So many people focus on the miracle of the five loaves and two fish in this scripture, but instead, let’s focus on Jesus, who shows us once again that he is the true shepherd who provides for us.
1. The shepherdless people
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 taught them many things. (Mark 6:34)
Jesus sees the crowd of people who have gathered, in hopes of gaining something.
We have to see the world through the eyes of Jesus, who saw wandering and shepherdless people and had compassion. Sheep are defenseless and dependent animals that need to be led by a shepherd to pasture and water, and protected from harm. Jesus saw the crowd as people who were enslaved by Satan, unknowingly suffering. They have no choice but to reach for a higher being, but they cannot meet God, so they turn to idols, both visible and invisible, for a solution to their lives. The bible says that without a shepherd, we have no choice but to live in anxiety and fear, to live lives that are broken, suffering from spiritual, physical and mental illness. Not only does the individual suffer, but the family and generations after. Jesus saw the crowd and saw a herd of sheep that was shepherdless.
Through the scripture, we also need to realize that there is no need for us to be jealous of other people, of their wealth, power or fame. As children of God, we are spiritually the most rich.
Jesus doesn’t immediately feed them first, but teaches. What we need first and foremost is God’s word. We must proclaim God’s word into our field. It is the only solution to save our generation.
2. Jesus is our shepherd
He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom and gently lead those that are with young. (Isaiah 40:11)
Sheep have no need to worry about surviving, because all they need to do is follow their shepherd, who will protect them and provide for them. The shepherd we follow in our lives determines everything. Jesus is the good shepherd, who laid down his life to give us life. Let’s reflect on the shepherd we follow. Is it wealth? Or a girlfriend/boyfriend? Or social media? Let’s turn our eyes to Jesus as our true and only shepherd. We are not wandering sheep. We have a good shepherd who protects and provides for us. We have a heavenly Father who loves us.
Jesus leads the disciples to a desolate place to rest. It symbolizes a haven where we can focus on Christ, and be freed from the distractions of the world. Don’t be so easily distracted by temptation.
3. Jesus will do miracles to provide
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? (Mark 6:37)
Jesus tells the disciples to feed the crowd and they argue back telling him to send them away. No, it was impossible for the disciples to feed them, but nothing is impossible for Jesus. He performed a miracle to provide. When you look at your life and your circumstances, see the impossibilities and possibilities in Christ.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For Christ, then, I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
This is God’s strategy for his people. Let’s boast our weakness and powerlessness through Christ. We are God’s people, his children, his sheep. Nothing can overcome us. Difficulties are God-given opportunities for us to experience the power of God. When we admit our weakness, God will use us. Let’s remember this week that God provides for us through his word.
Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus and rest in Christ through his word.