Class Notes: 10/16/2013
Mark 6:35-50; Jesus feeds the 5000+; Jesus and Peter walk on the wind driven waves of the lake
In our study of Mark last time we concluded our study of Mark 6:34; with a short discussion of Jesus as the shepherd of the sheep and we saw that the believer exhibits the same characteristics in the spiritual realm that the sheep do in the natural realm.
Just as sheep need a natural shepherd to grow believers need a spiritual shepherd to grow.
Mark 6:35-36; Late means that it was after 3PM. Jesus had been teaching all day, "His disciples came to him, saying (present linear action: they kept on saying, "this is an isolated place. We need to send the crowd away so they can buy food."
The disciples had their mind on the problem. … a large crowd in an isolated location at a late hour and no food. Their solution was to send them away to buy food.
Mark 6:37; Instead Jesus tells His disciples to feed them rather than sending them away to buy food. He emphasizes the word "you" "You give them something to eat" Net note 54 The disciples' response shows the insufficiency of their resources and the impossibility of their meeting His demand on their own.
They tell Him that by their estimation that it would take 200 denarii to feed the crowd. The denarius, was the basic Roman silver coin that was used in Palestine. It was the average daily wage for a day laborer. Two hundred denarii were about eight months of a laborer's wages, and that was well beyond the disciples' means. Net note 55
The disciples still did not get it. They are still living by sight rather than by means of the thinking of Christ that is contained in Bible doctrine (faith).
Jesus has constantly been healing people and casting out demons using His credit card of miracles. They had even seen Him calm the storm and the sea when they were crossing the lake.
This is an impossible problem for them but with God (Jesus Christ) nothing is impossible. This is a test for his disciples and again they fail because they are looking at the problem rather than the solution.
The solution, Jesus Christ, is right there with them but they have not focused in on the Lord Jesus Christ; or recalled what he has been doing all day they have their eyes focused only on the circumstances.
With their eyes on circumstances the best they can do is to recognize that there is a problem. That is as far as you can go when you have your eyes on circumstances.
But because they had their eyes on circumstances instead of on the Lord who has been performing miracles all day they don't recognize that the Lord can solve any problem, whether it is loss of job, loss of health or lack of food or anything else.
They should have concluded that the one who performs one kind of miracle could perform any kind of miracle.
They don't have to go anywhere to get food they just have to start handing out the food that they have. Jesus is challenging them to become occupied with Him. To focus on Him rather than on the problem.
He is challenging them to use the faith-rest drill, because when the faith-rest drill is used continuously under pressure leads to occupation with the person of Christ.
Peter later writes about this in 1Pet 1:7-9; Occupation with Christ is a result of the continuous use of the faith-rest drill in times of pressure and testing.
This is simply a challenge to them to recall and apply doctrine, the doctrine they have been observing continuously while they have been in His presence for months.
It is a challenge to them to believe His Word. The Word isn't in writing yet, they are standing and listening to it in real time, so He tells them once, just once: "Don't send them away; don't go buy food; give them food."
Mark 6:38; Since the disciples can't figure it out on their own Jesus shows them. He first asks them to find out what they have. "and they said "We have five loaves, and two fishes." They are all in panic over this thing, because there are thousands of people and they only have five loaves and two fish.
They look at the situation as being hopeless because they are not viewing the situation from the divine viewpoint. They are not recalling doctrine. No doctrine means nothing to apply with faith-rest, and no occupation with the person of Christ. Even though He is standing right in front of them and He is the one who told them to give them food.
From human viewpoint five loaves and two fishes is not enough to feed five thousand men plus women and children but the battle is the Lord's not theirs. It's not about what they can do it's about what the Lord can do.
The application to us is that we have certain abilities and talents and from human viewpoint there are certain things we can't do but as a believer in Jesus Christ those human talents and abilities aren't all that we are because we are in union with Christ and have the power of the unique spiritual life available to us.
The disciples' assets were the five loaves of bread and two fish and Jesus was telling them to feed the five thousand people. All the disciples saw was a hopeless situation.
But with the Lord those same assets were sufficient when they are linked with His power, when they are hooked up with Bible doctrine, then they become usable. That is the principle that we learn from this.
The disciples of themselves do not have sufficient assets to feed the people but that isn't the issue. The issue is the power of God. This is the same power that Jesus has been demonstrating to them for months.
Instead of understanding what is going on and applying it to the situation by faith they fail to me meet the situation because they do not apply doctrine. Remember it requires perception, metabolization and application of doctrine to function with God's power.
Mark 6:39-40; First, Jesus has his disciples organize the crowd so they can be fed in an orderly manner.
Mark 6:41; Then our Lord uses the assets on hand. He takes what he has, offers a prayer over it and then keeps on breaking off the bread and handing it to His disciples who took it and served it to the people.
In the process breaking the bread Jesus multiplied the five loaves and the two fish into enough to more than feed the crowd. The principle behind this multiplication is the principle of giving.
The imperfect tense of the word translated "gave" indicates that the food multiplied in Jesus' hands.
The disciples gave, they gave, and they gave some more and as long as they were giving there was more to come. They kept on giving. And the food did not stop until they stopped giving, and they didn't stop giving until everyone was satisfied
The Word of God is an example of this because the Word it never stops coming. When believers are operating under the principle of grace there is no end to their assets, but as soon as they stop giving everything stops.
We see from this that it's not what we can do it is what God can and does when He honors those who operate exclusively under His grace policy.
