What Jesus Did! 'Limited Resources?' — Mark 6:37-38

Monday, April 18, 2016

But Jesus answered, "You give them some food to eat." The followers said to Jesus, "We can't buy enough bread to feed all these people! We would all have to work a month to earn enough money to buy that much bread!" Jesus asked the followers, "How many loaves of bread do you have now? Go and see." The followers counted their loaves of bread. They came to Jesus and said, "We have five loaves of bread and two fish."
— Mark 6:37-38
Illustration of Mark 6:37-38 — "We have five loaves of bread and two fish."

Key Thought

In the previous verses, Jesus' disciples expressed their concern for the crowds following Jesus. Now Jesus challenges them to do the impossible: "You feed them!" At first, they don't get the impossibility of his command. They are still locked into their normal ways of handling need. So Jesus tells them to check their available resources—5 loaves and 2 fish. Now they can be certain that the task they face is impossible for them. At one time or another, nearly everyone of us is called upon to serve others in an impossible situation: during the illness of a family member or in a time of real financial pinch or when we're facing a difficult ministry challenge or in an unfamiliar environment or ... . No matter what the challenge may be, we realize that we cannot accomplish our tasks through our own strength. Jesus wants us to realize exactly where we are: in an impossible situation unless his provision, his grace, his power, his guidance, and his providence carry us through. Jesus wants us to know that our resources are limited ... but his are unlimited.

Today's Prayer

Father in heaven, I realize that I am not sufficient for the challenges I face. I confess that my resources are limited and that without your help, mercy, grace, and power I cannot do what I need to do. Please help me! In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

The apostles {that Jesus sent out} came back to Jesus. They gathered around Jesus and told him about all the things they did and taught. Jesus and his followers were in a very busy place. There were many, many people. Jesus and his followers did not even have time to eat. Jesus said to his followers, "Come with me. We will go to a quiet place to be alone. There we will get some rest." So Jesus and his followers went away alone. They went in a boat to a place where there were no people. But many people saw them leave. The people knew it was Jesus. So people from all the towns ran to the place where Jesus was going. The people were there before Jesus arrived. When Jesus arrived there, he saw many people waiting. Jesus felt sorry for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd {to care for them}. So Jesus taught the people many things. It was now late in the day. So Jesus' followers came to him. They said, "No people live in this place. And it is already very late. So send the people away. They need to go to the farms and towns around here to buy some food to eat." But Jesus answered, "You give them some food to eat." The followers said to Jesus, "We can't buy enough bread to feed all these people! We would all have to work a month to earn enough money to buy that much bread!" Jesus asked the followers, "How many loaves of bread do you have now? Go and see." The followers counted their loaves of bread. They came to Jesus and said, "We have five loaves of bread and two fish." Then Jesus said to the followers, "Tell all the people to sit in groups on the green grass." So all the people sat in groups. There were about 50 or 100 people in each group. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish. He looked up to the sky and thanked God for the bread. Then Jesus divided the bread and gave it to his followers. Jesus told his followers to give the bread to the people. Then Jesus divided the two fish and gave the fish to the people. All the people ate and were full. Afterthe people finished eating, the followers filled twelve baskets with the pieces of bread and fish that were not eaten. There were about 5,000 men there that ate.

Mark 6:30-44

Related Scripture Readings

The survivors will think it is wonderful. And I will think it is wonderful too!"

Zechariah 8:6

Jesus looked at the followers and said, "This is something that people cannot do themselves. It must come from God. God can do all things."

Mark 10:27

Yes, God's riches are very great! God's wisdom and knowledge have no end! No person can explain the things God decides. No person can understand God's ways.

Romans 11:33

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.