More Than Loaves and Fish
If you’re with us this morning and you’re ready to learn, I want to invite you to turn to Mark 6 as we go through the series together on the Genius of Jesus. We’re six weeks into this series together, but we’re using this summer for one purpose. We want to know Jesus as Jesus desires to make himself known in our lives.
And this is the thought that we want to carry here this morning, out of all of the things that you’ve gone through this week, if you had a busy schedule like me putting in the late hours, waking up early morning to get things done, trying to stay ahead in some of the rat race, summer for me is one of the busiest times. The month of July usually runs me ragged. I will not have a long life if this keeps up. Out of all the things that I experienced in life, the most important thing that I can do, is allow my heart just to worship the Lord.
And so this hour that we spend together in engaging God in scripture is vital to our lives. It’s the springboard really into the rest of our week. So I’d invite you if you brought a Bible to turn to Mark 6. I want to encourage you to as we go through the series together, if you’re not taking notes or if you want to take notes, there’s nothing sacred itself about the pages of the Bible. It’s what’s possessed within the contents of scripture. And so I think the Lord is glorified by just some taking some notes there if God impacts your heart in certain ways. Please feel free to do that.
If you don’t have a Bible, take one out of the back of the seat and put your name on it and take it home with you. We want you to have God’s word and be able to enjoy that together with us.
As we’ve gone through Mark together the theme that we have seen is there is a King who has come to deliver his kingdom to us. And that King of course is Jesus and the kingdom he’s invited us to be a part of that. In fact, we’ve looked at the first eight chapters of Mark. In chapter eight, there’s a pinnacle burst there were the context of what Mark is about, sort of shifts in the middle of Mark. We’re going to see that next week.
But in these first eight verses, we see this thought declared that Jesus declares the kingdom, he demonstrates the kingdom and he invites us to be a part of that kingdom as this King walks this earth. He’s come in physical form so that he is tangible to us and that we can live in response to him. And as these chapters have unfolded, we’ve seen that some have decided to follow him. But not everybody. In fact, many people have rejected him.
His family rejected him, we saw in Mark 3. At the end of chapter three, some people try to get Jesus to be quiet. Can’t get him be quiet so they go get his mama. They tell his mom, listen, you need to talk to your son and get him out of there. But Jesus says, you know who my mother and my brother and my sisters are? Those that do the will of the Lord. Those are my mother, brother and sisters. We talked about this already, it’s not that Jesus doesn’t love his mother, but he’s talking about the mission which he’s called upon. And so his family rejects him.
Nazareth or the town that he grows up in rejects him. You see that at the beginning of chapter six. That his own people, his friends, his family, people that he grew up with, they’re rejecting him. In fact, it says this in verse three, let me read it to you. It says, is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not his sister here with us? And they took offense at him.
And that word offense is really where we get our English word scandalous. And so Jesus is considered scandalous. He is a rebel. And those that follow him are rebellious. And so if you just want to be rebellious today follow Jesus. In fact, I think probably in our culture, the way it’s going, following Jesus is pretty rebellious. But you get to be a rebel with a cause in following Christ. And so you see that in this passage that his family, his friends, his hometown rejects him. Even the Jewish leaders reject him. The religion rejects him, and the political leaders are starting to reject him.
In fact, if you look in chapter six starting in verse 14, they reflect on the death of John the Baptist. Now, when this story interjects in chapter six, verse 14, it’s something that’s already happened. It’s not in real time as Jesus is being described here in the book of Mark. They’re reflecting back to the death of John the Baptist. In fact, the political leaders think that John the Baptist has been resurrected and he’s walking around as Jesus.
But you see all of this happening in the life of Christ. Friends, family, home town, the political leaders, the religious leaders, all of them rejecting Jesus.
And Jesus now comes into this section of scripture in chapters six and he’s really doing a check with his disciples. He’s thinking about all of that they’ve gone through. And all that he’s called them too. All that lines ahead. What Jesus wants to do within the story that we’re going to see in chapter six today is he wants to get away with his disciples. To refresh their hearts, to prepare them for the next step of the mission on which he calls them to in this world.
There’s a quote by Vance Havner that says, “If you don’t come a part and rest, you will come apart.” It’s vital for the soul to find its source in Jesus will be refreshed in him. And Jesus thinking about his disciples and all that they experienced and all the way that people have responded to them and thinking about the mission, he just wants to call them away.
