The Satisfaction and Content from the Twelve Baskets
Translated by Allan Liang
Mark 6:33-44 Thanks be to God for providing the opportunity for brothers and sisters from the three campuses of FCNABC to come together in this season of pandemic and meditate upon God's Word. Today we come to a passage familiar to all Christians, that is, the miracle of Jesus using the 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish brought to him by a child to feed 5000 men. (It is probable that the actual number of people, counting the women and children could reach upwards of 15 000 to 20 000 people). (Mark 6:44, Matthew 14:21). May our brothers be used greatly by God and lead faithfully for His glory. Apart from the resurrection of Jesus, only this miracle is recorded in four gospels, showing that it is a crucial passage of scripture that contains great truths of salvation. Mark employed a plain sort of expression to describe this awe-striking miracle. He intends for us to understand that Jesus is precisely who he said he is: “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35) Two hundred denarii was equivalent to 200 days worth of wages. The apostles meant to say that to feed all the people would cause many to become bankrupt. The apostles in saying this, were completely devoid of faith (Philip in John 6:7), and failed miserably, this test of faith. Jesus performed this miracle with the intent of testing his disciples' faith and to reveal to them that he had full control over the circumstances, so as to have them think about food on a higher level. (Mark 4:32). In doing all this he revealed, to the disciples and the people, his Messianic identity and that he was the one who created all things out of nothing, the God who spoke things to existence, the Ruler of the universe. Jesus loves us, and takes pleasure from men joining him in his work, hence he directed his disciples to have the people sit down in groups on the green grass. “So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties” (verse 40). This would likely cause the people to remember how Moses led the Israelites through the deserts in the times of old. (Exodus 18:21). We also see similarities between that and the relationship between the governing of the church and submission of the people in our modern times. (1 Corinthians 14:40). If the multitudes of people were unorganized, they likely would not have seen this miracle, but would have gone home with empty stomachs and empty souls as well. Today, coming before the gospel, we ought to have humble and instruction-seeking hearts, hearts eager to obey his Word, and hearts eager to offer up all the gifts that God has given us. Blessed is the one who does all this. The twelve baskets can represent the twelve disciples sent out by Jesus to preach the gospel, for the Lord is their provider, and under all circumstances, gives them more than they need to satisfy their hunger (Mark 3:14, Exodus 16:9). Let us practice giving thanks for the daily providence provided by God and use wisely the food he has given us, without wasting anything (John 6:12). We ought to treasure all that God has given to us, so that we neither waste nor become greedy. The Lord Jesus in the book of Revelations warns all believers to be ever vigilant, knowing that there will be times of great tribulation, and to be content with having food and clothing (Revelations 6:6, 1 Timothy 6:5-10). The Lord Jesus promises us “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) Please carefully read over Mark 6:33-44, and meditate with prayer: What material goods do I need to be content? How can I receive the life most abundant from Jesus? In this life of material prosperity in North America, how can I treasure all that God has given me and treasure Him above all other things? Let us run the race marked out for us and boldly spread the gospel until He takes us home or comes again.