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Mark 6 English Standard Version (ESV)

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

30 The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. 33 Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. 35 And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. 36 Send them away to 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 buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?” 38 And he said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39 Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. 41 And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. 42 And they all ate and were satisfied. 43 And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. 44 And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.



  1. Even though Jesus gave ample evidence that He was more than a mere man (calming the storm, casting out demon, healing the sick, raising the dead, 4:35—5:43), those who knew Him best on the physical plane still refused to believe in Him. This led Jesus to concentrate increasingly on training His disciples, especially on His own identity and to bring them to a deeper understanding of who He was, and a deeper commitment to Himself.
  2. In this familiar story, the disciples wanted Jesus to dismiss the big crowd to find food for themselves. Jesus had something else in mind. He wanted to teach the disciples and the multitudes to look to Him for their needs. He was the ultimate source of all they needed.
  3. Jesus suggested that the disciples feed the people, and He asked them “how many loaves” of bread they had. The disciples realized their inability to feed this great multitude and the inadequacy of their resources (5 loaves and 2 fish).  They also need to understand that it was those resources, as inadequate as they were, that Jesus used to feed the five thousand.
  1. We may be like the disciples and think that we don’t have much (lack of resources), can’t do much (lack of ability), and therefore can’t give much to the Lord. However, if we are willing to lay ourselves to His hand, God can use and multiply it to bless many people. Are you willing?
  2. Sing or read this old hymn. May it be a prayer from your heart to the Lord.

What Shall I give Thee, Mater? (Rev. Homer W. Grimes)

What shall I give Thee, Master?
Thou who didst die for me.
Shall I give less of what I possess,
Or shall I give all to Thee?

Jesus, my Lord and Savior;
Thou hast giv’n all for me;
Thou didst leave Thy home above
To die on Calvary.
What shall I give Thee, Master?
Thou hast giv’n all for me;
Not just a part or half of my heart,
I will give all to Thee.

What shall I give Thee, Master?
Thou hast redeemed my soul;
My gift is small but it is my all—
Surrendered to Thy control.

What shall I give Thee, Master?
Giver of gifts divine!
I will not hold time, talents or gold—
For everything shall be Thine.