It’s as if to say to us by sharing these stories that we’re about to see this morning, that you yourself need to get away with Jesus. To allow him to prepare you for the next step of your journey of life with him. How essential it is to our relationship with the Lord and living in this world that he has called us to, to be lights for him.
We’re going to see, as we look into chapter six, we’re actually going look at three stories. Three stories Jesus tells, and the reason he tells these stories three times, I’m not saying this about you, I’m going to say this about all the other churches that exist in the world, is that sometimes the body of Christ tends to be a little stubborn. You guys were perfect, right?
And when the lesson is taught to us the first time, we don’t always get it. And so Jesus is teaching three different stories to his disciples and he’s really carrying one central thought. And that central thought that he’s carrying for the disciples is what is going to carry them through as they journey in this life because God knows there’s going to be ups and downs in what lies ahead of us.
But God wants us sustaining in him. And the lesson that he shares with the disciples in order to find them selves sustain in him is the same message God would share with us today. That we could find ourselves sustained in him, because those same stories that he taught his disciples are found within the gospel so that we can receive the same teaching that he brought to them.
In these three stories, the tendency is in our lives is to be somewhat abusive sometimes with scripture. That’s kind of a loaded statement, because none of us want to do that, I don’t think. If you do, we need to help you. Stick around and listen for a little bit. But we tend to abuse scripture sometimes. And this is what I mean.
We’re going to look at three stories Jesus tells. And some point, maybe you grew up in church, Sunday school, whatever, and you heard this story and somebody tied this nice little moral thought, made you the central theme and sent you on your way and you thought that was great. Sometimes we come to church with that purpose in mind, like it’s all about me, right? But when we do that, we fail to see the broader picture of what scripture is trying to say.
Because the main theme of scripture, if this is the first time you’re hearing this, I’m sorry, but the main theme of scripture is not about you. Now you’re the great beneficiary of it because it’s about the glory of God. And because your God is good, you get to rest in the glory of who he is. The invitation of what Jesus tells us is to come apart and rest in him. You’re going to see that here in just a little bit, but it’s only because of his glory.
When we come and we approached scriptures for what it says about us and we fail to see the glory of God in it, we neglect to see the full picture of what scripture says to us. And so when Jesus tells these stories, when we look at these three stores for a theme, we’re not looking for like just some minutia part of a scripture. I’m just going to teach you this wow thought of the Bible.
I’m actually going to take you through three stories you’ve probably heard. If you grew up in church, you’ve probably heard your whole life and you’ve never seen someone tie it all together. And when you see this unfolded strips, you’re going to see that Jesus tied all these stories together. Why in the world has this not been taught to me this way? Because it is the central theme of what Christ is trying to teach his disciples because this thought is what sustains his disciples then living as lights for Christ throughout this world.
The first story that that Jesus shares with us in Mark 6:33. And you might know it as the feeding of the 5,000 right? The feeding of the 5,000 can you imagine 5,000 people? And this is a modern phenomenon in Jesus day. Jesus feeding 5,000. There is no modern kitchen. I’m not even capable of cooking for five people, 5,000 people! There’s no refrigeration. How in the world does Jesus do that? But yet he brings the crowds together and he feeds 5,000.
And leading into this story, let me tell you what Jesus wanted to accomplish. He says in Mark chapter six he recognizes all of the disciples have gone through and he wants to call them away. Guys, we need to come and rest our souls for a minute. Because there’s also a journey ahead of you. You need to recharge, you need refreshed and you need strengthen for that journey.
So he tells his disciples, jump in the boat with me. We’re going across the sea of Galilee. And all the people on the shore see Jesus jump in the boat and they watch the direction of the boat. They’re like, guys, he’s going to the other side. So everyone runs around the Sea of Galilee because they’re going to meet Jesus on the other side. And you can imagine who knows how many people at this point, but as people are running around the sea, I mean there’s business done around the sea. The people are fishing, they’re buying, they’re selling, they are trading around the sea.
As they run around the sea, you imagine, you see this crowd around and you’re like, where are you guys going? And they’re checking around and you’re like, we’re going to see Jesus on the other side. And then all of a sudden the crowd just starts to grow bigger, bigger, bigger, gets to the other side and it tells us that the crowd is so big, it’s just pressing around Christ.
