Mark 6:30-44 – Jesus Our Provider and Provision

The sad fact is that the people are without a shepherd and so Jesus has compassion on them. Not only is this event loaded with messianic significance–Israel’s Messiah feeding the true Israel out in the wilderness–but in miracle this we see Jesus’ response to the physical hunger on the part of the people.10 Jesus is the very antithesis of someone like Herod who places self-interest above all else, but Jesus is also the very antithesis of the false shepherds of Israel who care much more about feeding themselves than the people of God. Where are the scribes and Pharisees and members of the Sanhedrin, when Israel’s Messiah feeds his people out in the wilderness? Where are the shepherds of Israel when the Messiah summons the people into the desert? Jesus sees that the people are in need and so he feeds them. In this too we learn something about the person of Jesus. He is not only Israel’s Messiah, he is also Israel’s servant, ministering to the needs of the New Israel he is even then creating.
When Jesus calls the people out into the wilderness he is tying together the two themes of a New Exodus and a messianic feast. This event is really a vivid picture of God’s presence with his people in the form of a covenant mediator who is not only mediator of the covenant, but who is simultaneously Israel’s Messiah. It is no wonder, the people are having trouble figuring out who Jesus is. Before his death and resurrection, the people would have great trouble in understanding how one person could fulfill so many different and diverse prophecies. All of these prophetic and messianic themes–which otherwise do not seem to be connected–now find fulfillment in one person. Slowly but surely the veil is being lifted and Jesus is answering that question people were asking throughout all Israel. Who is Jesus? He is the mediator of the covenant. He’s the New Moses forming a new Israel and providing his people with food and green pastures in the middle of the wilderness. He is also Israel’s Messiah who will join his people for a glorious messianic feast in the wilderness. He is the Son of God who demonstrates his absolute authority over nature, the demonic and death itself. And people were struggling to make sense of this.
In all of this, it is clear that Jesus is the good shepherd. He makes his people lie down in green pastures. He loves his people and he cares for them. He did then, he does now. He gives us both our daily and our heavenly bread. Indeed, it could be said of the five thousand, “they all ate and were satisfied.” And it can be said of us when we assemble on the Lord’s Day, we eat, and we are satisfied. Amen!

John MacArthur

Read Mark 6:30-44 and notice who is primary in this story. Not the food, not the miracle, but the person. How often do you take time to remember the one who is our Provider, Provision, and Center of All? If you did more, what difference would it make?

Psalm 23 by Shane and Shane

Posted on: August 30, 2018 - 10:00PM

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