They all ate and were satisfied
Mark 6:30-56 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
The apostles gathered together with Jesus; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught. 31 And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) 32 They went away in the boat to a secluded place by themselves.
33 The people saw them going, and many recognized them and ran there together on foot from all the cities, and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things. 35 When it was already quite late, His disciples came to Him and said, “This place is desolate and it is already quite late; 36 send them away so that they may go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” 37 But He answered them, “You give them something to eat!” And they said to Him, “Shall we go and spend two hundred denarii on bread and give them something to eat?” 38 And He said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go look!” And when they found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39 And He commanded them all to sit down by groups on the green grass. 40 They sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties. 41 And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food and broke the loaves and He kept giving them to the disciples to set before them; and He divided up the two fish among them all. 42 They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and they picked up twelve full baskets of the broken pieces, and also of the fish. 44 There were five thousand men who ate the loaves.
45 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side to Bethsaida, while He Himself was sending the crowd away. 46 After bidding them farewell, He left for the mountain to pray.
47 When it was evening, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and He was alone on the land. 48 Seeing them straining at the oars, for the wind was against them, at about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea; and He intended to pass by them. 49 But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed that it was a ghost, and cried out; 50 for they all saw Him and were terrified. But immediately He spoke with them and said to them, “Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid.” 51 Then He got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped; and they were utterly astonished, 52 for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened.
53 When they had crossed over they came to land at Gennesaret, and moored to the shore. 54 When they got out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him, 55 and ran about that whole country and began to carry here and there on their pallets those who were sick, to the place they heard He was. 56 Wherever He entered villages, or cities, or countryside, they were laying the sick in the market places, and imploring Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were being cured.
Philippians 4:19 says: My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. In today’s text, Jesus took five loaves and two fish and fed five thousand men plus the women and children. The text says: They all ate and were satisfied. For forty years, when the nation of Israel was in the wilderness, God provided manna each morning to sustain them. In Numbers 11:4-9 it says: The rabble who were among them had greedy desires; and also the sons of Israel wept again and said, “Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic, but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna.” Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its appearance like that of bdellium. The people would go about and gather it and grind it between two millstones or beat it in the mortar, and boil it in the pot and make cakes with it; and its taste was as the taste of cakes baked with oil. When the dew fell on the camp at night, the manna would fall with it. While some complained, that it did not compare to what they had in Egypt, God’s provision sustained them. For forty years the Israelites ate the same thing. The manna came in only one flavor, God’s flavor. Like the five thousand who ate the fish and loaves, they were satisfied.
I can’t help but wonder if the reason we don’t see the miracles of God’s provision is because we have so much from the world. Would we be satisfied if God supplied our need? Do we truly understand what it means to have need? The one who is hungry will not scoff at or complain about what is provided. They will eat and be satisfied. In Matthew 6:33 Jesus says: “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” The things He was speaking about are not all that we might want from the world, they are our daily needs, food, clothing and shelter. The manna, which God provided in the wilderness, was intended to do more than simply feed the Israelites. It was intended to teach them to be dependant solely on God for all their needs. It was intended that they would learn to seek first His kingdom, daily looking to Him and learning to be satisfied with His provision. It says in today’s text that: The people saw them going, and many recognized them and ran there together on foot from all the cities, and got there ahead of them. What do we run toward or after? These people were hungry for the presence of Immanuel, God with us. They sought Him, His presence, His righteousness. The text says: When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things. Jesus gave them what they sought. He taught them many things. Having first satisfied the spiritual hunger, He also gave them physical food to sustain them. It wasn’t fancy. It didn’t come prepared to order. It was supply for their need. It sustained them and, They all ate and were satisfied. No one complained because Jesus gave them all they needed. In fact, after everyone ate and was satisfied: they picked up twelve full baskets of the broken pieces, and also of the fish. There was more leftover, after they had all been satisfied, than what they began with from the world. That’s how it is in the kingdom. There is always more than enough of all that we need. In Psalm 37:3-6 the psalmist says: Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday. As we trust God, as we seek Him faithfully, daily, as we delight in Him, running to and after Him, as we seek Immanuel, God with us, we will be given all that we need and more. He will give us the desires of our heart, if our hearts desire is Him. God says: I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you. (Jeremiah 29:11-14)
The text ends saying: When they had crossed over they came to land at Gennesaret, and moored to the shore. When they got out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him, and ran about that whole country and began to carry here and there on their pallets those who were sick, to the place they heard He was. Wherever He entered villages, or cities, or countryside, they were laying the sick in the market places, and imploring Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were being cured. Here again the people ran to Jesus. They sought Him, His presence, the kingdom of God for their physical needs, for their healing. Is this too why we don’t see miracles of healing as often as we should? Is it because of who or what we run too or after? I am not saying that we should not go to doctors or take medicine. But, what if we, like they ran too God? What if we sought Him first, not with merely a quick prayer, but what if we sought Him with all of our heart? What if we delighted in Him, faithfully seeking His kingdom and His righteousness? What if our heart’s desire was Immanuel? Could it be, that like them, if we would touch Him, we too would be cured? Do we believe that: God shall supply all our need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus?
I pray the prayer of Ephesians 3:14-21 for our every need.
I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.