And Jesus in this moment is like, well, I wanted to get away with the disciples, but we’re going to have to teach them on mission here. I’ll just help them learn the lesson in the midst of doing ministry. And so in this moment, Jesus wants to teach his disciples as he’s feeding the multitude, the lesson that’s going to sustain you. I’m going to teach you as I’m feeding this multitude of people.
And when you watch the disciples interact in these moments while they’re with Jesus. Jesus, call them away. They need to need to go eat. You kind of get the idea that the disciples see them as a burden. But where we see burdens, God sees opportunities. And God is the God of human impossibilities. He’s the one that shines in his greatest light in the darkness of moments. So what he does in these moments is he feeds these 5,000. It says in Mark 6:38, and he said to them, how many loaves do you have? Go look. And when they found out, they said five and two fish. And he commanded them all to sit down by groups on the green grass. And he took the five loaves and the two fish and looked up toward heaven. He blessed the food and broke the loaves and he kept giving them to the disciples to set before them and he divided up the two fish among them all.
Wonderful story. Jesus miraculously feeds all those people. When you read a story like that, that’s typically where we often stop and then someone ties up the loose ends and tells you some great things about your life and then you just move on from there about whatever you took away from the story. Let me just give you a few illustrations.
You say something like, we’re not the manufacturers, we’re the distributors. We don’t fabricate this stuff, but rather God works through us. And that’s true. The only things that happen in this world according to God’s power, it happens through the Spirit of God. You don’t fabricate those things. Anything we fabricate doesn’t sustain. It might temporarily look good, but it’s God that’s got to breathe life into our lives.
Maybe another thought you can have from the story is if you just give to God just a little, look what God can do. Just a little God makes a lot. And that’s true. That’s true too. And it’s not about the size of your faith, but the source of your faith.
No matter how deep your faith may be, if it’s not in something that’s gonna sustain, who cares? So, it’s true. It’s not the size of your face, it’s the source of your faith. But in all of those wonderful thoughts that we might Sunday school tie around, this still misses the main point.
It’s not what Jesus wanted his disciples to learn overall in the midst of the experiences they’ve had to this point and what they need that’s gonna sustain them moving forward. And so in order to get that across, Jesus then shares this thought. He says in verse 32 they all ate and were satisfied. And they picked up 12 baskets full of broken pieces and also of the fish. And then the story ends. That’s it.
That’s what Jesus wants you to know in order to sustain you in your future. What, what does that mean? Like when, when Jesus tell stories, most of the time I’m like, Oh I get that. Because usually he tells a story and the disciples, like, I don’t get that in like, Oh, I’m so glad they said that. And then Jesus explains in and I’m like thank you Lord. I’m not spiritual enough to see that. But when it comes to this story, Jesus tells a story and it just kinda ends. And you’re like, yeah, okay, that’s awesome. But they don’t get the point.
And so what Jesus does from this point on is then he immediately jumps into another story. Verse 45 starts to tell another story within this chapter. And this is another passage that you’re probably familiar with if you’ve ever read the Bible or you had been in church and it’s a story called walking on the water. If it’s the first time you’ve heard about it, Jesus walked on water. So right after Jesus does this, they collect the baskets. The 12 baskets of broken pieces and they’re full and everyone’s satisfied.
Jesus tells the disciples, okay, go. You guys jump in a boat, you are fishermen. You’re familiar with the water. I want you to go to the other side. We’re going to just run this crowd to death to get away from. So he tells him to go to the other side. He’s like, I’m going to go up on the mountain and pray. So Jesus in his own relationship to the father finds time to just replenish his soul. So he goes up on the mountain and prays.
And the story tells us that the disciples are in another storm. Now, if you remember earlier we mentioned the brevity of a storm, but the disciples had been in a storm before with Jesus. I love the way Jesus is progressing them in their faith here, because the first time they were in a storm, Jesus was on the boat. He was asleep, but he was on the boat.
So Jesus goes through the experience of the storm with these fishermen being on the boat and he calms the storm. Now this time is a little bit different. It’s growing their faith. Jesus isn’t with them, and so they’re out there in this storm and Jesus can see them from up on the shoreline. Jesus sees him as he’s praying in in this storm, battling through this storm, and these aren’t people that are inexperienced with the boat, right? These are fishermen and if they can’t get across the storm, there ain’t nobody in the world got a shot on this one. And so Jesus sees them going through this storm.
