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Mark 6:34-44

Mark 6:34-44


Series: The Gospel of Mark
Sermon: Jesus the Compassionate Shepherd
Bible Passage: Mark 6:34-44

I. There seems to be an implicit comparison between this passage and the one on John the Baptist

1. The disciples of John the Baptist bury his disfigured body, but
2. Jesus’ disciples share with excitement a report about their ministry
3. Herod Antipas was throwing a party for wealthy and influential, but
4. Jesus is providing a banquet for poor and needy

II. The speed in which the crowd pursued Jesus demonstrates the spiritual hunger and Jesus-inspired hope in them (verse 34)

1. Jesus calls the crowd, “Sheep without a shepherd” (verse 34; cf. Num 27:17)
2. Jesus moved with compassion (6:34)—His compassion began with teaching and then feeding
3. In this passage we read that Jesus met both their hunger and hope

III. Lateness of time has a hidden need—divine intervention is needed

1. Earlier Jesus was concerned about tiredness and hunger of the disciples (verse 31)
2. But here the disciples wanted to dismiss them! (verse 35)
3. They must have thought why they needed to risk their lives!
4. The lateness of the day, isolated nature of the place, and disciples’ unwillingness to risk their time provides an excellent opportunity for Jesus to reveal who He is!

IV. Jesus gives his disciples a task (verse 37)

1. He puts them on mission: “you yourself give them something to eat” (verse 37a)
2. Their response to Jesus demonstrates that they did not seem to expect a miracle from Jesus
3. When Jesus asked them to feed the multitude, He probably meant that they would do it with His power
4. Jesus is the provider, but his followers need to be the conduit of Jesus’ provisions to the people in need
5. (Teresa of Avila: God has no hands but our hands)

V. The disciples responded to Jesus’ call with skepticism and sarcasm (verse 37; cf. Num 11:13, 21-22, 2 Kings 4:42-43)

1. Despite witnessing Jesus’ power, the disciples did not believe Jesus sufficiently
2. What the disciples were looking at was a human solution and possibilities
3. Their spiritual deficiency kept them materially deficit
4. Despite their sarcasm and indifference, Jesus continues to retain them as His disciples

VI. Five loaves and two fishes are the raw materials to perform the miracle—Jesus begins His miracle with what they had (verse 38)

1. Jesus is able to create things out of nothing, but
2. Five loaves and two fishes have symbolic imports (discuss it in your life-groups)

VII. Jesus directed the disciples to make the people sit (the seating arrangement has allusion to Exodus of the past and future New Exodus) (verses 39-40)

1. This looks almost like the Shepherd of Psalm 23!
2. The word “recline” and “symposium” points to a party—a party in the wilderness
3. The seating arrangement reflects Exod 18:21, 25; Deut 1:15—future banquet
4. The expression “they all ate and were satisfied” reflects Psalm 78:29 and Deut 8:10
5. In verse 34, the people are called “ochlos”—a disorganized group
6. In verse 39, the people are no more called “crowd” but organized group of people “symphony”

VIII. Jesus performs the miracle of multiplication (verses 41-44)

1. This miracle shows that Jesus is bigger than Moses who fed the people in the wilderness and Elisha who fed 100 people with 20 loaves
2. He multiplied five loaves and two fishes to feed five thousand men and most likely equal number of women and children
3. Jesus commissioned the disciples, but they pushed back sarcastically; Jesus helped them to carry out His mission when He handed them with broken bread and fishes (verses 37, 41)
4. The disciples became Jesus hands when they obeyed Jesus (cf. verse 41)
5. Jesus is the provider of physical needs as much as He is the provider of spiritual needs (verse 41)— They all ate and were satisfied
6. Twelve baskets are in contrast with five loaves and two fishes (38 vs 41)—abundance and generosity

IX. The picture of Jesus in this passage

1. Jesus is the compassionate Shepherd, who is the model of the Shepherd of Psalm 23
2. Jesus is one like Moses, teaching, feeding, and leading His people to the Promised Land

Take Away:

Be Jesus’ Hand in meeting the needs of those around you

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at