the crucifixion accounts.


  1. We encourage and teach one another by sharing experiences. Sharing experiences is best done in small groups. It grows our faith
  2. Never tire of sharing with those who are truly seeking Christ. Rejoice in every opportunity.
  3. God can take what little we have and use it to feed and minister to multitudes. Don’t belittle your gifts; your faith, your possessions, your talents. God will use them to bring blessings to many.
  4. The more we share the more we will have to share. Sharing with one another multiplies God’s blessings.
  5. Pursue His presence for nourishment for our souls.
  6. Separating for serenity is necessary to keep our sanity.

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