Satisfied By The Creator (Mark 6:30-44)

Satisfied By The Creator (Mark 6:30-44)

Mark 6:30-44

I.) Introduction

We have come to an account highlighting the compassion of Christ for people through His teaching and omnipotence.Jesus sees a needy crowd of people, and satisfies their spiritual and physical needs as a Good Shepherd would do. In order to satisfy their physical need He performs an unexplainable work; a miracle. This miracle demonstrates the Creator alone can satisfy our ultimate needs.

II.) The Miraculous Dilemma of the Mind

Many do their utmost at attempting to explain away the miraculous. There have been several ideas used in an attempt to diminish this text before us:

1.) It was a complete hoax:

“Jesus carefully prepared…by deviously filling a cave…with a large supply of loaves and fishes. Jesus had a flowing robe with loose sleeves…the disciples formed a bucket brigade, passing loaves and fishes to Him through the back of His robe, which He then distributed…”[1]

2.) It was merely an ethical miracle.

“Jesus asked His disciples to go around and find out who had brought food, and it turned out that some had brought loaves and some fish. So, Jesus addressed the multitude and said, ‘Share what you have with one another.’ Thus, everyone was able to eat because those who brought food shared with those who had not.”[2]

When we read of miracles in Scripture we must accept them for what they are, supernatural events worked only by God. God has created natural laws that His creation abides by. These can be naturally observed by scientific methods.

A miracle is when God intervenes in the natural by working above the established natural law in a supernatural way. Since science uses the natural to explain the natural it will never be able to explain the supernatural events we see in Scripture. This also means since miracles are supernatural they are not common. Likewise, if you can naturally explain an event, it is not a miracle. If a miracle could be explained it would cease to be a miracle, because miracles defy nature and logic. This means we often attribute the miraculous to things that are not miraculous.

The works of Christ in the gospel accounts are an offense to our rationality, so they may be a clear testament to Christ’s divinity. Many people stumble over this offense.

III.) The Miraculous Error of Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson believed and asserted that Jesus taught He was only a man “…ascribing to Himself every human excellence; and believing He never claimed any other.”[3] He denied the deity of Jesus Christ. The tragedy is for his own personal use he edited the four gospels to fit his belief. He called this work The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, which is also known as The Jefferson Bible or Human Jesus. In an 1813 letter to John Adams he says:

“We must reduce our volume to the simple evangelists; select, even from them, the very words only of Jesus…I have performed this operation for my own use, by cutting verse by verse out of the printed book, and arranging the matter which is evidently His, and which is easily distinguished as diamonds in a dunghill.”[4]

The “dunghill” he speaks of, and removed, is every divine claim and work of Christ:

a.) The virgin birth of Christ

b.) The miracles of Christ

c.) The Resurrection of Christ

Yes, Jefferson’s “Christ” is dead and in the grave. He deemed these events irrational and literally cut them out, thus striping Christ of His true power and identity. In his deistic thinking he sought Christ merely for morality and not truth.

IV.) The Rational Remedy to the Miraculous

Gresham Machan says it well:

“The New Testament without the miracles would be far easier to believe. But the trouble is, would it be worth believing?”

As we recall the ultimate purpose of miracles was to validate the truths of Christ.

1.) It must also be noted that no where in the Scripture does anyone deny Jesus’ works. They deny His source of power.

It was the power of Christ that brought validity to His words. He not only claimed to be the Son of God, He proved Himself to be God the Son.

Q.) Why should we believe what Christ says?

A.) Because of everything Christ did!

Q.) Why should we believe that God can satisfy our ultimate needs in Christ alone?

A.) Because of what Jesus does here with five loaves of bread and to measly fish.

Strip Christ of His awesome works and you have reduced Creator God clothed in flesh to a looney carpenter clothed in lies. You also have a Shepherd incapable of truly meeting the ultimate needs of His flock, which is certainly what we see demonstrated here.

V.) Miraculously Provided by Christ

There are only two recorded miracles that have a spot in all four gospel accounts:

1.) The Resurrection of Christ[5]

2.) Christ feeding the 5,000[6]

It must be acknowledged that our titling it Christ Feeding the 5,000 is undercutting the complete miracle Jesus Christ does here. There were five thousand men who ate, aside from woman and children who also ate.[7]

2.) When we factor them in, Jesus fed roughly 15,000-20,000 people.

The portion opens with the Apostles returning from their mission and giving an account to Jesus on everything they did:

Mark 6:30

The text indicates the crowd witnessed the works of Christ in the Apostle’s mission:

Mark 6:33

They see Jesus and the Apostles in a boat and the rush to meet them at their destination. The reason Jesus and the Apostles are leaving to a desolate place is clearly for the purpose of rest away from the commotion:

Mark 6:31-32

So there rest is about to be seriously interrupted by a multitude of needy people. Notice Jesus feels the opposite of anger:

Mark 6:34

He felt compassion! This word is only ever used of Jesus in the Scripture, and it conveys the depth of His feelings towards them.[8] It means to be moved in ones bowls, because “the bowls were thought to be the seat of love and pity.”[9]

Q.) What moves Him to this compassion?

A.) They have no shepherd.

Q.) What is His solution to their need?

A.) He teaches them!

Unlike the apostate Pharisees, Jesus assumes the role of a Good Shepherd and teaches them the very words of God. He cares for their spiritual need. Similarly, all of us like sheep have gone astray, turning to our own ways, and walking in the futility of our darkened minds. [10] We are in need of a Good Shepherd to lead us and renew is in the light of His truth.

Q.) What did Christ do to satisfy our need?

1.) He declared we cannot live on bread alone, but the very breath of God.[11]

2.) He breathed out His word on 66 books, through 40 men, in 3 different languages, within a 1500 year span of time.[12]

3.) He prayed we would be set apart in it.[13]

By the way, this describes a miracle.

