MARK 6:39-41 (ESV) | “Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all.”
Recently I changed my approach to reading scripture. I realized that far too often I approach the living word as a book filled with familiar stories and directives on how to live like Christ. I’ve come to realize that the totality of scripture must be viewed in light of the suffering and glory of Jesus—the word made flesh. It’s all about him!
In this passage of Mark, Jesus feeds over 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish. That simple fact should cause us to pause in awe and wonder. But this story is so familiar to us that we’re likely to just keep on reading, accepting the miracle at face value as one of many that Jesus performed during his years of ministry. If we gaze deeply at this passage with a Christo-centric frame of reference, though, we see Jesus’s humanity, his sufficiency, and his commissioning.
While sometimes overshadowed, Jesus’s humanity is equally important to his supremacy. In his humanity Jesus was vulnerable to physical needs, just as we are. In this passage his humanity allows him to understand and have compassion on the crowd’s hunger and need for food. The people had gathered to receive the spiritual food he was offering, but in this case their human need had become a distraction. Rather than send them away, Jesus chose to provide.
Jesus’s provision for the people confirmed his sufficiency. He blessed what the disciples had, and miraculously produced more than enough to cover the crowd’s need. His provision was abundantly sufficient. In a similar fashion, Jesus’s death was able to account for all of man’s past, present, and future sinfulness. From Genesis to Revelation it all points to Jesus as the only sufficient answer for the needs of mankind.
Finally, as we view this passage with a Christo-centric frame of reference we see Jesus’s commissioning. He sent the disciples out to serve and to share his sufficient provision. Interestingly, the miracle didn’t occur until after the disciples were obedient to go.
That same commissioning continues today. Christ’s redemptive plan for humanity starts with his choice to use us. Our call is not one of sufficiency, but a call to faithfully go, or as we like to say here at CRM, to “Boldly Go.”
QUESTIONS FOR APPLICATION
- How do you approach scripture reading? Are you gazing deeply into the living word or treating it like a book of facts?
- How have you experienced the sufficiency of Christ in your faith journey?
- How have you been obedient to your commissioning? How can you be Christ’s blessed provision with those who are in need today?
This reading is a part of our "Small Feet Big Shoes" devotional series. You can also sign up to receive these meditations by email.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Simeon Lohrmann and his wife, Johanna, have been with CRM since 2014. Simeon leads the RYFO team, which works to create movements of disciples among musicians who are outside of the local church. The Lohrmann family (including their one-year-old son Judah) are currently on a five-month nationwide tour to expand the reach of their team’s musician ministry.