I love to bake. Preferably, I cook most of our meals in the oven. During the Covid-19 stay at home order in Alabama I learned how to make many new dishes. One specifically was a banana nut bread. I had a recipe I had used before, but I went on a search for the most moist and delicious one out there. Of course once I found it I had to share with all who were interested in my new recipe. It is called “Moist and Delicious Banana Bread.” I told a friend and she was like, is it really though? I said yes and let her sample a piece. I did mess up one batch, though, by putting baking powder instead of baking soda.
Anyways the way I talk about my new found recipes was the way I think the apostles (Jesus’ disciples) were like when they came to tell them about their latest mission in Mark 6. I am going to start us off with verses 30-31 and use the Passion Translation: The apostles returned from their mission and gathered around Jesus and told him everything they had done and taught. There was such a swirl of activity around Jesus, with so many people coming and going, that they were unable to even eat a meal. So Jesus said to his disciples, “Come, let’s take a break and find a secluded place where we can rest a while.”
Jesus was very hands on with training His disciples. Then, He would send them out to put into practice what He taught them. Jesus would often use every day situations to reveal the heart of His Father.
Mark 6:32-36 They slipped away and left by sailboat for a deserted spot. But many of the people saw them leaving and realized where they were headed, so they took off running along the shore. Then people from the surrounding towns joined them in the chase, and a large crowd got there ahead of them. By the time Jesus came ashore, a massive crowd was waiting. At the sight of them, his heart was filled with compassion, because they seemed like wandering sheep who had no shepherd. So he taught them many things. Late that afternoon, his disciples said, “It’s getting really late and we’re here in this remote place with nothing to eat. You should send the crowds away so they can go into the surrounding villages and buy food for themselves.”
How often do our bellies like to do the speaking for us? There have been days when I worked full-time at my church’s day care (well I was doing more than one job) that I did not break to eat or drink. I had the hunger pangs, but yet there was so much to still do. At the end of the day I would be irritable. It was because I was not taking the time to feed myself. Think about that as we see what Jesus’ response was.
Mark 6:37 But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” “Are you sure?” they replied. “You really want us to go buy them some supper? It will cost a small fortune to feed all of these thousands of hungry people.”
“You give them something to eat.”
Jesus was testing His disciples here. How much were they getting from His teachings? He told them to feed the people. The first thing they think of is money. Is that not just the way we are too? God tells us to support our church and other ministries and we say “well, I will just give money”, or “all they want is my money.” There are times He tells us to sow financially, but there are times He tells us to do.
Mark 6:38-42 “How many loaves of bread do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.” After they had looked around, they came back and said, “Five-plus a couple of fish.” Then he instructed them to organize the crowd and have them sit down in groups on the grass. So they had them sit in groups of hundreds and fifties. Then Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, gazed into heaven, and gave thanks to God. He broke the break and the two fish and distributed them to the disciples to serve the people – and the food was multiplied in front of their eyes! Everyone had plenty to eat and was fully satisfied.
Jesus told them to feed the people. Their first instinct was to look at the lack of money, but Jesus wanted them to look at what they had. This was not the first time we see a miracle of bread to feed. In 2 Kings 4:42-44 we see Elisha knew the heart of God: Then a man came from Baal Shalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley bread, and newly ripened grain in his knapsack. And he said, “Give it to the people, that they may eat.” But his servant said, “What? Shall I set this before one hundred men?” He said, “Give it to the people, that they may eat; for thus says the Lord: ‘They shall eat and have some left over.'” So he set it before them; and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord (NKJV).
When we feed on the nourishment that Jesus gives us we have more than enough to feed His people. Jesus said that He is the Bread of Life. Sometimes we lack confidence to do what He tells us to do because we have not been feeding enough. We have to make sure we do not get too fat on it, because we all know how good bread tastes!
John 14:12 says, Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do….” My husband used this scripture right here this past Sunday. God has had me on the word “refuse” for a while. “Refuse” is the opposite of “will do”. When we say to Jesus, “I will do,” this is what He is expecting…“the works that I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” He has given us the ability to get revelation from the Word of who His Father is. He did everything His Father did on earth, so that means we can too. Miracles can happen. We can feed people! Look around with what you have and use it!!