Feeding the 5,000
John the Baptizer is dead. Jesus is tired. Jesus needs to mourn for his cousin. John is the forerunner in ministry and in his death. Jesus knows the cross looms in the not so distant future. Jesus needs a break. I can relate. So, can you. Sometimes you just need a break to rest, a just a bit.
Mark 6:32-34 And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd…
The disciples look at each other. What is Jesus going to do? “All these yahoos figured out where we were going and ran around the lake to beat us here. Great trick.” The disciples look to Jesus… back in the boat? We know a great place to be quiet… that graveyard where all the pigs jumped in the water. What is Jesus going to do? “Just give him a break!”
Mark 6:34-35… and Jesus had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.
That is the LORD we serve. Even in his own hurting, he had compassion on all the yahoos. When Jesus looked at the crowd; when he looks at us, he sees our needs; we need a shepherd; we need someone to guide us; someone to teach us; someone to show us how to live. Jesus spends the rest of THAT day teaching them many things! We serve a compassionate LORD!
What? We serve a compassionate LORD. (Repeat)
Let’s see how compassionate…
Mark 6:35-44 And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, "This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat." But Jesus answered them, "You give them something to eat." And they said to him, "Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?" And he said to them, "How many loaves do you have? Go and see." And when they had found out, they said, "Five, and two fish." Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.
Our compassionate LORD was unwilling to just send them off to rummage for food. There wasn’t a McDonalds anywhere in the neighborhood. So, he tells the apostles, “You feed them. Take what little you have and I will multiply it to feed everyone!” Jesus passed on his compassion. Our compassionate LORD uses humans to spread his compassion! We advance the kingdom by feeding the hungry! Our compassionate LORD spreads his compassion through us! (repeat) What?
In Mark chapter 6 there are two feasts. Last week, King Herod was having a drunken banquet with all the high-up-muckety-mucks… this week, same chapter, Gospel of Mark, intentional connection, Jesus is having a banquet with all the low-down-yahoos. Herod’s feast foreshadows the death of Jesus. The feeding of the 5,000 foreshadows the eschatological banquet! The eschatological…What? One day, on the restored earth, we will eat with the Lord, just as these 5,000 ate with Him that day by the Sea!
Isaiah predicted it 2500 years ago…
Isaiah 25:6-9 On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken. It will be said on that day, "Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation."
John the Revelator repeats Isaiah’s prediction…
Revelation 19:6-9 Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure"- for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." And he said to me, "These are the true words of God."
Our compassionate LORD advances his kingdom through the compassion of his people until one day we will sit at his banquet table as his Bride! One day we will sit at the banquet table dressed as the Bride of Christ! One day we will sit at THE table… with the LORD! What? (repeat)
The Lord’s Supper points to that day. Each time we partake of the bread, each time we drink of the cup, we point to that eschatological banquet… feast day. “Until he comes…”
1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
Until is one of my favorite words.
Dear heavenly father, thank you for the compassion of your son who died to teach us your love. Bless his example of a sacrificed life to move us to be compassionate. Bless us to spread your kingdom through the power of compassionate sacrifice UNTIL, until one day we sit as your Bride at that eternal banquet. Bless this feast to remind us of that feast!
June 4, 2017
Los Alamos Church of Christ