Mark – The Facts.
Do you experience times of tiredness as ministry leaders and volunteers? For example, have you sat in the nursery or preschool room with many tenacious toddlers and wondered, “When IS the pastor going to say the benediction?! It’s been a long morning. The work has been challenging. You just want to go get something to eat after church and then get to the big afternoon nap you have been dreaming of all morning. Then, the closer you get to that precious moment of rest, the pastor says, “I know you are tired but there is a need that needs to be met for about 5000 people.” “Fix them supper”. WHAT!?!!
Mark 6, The Message
Supper for Five Thousand
30-31 The apostles then rendezvoused with Jesus and reported on all that they had done and taught. Jesus said, “Come off by yourselves; let’s take a break and get a little rest.” For there was constant coming and going. They didn’t even have time to eat.
32-34 So they got in the boat and went off to a remote place by themselves. Someone saw them going and the word got around. From the surrounding towns people went out on foot, running, and got there ahead of them. When Jesus arrived, he saw this huge crowd. At the sight of them, his heart broke—like sheep with no shepherd they were. He went right to work teaching them.
35-36 When his disciples thought this had gone on long enough—it was now quite late in the day—they interrupted: “We are a long way out in the country, and it’s very late. Pronounce a benediction and send these folks off so they can get some supper.”
37 Jesus said, “You do it. Fix supper for them.”
They replied, “Are you serious? You want us to go spend a fortune on food for their supper?”
38 But he was quite serious. “How many loaves of bread do you have? Take an inventory.”
That didn’t take long. “Five,” they said, “plus two fish.”
39-44 Jesus got them all to sit down in groups of fifty or a hundred—they looked like a patchwork quilt of wildflowers spread out on the green grass! He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the bread to the disciples, and the disciples in turn gave it to the people. He did the same with the fish. They all ate their fill. The disciples gathered twelve baskets of leftovers. More than five thousand were at the supper.
What do we learn?
–People broke Jesus heart with their desire to see Him and learn from Him. His heart still goes out to people in need of a Savior and Lord.
–We are His hands and feet.
–He is our strength when we are tired.
–When He commands us to “fix supper”, do we whine and complain and tell him all the reasons why we cannot do it?
–Do we take inventory of what we have, ask God to bless what we have and then move on to do what He has asked us to do?
–We get tired. We are human. But there is a difference in being tired IN the work and being tired OF the work. Following Jesus can be challenging and tiring, but He will provide rest in beautiful ways at just the right time.
–Jesus turned the whine and complaining into a few loaves and fishes and provided a miraculous event that declared the glory of God! We don’t want to miss out on God’s next. Say the last Amen and then go with God and do what He asks.
Lord, break my heart of those things that break your heart. Help me to see You and others from Your perspective. When I am weak and tired in the work, help me to see the bigger picture and provide the strength to accomplish what you have given me to do. And when you know I need rest, I trust you will provide it at just the right time. You are not a task master who doesn’t care about the workers. You are God and you love us so much we cannot imagine the depth of it. I don’t want to miss an opportunity to be a part of Your next miracle in my part of the world!
In Jesus Name, Amen