Speaker: Rev. Shine Thomas
Scripture: Mark 6:30-44
Today I am going to tell you how God uses pastors, ministers, and every believer in a church for His glory through a miracle that Jesus did.
BACKGROUND OF THE SCRIPTURE
- This miracle is mentioned in all 4 gospels and we will study from all 4.
- John the Baptist has been put in prison.
- Jesus sends his disciples 2×2 to preach the gospel.
- Jesus in the meantime is ministering alone.
- King Herod beheaded John the Baptist in the prison cell.
- The news visibly upset Jesus and His disciples.
- They gathered in a city called Galilee.
Now Galilee was a very thickly populated city and it was very difficult for Jesus and His disciples to be unnoticed. People already started crowding Jesus as the news spread that He was in Galilee. Luke 9:10 When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida. Jesus and His disciples quickly got on a boat and went to the other side of the lake to a place called Bethsaida. See what happens. Mark 6:34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. The diameter of the lake of Galilee was bigger than the circumference of the lake. People ran and reached the other side of the lake before Jesus to get to the other side. Jesus instead of taking rest and having some privacy of his on the Bible says ministered unto the people who gathered.
THE RHYTHM OF A CHRISTIAN LIFE
If we observe Jesus carefully he shows us a perfect balance to a Christian life. Jesus had a good balance between ministry and prayer. It is just like sleep and work. We cannot work if we never have a good night of sleep nor can we sleep if we are not tired after work. Likewise, we cannot do the ministry until we pray and our prayer has to result in ministry. This is the rhythm of a Christian life.
There is a big danger we face as believers. We sometimes are caught up in too much of activity and find no time for prayer. We are busy working, shopping, face book, twitter, TV, chatting, gym etc but we find no time for prayer. Some believers are very busy organizing program for church, practicing in the choir, arranging, printing, ushering, preaching, you name it they do it but very seldom find time for prayer.
God cannot use such people. We sleep and we work, similarly we pray and we minister and the cycle goes on. God uses a praying believer. Jesus is the perfect example. See after this particular ministry where Jesus went. Mark 4:46 After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray. If you desire to be used by God spend time in prayer.
Now Jesus did not get the rest and privacy he desired. Mark 6:34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. Jesus was tired, weak, upset. The death of John the Baptist reminded Him of His cross. Jesus needed some privacy yet when He saw people in need He had compassion. Jesus never bothered about His privacy.
Child of God, Jesus is willing to spend time with you today. Your friends, parents, spouse etc may not have time for you but Jesus always has time for you.
THE ROLE OF DISCIPLES IN GOD’S PLAN
Now, you must understand that Jesus was ministering to the crowd and the disciples never ate the entire day. Mark 6:31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” The disciples wanted to sent the people away and eat and rest. Mark 6:35-36 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” See what Jesus said. Mark 6:37 But he answered, “You give them something to eat.” Jesus asked them to feed the people. The disciples had a role in the ministry which they did not understand. We are the disciples of Christ and we have a definite role in the God’s plan. God wanted to use the disciples and God wants to use you today. This miracle shows the role of every disciple in the work of Christ. John 6:5-6 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. Jesus knew what to do but what Jesus was telling that He needed the help of the disciples.
Immediately the disciples set into action. Philip, Andrew, and Peter was from the same place, Bethsaida. Philip suddenly thought about the nearby hotel and started calculating the number of people x cost per plate of dish. John 6:7 Philip answered him, “Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” Andrew in the meantime started searching among the people for some food. All the disciples swept into action to find a solution.
Suddenly, Andrew spotted a small boy with 5 barley loaves and 2 fishes. John 6:8-9 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
Now picture the scene. There is a great crowd. It is getting late. People are hungry and tired. The Bible says there were 5000 men. Now Andrew has spotted a small boy. If there was a boy definitely women should also be a part of the congregation. If you look around women carry handbags always. Nowadays the fashion is big gunny bag type of handbags for women. Women can carry whatever they want. Now if you check a women’s bag (Pl don’t do that) there will always be something to eat and these women traveled long distances. They would definitely be having munch, polo, bubblegum, sandwitches etc and none of the women were willing to share their food.
Moreover, all Jews traveled with food baskets called Kophinos. Every orthodox carried his/her own food in a basket because they had to eat only clean food. So a lot of men and women carried good food that day but the fact is that no one was willing to share or give his/her food to Jesus. All were selfish. The Bible says there was a small boy who had 5 barley loaves and 2 fishes. Barley loaves are not like our breads or chapattis. They were small rolls. Barely loaves were the food of the poorest of the poor and the cheapest of all breads. The Bible says he had 2 tiny fishes, maybe dry fish, very cheap and of less value. It did not seem much to anyone.
Now, Andrew spotted this body. I think he did the ministry of encouragement, encouraging the boy to give the loaves and fish to Jesus. Encouragement is a gift. The boy gave the food to Jesus. The boy did the ministry of giving. Giving is a ministry. Some people have got a special gift of giving and that is a gift, it is a part of ministry.
Now the food came to Jesus. Jesus is present very much there, but who is doing the work? It was the disciples. Mark 6:39-40 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. The disciples made them sit down in groups of 50s and 100s. This is the gift of administration. Some people have got this gift. They administer: Arrange chair, guide people and make them sit down. Administration is a gift, a part of ministry.
See what Jesus did now. Mark 6:41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. Jesus blessed the food. The disciples served the food. Serving is a gift. It is a part of ministry. See the result of the ministry of Jesus, disciples, and the boy: Mark 6:42-43 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish.
If you see carefully Jesus performed the miracle but he needed the hands of the disciples and the boy. Jesus still works this way. Jesus Christ needs disciples today through whom he can work. It is not on how much talent or abilities you have, it is only your availability. If you are available God will use you.
I get the picture of a church in this miracle. God wants to use everyone here today. It is just your prayer life and your availability that God is looking at. The disciples remind me of the people in the church who are willing to take time off their daily schedule and minister in the church in the different capacities such as singing, leading, music, system, giving, serving, encouraging, intercession, reception, youth, Sunday school preaching etc. The small boy reminds me of every one of you who is willing to give your best to God. You come in time, worship God, give your money for God’s work, bring others to church etc. We all together make the church of God and make it happen here at City Harvest AG Church. If you feel unused by God today that means when God needed you, you were not available.
God the Father used Jesus, disciples, and the boy that day. Today, God is using me, the ministers here, and all of you for this great ministry here.
Who said you cannot be used. If God can use anything God can use you too. The key is in finding out what you are good at. All is ministry in front of God. Some of you are good at preaching, some at serving, some at encouraging, some at praying, some at giving. Continue the good work. That is your place in the ministry now. Let us give our best in whatever we do and be available for him always.
God Bless You.