Seattle’s Snowmaggedon 2012 found people in varying stages of helplessness. Some ventured out onto the highways and wound up in a ditch needing a tow truck. Some headed off to the grocery stores to stock up on much needed staples, only to discover others had already been there and stripped the shelves bare. Still others, like me and 300,000 of my closest friends, found ourselves without power and needing Puget Sound Energy to restore downed power lines. We all had needs that desperately needed to be met.
While tow trucks, grocery stores, and PSE met tangible needs this week, so Jesus Christ meets each one of us at our point of need in a far greater way. In Mark 6:30-44, we see that Jesus met seven unique needs for seven different groups of people.
- Rest for the weary (30-32). Jesus’ disciples returned bone-weary from a ministry trip (6:7-13). They were so busy they did not even have time to eat. Jesus took them away for a well deserved retreat.
- Compassion for the lost (33-34a). The crowds continued to follow Jesus. Rather than view them as an inconvenience, he saw them as sheep without a shepherd. They lacked leadership, nourishment, and protection.
- Instruction for the seekers (34b). Jesus taught the people, explaining the nature of the kingdom of God.
- Challenge for the self-sufficient (35-37). By the end of a full day of instruction, people were hungry. Jesus’ disciples wanted to send them to the local grocery stores to get food. Jesus challenged the twelve to take responsibility and feed them themselves. Knowing it was impossible, Jesus wanted them to transfer what they learned on their previous ministry trip to this new challenge.
- Significance for the inadequate (38). Far too often, we feel as if we have nothing to offer in service. However, if we give it to Jesus, he can take our little (five rolls, two fish) and use it to feed a multitude.
- Satisfaction for the needy (39-42). Everyone ate enough to proclaim, “I couldn’t eat another bite.”
- Encouragement for the faint-hearted (43-44). The disciples had no idea how to feed 5,000 people. They were convinced it couldn’t be done. Not only were the people fed, but there was enough for 12 baskets of leftovers; perhaps, the disciples’ lunch for tomorrow.
A God who can feed 5,000 people from five loaves and two fish can do anything. What needs do you want Jesus to meet in your life?