You know, one of the interesting things about storms is that my prayer often in storms is, God, please take away my storm. But when Jesus is sitting on the shore and he’s watching these individuals go through the storm, he was completely within his power to just stop the storm. He doesn’t. Why?
Because God’s primary interest isn’t always the storm. But rather the heart of the believer going through the store. I’m not saying every bad thing that happens to us, that God is just forcing it upon us in order to teach us a lesson, but rather what I am saying is that when things happen to us, regardless of the storm, God can often use that storm to speak to our lives.
If we’re being really honest about us as people, it’s not until we get into the storm that we’re often even open to listen to what God has to say. And so God used the storm to speak to the hearts. Now God cares about the storm, he does, because you care about the storm and God cares about you. But more important than the storm, it’s the heart of the individual going through the storm. And God is using this storm the same way he used the loaves to teach the same message that’s he’s going to connect through three stories.
God is after the heart of the believer going through the storm. And this is what it says in verse 38, when it was evening, the boat was in the middle of the sea and he was alone on the land and seeing them straining at the oars for the wind was against them. At about the fourth watch of the night, he came to them walking on the sea and he intended, look at this, he intended to pass by them.
You’ve got one of those friends? You carrying something, man, that looks heavy. I’ll see you on the other side. That’s what it looks like it say, does it? It’s like he came in and walk on the sea. He’s like, I don’t want to look at you guys. You’re embarrassing. And he pass by them. But when they saw him walking on the sea, suppose that it was a ghost and cried out for, they all saw him and were terrified, but immediately he spoke with them and said to them, take courage. It is. I do not be afraid.
I’m trying to tell you how good Jesus is this morning. Now why in the world is that saying in this verse, Jesus wanted to pass by them? Is Jesus embarrassed by them? Is Jesus embarrassed by me? What does this mean pass by? One of the things we’ve talked about together in the series is this word called kesher. Kesher means the streaming of pearls. It’s the way a New Testament author would take a concept from the Old Testament and they would use a phrase to make your mind gather the imagery of what took place in the Old Testament to make the application in the New Testament.
And this word “pass by”, is profoundly rich in Jewish literature. It doesn’t mean Jesus is trying to walk by them. In fact, it means the exact opposite. Jesus is trying to teach them something significant about himself. And when you study Jewish literature as to what this word “pass by” means, it dates itself all the way back to the Exodus.
You remember the Exodus with Moses? God calls the people of Israel out of Egypt. They were slaves. They cry out to God. God picks a leader, his name’s Moses. Moses goes in before Pharaoh, says, “Let my people go.” He declares that before Pharaoh, God performs all of these miracles, these 10 plagues, he even parts the Red Sea. He leads the slaves into the wilderness. He gives them a new identity. They’re going to be the people from which the Messiah comes.
And Moses goes up on top of a mountain to get the law that God’s going to give to the people, to give them identity. When he comes down from the mountain, in Exodus chapter 32. He sees the people worshiping a golden calf. They were just brought out of Egypt by the hand of God. They saw all these miracles from God. And yet when Moses comes down from this mountain, they’re worshiping another god.
And Moses is frustrated and it tells us in this story, he breaks the Ten Commandments and he’s ticked. And then in chapter 33 there’s sort of this reset button. It’s kind of like the story of the people of Israel. They went through all of this experience, and then in chapter 33 God sort of hits this button in Moses and for Israel that they just get away for just a moment as a refreshing for the journey ahead.
Then chapter 33 I just want you to listen to what Moses says. I think he learns from this circumstance, but in chapter 33 verse 14 just just listen to these words. And God said, my presence shall go with you. And listen, I will give you rest. And then verse 15, then Moses said to God, if your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here.
What Moses is saying to God is, God, I don’t want to move unless you move me. God, I want your presence wherever we are. And then as the story unfolds in verse 18 it says this, Then Moses said, I pray you show me your glory. And he said, I myself will make all my goodness. Listen, pass before you God saying this.
I will make all my goodness pass before you. And I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious and I will show compassion on whom I will show compassion. But he said, you cannot see my face for no man can see me and live. And then the Lord said, behold, there is a place by me and you shall stand there on the rock and I will come about while my glory is passing by. Then I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by, then I will take my hand away and you shall see my back. But my face shall not be seen.
