THE GOSPEL OF MARK – SEND THEM HOME?

SEND THEM HOME?

35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. 36 Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”
37 But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”

They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”

38 “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.”
When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.”

39 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand. Mark 6:35-44

How many times have we read this story and yet there is always something new to learn from it? This incident is another window into the heart of Jesus. This story illustrates Jesus’ concern for the whole person. These people were so eager to hear Him that most of them had made no provision for their physical needs that day. When they heard where He was going, they outran Him to be there when He arrived. Forgotten were the picnic baskets and the snacks for the day.

Surely the disciples had made provision for themselves but it was never enough to feed a crowd like this. Their best solution was, “Send them home.” Let someone else take care of their needs. We don’t have the resources.

Jesus thought differently. If He sent them away, He would be saying, “You will have to find another source because God isn’t big enough to supply your need this time.” To do that would be going against everything He was and everything He stood for. He and His Father were one. That meant that His Father would do what He asked because it was the Father’s desire to be God to all these people. Jesus didn’t even ask God what to do or to multiply the bread. All He did was express His confidence in His Father by saying thank you. He was so ECHAD with God that He instinctively knew that God would back up whatever He did.

Does that mean that God will bypass the normal avenues of getting food when they are available, just to do a miracle? I don’t think so. I think it means that God is so passionate about meeting His people’s needs that He will use whatever resources are available and multiply them if necessary so that He can be God to those who put their trust in Him.

Once again this is a revelation of Jesus’ compassion, His selflessness and His oneness with the Father. He came to show us the true God. He brushed aside all the petty trivia of people’s interpretations of the law to expose the heart of a merciful and loving Father.

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Luella Campbell


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