Provision and Power

By Joe Boot/ November 13, 2016

Series  Mark: The King and His Kingdom

Context  Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic  Kingdom Of God

Scripture  Mark 6:30-56

Jesus was the living bread who came down from heaven to restore our humanity to its original purpose.

Sermon Notes:

  1. In the gospel God is republishing the creation thesis: God is God, everything is designed for his purposes, and we’re called to serve God by making the creation into the kingdom of God.
  2. Jesus restores the world to the creation norm, redeeming, healing, defeating Satan, and republishing the creation mandate.
  3. Christ has total mastery and conquest over all the enemies of God’s people.
  4. The disciples are still astounded at Jesus’ miracles; they didn’t fully understand who Jesus was.
  5. Jesus was the living bread who came down from heaven to restore our humanity to its original purpose.
  6. There is a reference to this miracle in Mark 8:17-21, where Jesus warns the disciples about the teaching of Herod and the Pharisees, who were false shepherds.
  7. Despite their persistence in following him, Jesus had compassion on the spiritually needy people.
  8. Rather than buy bread for the hungry people, Jesus demonstrated His redemptive identity as the bread of life for the world by multiplying the loaves and fish.
  9. We are to consider what resources we have for kingdom work; though it be inadequate, if we bring it to Christ it will be enough.
  10. The immediate motive of Jesus was compassion. Then as now, we need compassion as we face needy people around us.
  11. Psalm 23 is a picture of what the Shepherd-King does for His people: the centre of our being is restored by the Good Shepherd.
  12. True religion has miracles which restore the purposes of God; by contrast, false religion seeks, by magic, to control the environment.
  13. The crowd saw the power of Jesus as something they could use for the benefit of the nation of Israel, and so they wanted to make Him King. People today still desire a god who will do their bidding.
  14. The goal of false religion is manipulation and control; seeking freedom from the living God, man’s will becomes the basis of law and government.
  15. There is only one King, Sovereign, and Good Shepherd who uses us for His purpose. In that we find our highest joy and in that we find our true humanity.
  16. The left-over bread recalls Israel’s sojourn in the wilderness, where God gave the law, fed His people with manna, and led them victorious into the Promised Land (Ex. 16:14-15; Deut. 11:25).
  17. What was represented by the provision of the prophets Elijah and Elisha is fulfilled in Christ (cf. 1 Kgs. 17:11-16; 2 Kgs. 4:42-44).
  18. Mark emphasizes twelve baskets of leftovers to represent the new Israel of God, and God’s complete and total provision for His people.
  19. When Jesus later feeds a crowd of 4,000, it takes place in Gentile territory; seven baskets are left over, signifying completion, and the Gentiles being brought into the covenant of God (cf. Mark 8:1-10).
  20. Jesus’ body is broken to redeem a new people who will serve in the restoration of all things to the Father.
  21. These miracles of provision do not indicate a new ideal form of provision; they reveal the totality of God’s purpose and Jesus’ own identify.
  22. We’re to seek the kingdom, work diligently and trust God to provide (cf. 1 Thes. 4:11-12; 2 Thes. 3:6-12; Jn. 6:26).
  23. God is concerned to provide for our needs as we trust in Him and serve Him. (2 Cor. 8:9).

Application Questions:

  1. Why did the crowd follow Jesus?
  2. What was the basis of Jesus’ compassion for the crowd?
  3. Do we recognize the spiritual need of the world around us? Do we demonstrate self-sacrificing compassion as Jesus did?
  4. What was the purpose Jesus’ miracle of feeding the crowd?