We also see from this that we must start out with what we have and then as we advance God will incrementally provide everything we need along the way.
Fear freezes us, Faith enables us to start with what we have and keep moving and we keep moving incrementally with what He provides.
Mark 6:42-44; They started out with five loaves and two fish but when they were finished feeding everyone each disciple still had a basket full. The principle is that when we serve the Lord the more we pass on to others the more we have left for ourselves when we are done.
The word translated "full" is the Greek word "pleroma" that means full to the point of overflowing. This is the same word that is used to describe the Church Age believer's soul in Eph 3:19;
Mark 6:45; Once the people were fed Jesus ordered His disciples to get into the boat and go to the other side while He disperses the crowd. The word translated 'made" in the NET and NASB and "constrained" in the KJV indicates urgency.
The text in Mark does not indicate the reason for the sense of urgency but the parallel text in John does. It was because of the miracle the crowd of people was going to try to make him King by force if necessary. John 6:14-15; Jesus didn't want His disciples caught up in this evil.
There is also a geographical difficulty in this passage about the location of "Bethsaida" The best solution seems to be that where they were in Bethsaida Julias that was east of the Jordan river but the town had spread across to the western side of the Jordan river where it was called "Bethsaida in Galilee" a fishing suburb of Capernaum.
The disciples sailed for Bethsaida of Galilee from the northeastern shore of the lake but will be blown off course to the south eventually coming ashore on the western side at Gennesaret.
Mark 6:46; So He sends His disciples off into the lake with the baskets of food and goes into the nearby hillside to pray.
This is a perfect analogy of the Church Age. In the sending away of the disciples, the disciples are in the boat alone without the Lord being personally present.
The disciples in the boat are like believers in the Church Age, who can no longer see Jesus personally so they must "see" Him by means of doctrine.
Each of the disciples had a basket full of food; that is how they can "see" Him. And that is the way we are today; we cannot personally see Jesus Christ because He is at the right hand of the Father, He is in heaven. But each one of us has a basket full of food ( Bible doctrine).
The principle is that occupation with Christ depends on knowing doctrine. Occupation with Christ is not some emotional activity, not some system of self-hypnosis or religious activity. Occupation with Christ comes through doctrine.
When Jesus is not with them their focus on Christ depends on doctrine and the disciples are still carrying the baskets as a reminder. Their crossing of the lake starts out smooth but then it gets rough due to a strong headwind.
This is a picture of our life on this earth. Sometimes it is smooth and sometimes it is rough, but whether it is smooth or rough each one of us has a basket, each one has the Bible, the Word of God and out of sight in heaven Jesus Christ is praying for us. Heb 7:25;
In the Church Age believers on the earth represent Christ; in heaven and Christ represents us. It says He went up into the mountain that is a picture of heaven in the analogy to pray. Jesus is presently praying for us in heaven.
Mark 6:47; Evening is twilight. The time between actual sunset and darkness.
The "wind was against them" illustrates the principle of adversity and testing for believers in the devil's world. Murphy's law, if something bad can happen it will is characteristic of the devil's world is opposed and overcome by the principle that greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. 1John 4:4;
When Jesus is absent or seems to be unaware of their situation the disciples often became emotionally distressed demonstrating lack of faith just like we often do.
It is in those times we have to use the faith rest drill to recall and apply doctrine to our situation. Remember they have the baskets of food that was collected after the 5000 were fed on the boat with them as a reminder of Jesus' presence.
Mark 6:48; Jesus continued praying until well past midnight. Meanwhile the disciples had made little headway out on the lake because a strong north wind was blowing against them.
The disciples were in emotional distress and anxiety, as they feared their boat may be swamped in the wind driven waves that threatened to engulf them.
It is also possible that they were adding to their stress by blaming each other for the decision that got them into their precarious situation. This is perfect example of the state that believers often find themselves in the adversity of the devil's world.
But Jesus always had them in his sight just as we are always in Jesus' sight.
In the dim predawn light of the fourth watch of the night (Net note 63) Jesus saw them straining at the oars and went out to them, walking on the water's surface. The words He was about to pass by are discussed in Net note 66
Mark 6:49-50a; The disciples were extremely frightened when they saw Him walking on the water. The word translated ghost in the Net is the Greek word "phantasma" that means ghost or apparition. It never should be translated as "spirit" like the KJV translates it.
The word translated "shouted out" is the Greek word "anekraxan" that means to scream. The disciples were all screaming with fear because they all saw what they thought was a ghost.
Mark 6:50b; He immediately speaks to them " Take courage, it is I, stop being afraid. The translation in the KJV "
In the parallel passage in Matt 14:28; Peter says "Lord since (first class condition of if) it is you tell me to come to you on the water"
We see from this that Peter took the Lord seriously when He said "keep on having confidence".
Matt 14:29; The Lord said "come" so Peter climbed over the gunwale of the boat and started walking on the water. Peter had confidence until he took his eyes off the Lord.
It's the same way with us. We have confidence until we take our eyes off the Lord and we get them onto the waves of life, the people or the circumstances, then down we go along with Peter.
Peter was more courageous than the other disciples because at least he tried.
Matt 14:30-31; Peter had a little faith (little faith-rest) and his faith-rest kept him on top until he got his eyes off the Lord. Peter had a little faith-rest at this point; but the rest of the disciples in the boat didn't get out at all so they exhibited no faith rest.
"why did you doubt?" He was actually walking on the water and he didn't doubt until he got his eyes on the waves and went into unbelief.
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