Right after this hardship in Exodus 32, Moses just wants to rest in God. You kind of start to see within the story of why Jesus uses this word, this phrase pass by. Disciples have gone through an experience with Jesus and they need refreshed. They need to see the goodness of his glory. Because it’s that power that sustains.
And Moses, praises God. Don’t even let me move from this place until I’ve seen your glory. Lord, I don’t want to leave without it. And then God says something important. There’s something important in the story theologically for us. And then something important that God just shares with Moses theologically. It’s this, in Exodus 33:18 and on. God says, nobody can look at me and live. So the Bible is telling us no one can look at the father and live. In 1 Timothy 6:16, it is impossible to look at God and live.
It tells us in 1 Timothy 6:16 no one has ever seen God. No one will ever see God in his face. It is impossible to do that and live. If anyone ever tells you that it does not happen. It is impossible to do that and live. It’s in the Old Testament and it’s in the New Testament. But what he does tell Moses in this passage is this, hide the cleft of the rock, I will cover you until I pass by, and then you see me. And that phrase is a Hebrew idiom. He’s not literally seeing the backside of God, but the Hebrew idiom is the trail of his robe.
It’s the presence of his glory. It’s his glory trail. And so when Moses steps out of the back of this rock and he looks, what he sees is the presence of God’s glory, having been there. What God wants his disciples to see is the the goodness of his glory, above all else. Jesus isn’t passing by his disciples because he’s embarrassed by them. He’s not passing by his disciples because he doesn’t want to be near them. He’s passing by his disciples so they see the glory of who he is. Because in the midst of the storm, that’s what carries you through.
It tells us rather than seeing the glory of God, the disciples have an interesting reaction. They say they take courage. He says, take courage, it is I, do not be afraid. This disciples are afraid and in fact they say this, they thought it was a ghost. Rather than recognizing the glory of God is all like, what is this like? Do we call the Scooby wagon something, Ghostbusters, whatever. I don’t know what’s going on here, but I do not want it near me. This is freaking me out, man. It’s the glory of God.
God is making his glory known. So this describes what Jesus did, and I’ll check this out. Now Jesus is going to tell you why he did it. This is strange, but he says this. If I were to tell you why, I’d be like, because you’re awesome. Let’s talk about how great that is. Walking on water. Job 9:8 tells us, God treads upon the water. So you look at about the goodness of God. We think about this and the Sunday school story kind of way. We’re just saying, you know, God is great and look how powerful he is. And by faith. look at this. But then Jesus says this. Then he got in the boat with him and the wind stopped and he explains why they’re readily astonished. He says this for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves.
Their heart was hard. Jesus, why did you walk on water? It’s because of the loaves. What? What does bread have to do with walking on water? Can we just talk about walking on water for a minute? I mean, that is, that is phenomenal. Can I do that? Is that’s following you by faith, is that what we get to do too? Can we just talk about it and Jesus like, no, no, no, no, no. You didn’t get the point of the bread. Let’s talk about some bread, right? I don’t know if it was gluten free or not, but we need to talk about this because this is, the theme that gets the point across in your lives of what is necessary in pursuing me. The disciples still didn’t get it.
And so in order to drive the point home, Jesus gets even a little more extreme. One of the reasons he gets ready to unfold this next door. This is in chapter eight and chapter eight there’s a story that relates all the way back to chapter six. One of the reasons he goes to this extreme that he’s about to in chapter eight is because Israel is focused on their nation. They see the thought of a Messiah coming.
If they see the promise of the Messiah and they turn to the Messiah, what they’re going to expect is that the Messiah will help the Jewish people dominate over all nations again. He’s going to sit up by a geopolitical kingdom and he’s going to rule over the nations. And we’re going to rule with them. It’s going to be all about us over top of the nations and that’s the way they’re thinking about the concept of a Messiah.
In fact, when it tells the story of the feeding of 5,000 in the book of John 6, I think it is, verse 14 that they tried to seize Jesus and make him a King immediately. That’s why he tells us disciples like I get in the boat, go, I gotta run. Because he doesn’t want to lead the kind of kingdom that these people are thinking about. That’s not what he’s here for. And so what Jesus says to get the point across to the disciples is he leaves the area where the Jewish people are. And he actually travels North along the coast. And now he’s in a predominantly Gentile area. And within the context of this story, in the book of Mark, he now feeds 4,000. Now, it’s not as impressive as 5,000 but he is feeding the Gentile people here.
