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Jesus -- the Messiah #13

In the accounts of Jesus’ life, we see Him healing the great needs of life and death. However, Jesus’ actions also reveal to us that God is concerned also about our everyday happiness and safety. God is like a loving Father Who always wants His children to be secure.

Read Mark 6:30-56.

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. 33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

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 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 eight months of a man’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 set before 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.

Jesus Walks on the Water

45 Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.

47 When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. 48 He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, 50 because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 51 Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, 52 for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.

53 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. 54 As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. 55 They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.

In this section of Mark’s gospel account, we see two instances of Jesus’ concern for practical needs. The crowd that came to hear Him was hungry. Jesus miraculously multiplied the five loaves and two fish into enough food to feed over 5,000 people. Like a loving parent, Jesus rejoiced when “they all ate and were satisfied.” (v. 42)

The second incident occurred when the disciples were leaving after the feeding of the 5,000. They couldn’t row strongly enough against the wind to get across the lake, so they were caught in the middle of the lake in the dark of the night. Jesus came to them, walking on the water, joined them in the boat, and calmed the wind.

In both instances, people were not faced with life and death situations. They were faced with practical struggles and unhappiness. God wants His children to be happy. Jesus came to lift their burdens.

In all the struggles and disappointments of our daily life, we need to remember those words.  We are not alone.  Remember Who is with you.  Remember what His character is.  He is a God of compassion and mercy.  He sees our need, and He acts to help.  Jesus acted even without the crowd or the disciples asking.  Perhaps many in the crowd of 5000 never even realized the miracle that had suddenly provided them all food.  Often God acts quietly and secretly to protect and help us.  He loves to provide for us.

Christians pray to God in Jesus’ Name in all their daily needs.  There is nothing too small to bring to His attention.  He is like a loving parent.  He is arranging for our good all the time, whether we are aware of it or not.

As you reflect on the daily struggles of your life, what do Jesus’ words mean to you?:  “Take courage!  It is I.  Don’t be afraid.”

God respects you and calls you also in His struggle for righteousness with love.  Let Jesus equip and guide you as He did His first disciples.  His promise goes with you.



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