Saturday, October 18, 2008

Guests for Supper

Isaiah 61:1-11; Mark 6:30-44 / 1 Peter 5:1-14

I. Life Was Too Busy for the Disciples

A. The disciples reported to Jesus at the end of their mission. And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.” (Mark 6:30) “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” (Hebrews 13:17)

B. Even when they are engaged in important work for the kingdom, Jesus gives His servants rest. “And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.” (Mark 6:31-32)

C. The needy people continued to demand attention. “And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and out went them, and came together unto him.” (Mark 6:33)

C. Resting was hard for Jesus too. “And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.” (Mark 6:34) “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)

E. The disciples proposed to solve the problem in their own way. “And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed: Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat.” (Mark 6:35-36)

II. Jesus Had a Better Plan

A. Feed the hungry. “He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?” (Mark 6:37)

1. God fed the people in the wilderness with manna when there was no other food for them. “And the manna was as coriander seed, and the color thereof as the color of bdellium.” (Numbers 11:7)

2. God even made the world out of nothing; there was neither pattern nor content when He began. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:1-2)

B. Count the cost. “He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.” (Mark 6:38) The fish were similar in size to sardines.

1. When Jesus commands, the resources will meet the need. “He said, Bring them hither to me.” (Matthew 14:18)

2. Believers must learn to think and act with holy boldness. “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

3. Do not set limits on God’s kindness. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” (Mark 9:23)

C. Remember Moses and organize the people to receive their blessing. “And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass. And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.” (Mark 6:39-40)

D. Great benefits come to the church when it organizes as God directs. “Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:” (Exodus 18:21)

E. Faithfulness turns dry places into refreshing pools on the way to God. “Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.” (Psalm 84:5-7)

III. Jesus Fed the Hungry

A. The Lord blessed the food and distributed it. “And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.” (Mark 6:41) “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

B. Everyone ate at the Lord’s table and everyone was full; He who made the world from nothing did not face an insurmountable problem. “And they did all eat, and were filled.” (Mark 6:42) “And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.” (Deuteronomy 8:3)

C. The disciples had more at the end of the supper than at the start. “And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.” (Mark 6:43)

D. One lunch became a banquet for thousands. “And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.” (Mark 6:44)

E. And so came to pass what had been prophesied in the terrible era of judgment; no matter how hard the times, God will supply His own. “And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.” (Jeremiah 23:4)

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