So he feeds 4,000 Gentiles and this is what it says. And he, I asked him, how many loaves do you have? And they said seven. He directed the people to sit down on the ground and they take the seven loaves and he gives things, some broke them. And he started giving them to the disciples to serve them. And they serve them to the people. And they also had a few small fish. And after he had blessed them, he ordered them to be served as well. It goes on and says verse eight nine and they ate and were satisfied and they picked up seven large baskets full of what was left over of the broken pieces. About 4,000 were there and he sent them away.
That’s talking about men. Four thousand, five thousand it’s talking about men again. Women and children weren’t treated equally in this culture, as we know equality, God creates us equally. And so they didn’t count men and women. So if you think about how many men and women will be here in this instance, it could have been with the 5,000 could have been 15,000-20,000 people with the 4,000 it could have been 12,000-16,000 people who knows?
Thousands upon thousands of people are here. And Jesus feeds them and they’re satisfied and they pick up the baskets. And that’s the end of the story. They did the same thing as they did in chapter six. And I’m waiting with the disciples, I’d be like, I don’t get it. What is it? Well, what’s the point of this? You pick up the baskets, they’re full. I don’t even know why we collected the baskets. We should have just left them laying there. No one needs this stuff. I mean, it’s going to waste. We’re all full, but for some reason you want us to collect these baskets and recognize that are seven baskets and there’s full and everyone’s satisfied. But then that’s the end of the story.
And then it goes on from there and tells us, Jesus gets into a heavy discussion with the religious leaders. And he tells the disciples from there, beware of the leaven of the religious leaders, and they’re all like, we didn’t bring bread. Why is Jesus talking about leaven? Did you forget the bread? I didn’t bring any bread. What are we going to eat? And Jesus looks at him like, guys, you’re missing the point. I’m not even talking about literal bread here. I’m just recognizing how the leaven of the Pharisees, that negative effect can permeate into our own lives. I’m just learning about this because you’re missing the theme of everything I’m trying to say.
And so finally Jesus is like, let me just teach you. I just want to make sure you get the point. And so in verse 17 he ties all these together. He says, do you not yet see or understand? Do you have a hardened heart? Having eyes do you not see, having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember when I broke the five loaves for the 5,000 how many baskets full of broken pieces did you pick up? And they said to him, 12. And when I broke the seven for the 4,000 how many large baskets full of broken pieces did you pick up? And said to him, seven. And he was saying them. Do you not yet understand?
Now if you don’t understand, that’s okay, this point, but let me explain it to you. Because in the Jewish mind, what Jesus is saying here, it’s a tremendous way of thinking towards scripture. Because 12 is an intentional number. Seven is an intentional number.
Jesus didn’t step into these stories and be like, Hey guys, how many baskets that we have laying around? 12 okay, just use those. And then get to the next place and be like, guys, we lost five of our baskets. We must have left them at the other place when we fed people. We only got seven. Oh well that’ll do. There’s only 4,000 instead of five. Pass the seven around. That’s not how that happened.
The number 12 and the number seven are significant. Because if you’re a Jew and you’re thinking about the number 12 you instantly correlate the number 12 to the number of the tribes of Israel. And when you’re a Gentile and you think of the number seven you instantly correlate the number seven to a number of fullness, the number of completion.
And so what Jesus is recognizing to both Jew and Gentile from these stories. The reason we have the feeding of the 4,000 and the 5,000 and why he didn’t just stop with, you know, in scripture, all we need is just really one story to know you can feed lots of people, but why in the world did you tell two stories about feeding lots of people?
The reason is because he wants to teach something to Jewish people and something to the Gentile people. And what he’s saying in this story for all of us to understand, is that the reason he chose 12 when he fed the Jewish people is that they could see that Jesus came and he satisfactorily able to supply for all of the Jewish people. That when they collected the 12 baskets, that the baskets were still full and everyone was satisfied.
But it doesn’t just end there. He goes to the Gentile nation and to number seven, it matters to them. That is the number of fullness. And he’s saying to the Gentile people that when Jesus comes before you and you partake of the things that Jesus offers you, that Jesus not only satisfies you, but there’s enough for the world to go around. And so what Jesus is communicating from this basket of 12 in this basket of seven is that God is after the nations. And that in Him there is enough to satisfy the world. It does not run dry. The baskets are full.