Q.) Is His prayer being answered in our lives?

Q.) Are we eating His miraculous provision?

VI.) Miraculously Satisfied By the Creator

As we turn our attention further in the text we will see a few things stand out as we see Jesus satisfying their physical need:

1.) The issue of hunger will be emphasized.

2.) The inability to satisfy their need will be clearly elevated by three facts:

The land is desolate; therefore, it is incapable of producing enough food. The money is limited; therefore, they are unable to purchase enough food. 200 denarii was an eight months’ wage for a man.[14] Philip rightly declares it is not a sufficient amount.[15] The food is meager; therefore, it is not capable of providing enough food. It is not said in Mark, but Andrew made this observation.[16] These three areas provide Jesus opportunity to show that only He can satisfy humanities ultimate needs. In fact, John says that Jesus “knew what He was intending to do.”[17]

Mark 6:35-38

What we read next is a miraculous demonstration of Jesus Christ as The Creator, which should not surprise us.

1.) John tells Jesus is the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and all things came into being by Him.[18]

2.) Paul tells us Jesus is the image of the invisible God, and all things were created by Him and for Him.[19]

3.) The author of Hebrews tells Jesus made the world, and He is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His nature.[20]

If Jesus has the power to make everything out of nothing, than feeding thousands with five loaves and two fish is child’s play. This is exactly what He intended to do.

Charles Spurgeon says:

“He it was who thought of the way of feeding them, it was a design invented and originated by Himself. His followers had looked at their little store of bread and fish and given up the task as hopeless; but Jesus, altogether unembarrassed, and in no perplexity, had already considered how He would banquet the thousands and make the fainting sing for joy. The Lord of Hosts needed no entreaty to become the Host of hosts of hungry men.”[21]

Mark 6:39-44

He lovingly fed them as a Good Shepherd. The Apostles who did not have time to eat,[22] and acknowledged there was no human solution, were each given a basket full. Everyone was satisfied by the Creator.

VI.) Miraculously Demonstrated, Rationally Applied

Q.) How do we think considering this account?

A.) We should not be anxious about our needs in this life, because Christ is our Shepherd.

Since God feeds the birds and clothes the grass He will unquestionably care for those who first seek His kingdom and His righteousness.[23]

Q.) Does this mean He will grant all we desire?

A.) No, He will not.

James say, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so you may spend it on your pleasures.”[24]

Q.) Some will then ask, does not the Scripture teach, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart?[25]

A.) Yes!

Q.) If your delight is God, what is the very desire of your heart?

A.) God Himself!

The Scripture states elsewhere, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” In quoting John Piper, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”[26]

Q.) Do we find satisfaction in God alone?

Q.) How do we live pondering this account?

We, as Christ followers, should be compassionate to all people.

Paul says, “those who have been chosen by God…put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”[27]

Q.) The question is, what does this look like?

Paul tells us, “bearing with one another and forgiving each other” as God has forgiven us.[28]

Q.) What ought to move us to compassion?

A.) God’s compassion towards us.

God’s compassion towards us leads to the final area of thought.

Q.) How do we worship studying this account?

We acknowledge the two major spiritual themes drawn out in the text:

            1.) Human Inability

2.) Exclusivity of Christ’s Sufficient Satisfaction

Q.) What is humanities greatest need?

A.) The mercy of God.

We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and the just penalty for our sin is eternal death and destruction.[29]

1.) God’s mercy is the only way to escape this.

2.) Just as these men could not satisfy the need with physical effort, so human effort will never be enough to satisfy the justice of God.

God has shut up all in disobedience that He might show mercy to all.[30]

Q.) What does the Creator do to justly extend His loving mercy to the undeserving?

Q.) How did He execute and satisfy the justice we deserve for our sins against Him?

As the Good Shepherd, He humbled Himself by becoming a man obedient unto death.[31] He lovingly took our sins upon Himself, and with our sins came our penalty, and with our penalty came God’s complete justice. Executed and satisfied on Christ. Just as the bread was broken to satisfy the need of the people, His body was broken to satisfy our need for mercy. As His crushed body bled upon that cross, Jesus declared justice to be satisfied and God’s wrath appeased.[32] Jesus’ substitutionary payment as the Bread of Life is enough to save all who believe. Our need was satisfied by the Creator.

Q.) How do we know we can truly be forgiven?

A.) The Good Shepherd laid down His life and took it up again the third day.

Romans 11:33-36

[1] Mark, R.C. Sproul

[2] Mark, R.C. Sproul

[3] Thomas Jefferson’s Human Jesus; Introduction

[4] Thomas Jefferson’s Human Jesus; Introduction

[5] Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-11; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-18

[6] Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-15

[7] Mathew 14:21

[8] Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance; NT Number: 4697

[9] Mark 6:34; Felt Compassion

[10] Isaiah 53:6; Ephesians 4:17-18; 1 Peter 2:25

[11] Matthew 4:4

[12] 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:

[13] John 17:17

[14] The Macarthur New Testament Commentary: Mark 1-8, John MacArthur; Page 319

[15] John 6:7

[16] John 6:8-9

[17] John 6:6

[18] John 1:1-14

[19] Colossians 1:15-16

[20] Hebrews 1:2-3

[21] The Miracle of the Loaves, Charles Spurgeon; Sermon No. 1218

[22] Mark 6:31

[23] Matthew 6:25-34

[24] James 4:3

[25] Psalm 37:4

[26] Desiring God, John Piper

[27] Colossians 3:12

[28] Colossians 3:13

[29] John 3:16-18; Romans 3:23; 6:23; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9

[30] Romans 11:32

[31] Philippians 2:5-8

[32] John 19:30

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