When the disciples saw this, their mouth’s would just dropped in recognizing the baskets were full. Both the Jewish and the Gentile world eat from Christ and his baskets are full. And so when you connect that thought and Jesus sharing not only of the eating of the baskets, but the walking on water, you get the idea of what Jesus is trying to communicate to his disciples. That God wanted them to get a glimpse of his glory so their hearts would rest in his sustaining power, while uncertainty would grow around them.
He makes himself attainable for these disciples in the midst of what they’re going through. In the midst of what they will go through. So that him and his attainability, they can rest in him. He’s sharing these stories with us so that our hearts can see the significance of these moments to see just as it’s sustained for them, that the baskets were full, that we ourselves could sustain in him. That we could rest in him.
And suddenly those words “pass by.” Those are words that carry weight for more than just the disciples in the boat. Because those words from that story connect itself to the stories of the baskets. Because Jesus continued to say you don’t understand what the baskets were about. You didn’t understand what the baskets were about. That’s all about him passing by.
God made himself attainable for you, that he could pass by in your life. That you could be wrapped up in the presence of his glory. That the prayer that Moses prayed in Exodus 33:14-15 would become our prayer. God, do not let me move from here until I see your glory.
Do you want to know where you find the strength for everything that you’ve endured? That’s what he told Moses in Exodus 33:15, resting in him. Do you know why you can do that? Because the baskets were full. The baskets were full. You can sustain in him because he doesn’t run dry. The baskets were full.
And so in, in your life, early in the morning when you wake up, you not only think about the past, the past day, but the day that you have. You’re only sustaining it because of the grace of God. And not only did God bring you from something, but God is also calling you in something in him. And you know what’s going to carry you through in that? The baskets will never be empty.
Your prayer in the morning in meeting with God, every day, God, show me your glory. God, do not let me move until I see the goodness of who you are. I can tell you for the life of the disciples, they’re never gonna do a thing for Jesus, especially when it’s difficult, until they see the power of God that’s able to sustain them beyond the circumstance.
God knows what lays ahead of you. Do you know what will carry you through? That’s the theme he wants his disciples to understand to the next two chapters. Because what we’re going to find in the middle of chapter eight what he’s going to call them too is so difficult that there is no reason any of us will ever do that unless we truly believe Jesus is everything he says he is.
Because what he’s going to say is, now come and die. Come and die. Can I tell you why this thought becomes so important in all the ways we tend to teach scripture sometimes. If we just come to one of these stories and we just look at the moralistic, nice, fluffy teaching on it, we don’t connect all of it through this. We’re going to miss the greatest theme in all of it, which is the glory of God. Sometimes, this isn’t always bad, but sometimes we come to church and the only motivation we have is what I’m going to get. All of us should come here really seeking God. We really want to worship this morning. We need God to transform our hearts. We do need that.
But can I tell you what makes the church healthy? It’s when it goes from being about you to not being about you.
The greatest two commands God gave us, loving God, loving others. And the church lives for the glory of God and becomes a healthy group of people, not when we make it about self, and I know this isn’t us. I’m not speaking against us here, I’m speaking with us, right? But the church lives the way God calls it to live when the people of God that gathered together come for the purpose of dying to self, to live in him. God, make it about your glory, make it about your glory. And God, I’m seeing by the way you demonstrate your life that who you love, what you love, you love people. And because I love you, I’m going to love those around me. And so I let go of myself to allow you to live your life through me. God glorify yourself.
That’s what he’s calling the disciples too in this chapter, and the Lord knows the only way they’re ever going to do that, the only way they would ever live in that capacity in this world, knowing it’s not always going to be easy, is if they find themselves sustained in his glory.
God, show me your glory. God, let me rest in the goodness of who you are. It’s not about me, it’s about you. But here’s the goodness of that all. When I lay myself down and I see the glory of who you are in that, I find that in me, the sustaining power that I thought so dependable, I no longer need it because the baskets full. It’s you. It’s the glimpse of his glory that becomes the very foundation of anything that remains consistent because of Christ.
And he became flesh so that we could attain him. The truth of his sufficiency becomes the foundation of our dependency. And if you believe who he says he is, you will do as he calls you to do. It’s not the size of your faith that’s impressive. It’s the source of your faith.
But when God’s of people, when the sole possession of your heart becomes his glory, people of God see miraculous things happen in this world. Not because of us, but because of him. They weren’t the contributors, but the distributors of his glory.