On Sunday Pastor Mark preached from Mark 6:30-44. This is Mark’s account of Jesus feeding 5,000 people who had come to see him and hear him teach. The title of the sermon is Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
Read Mark 6:30-44.
1. Incredible Compassion
In the first few verses of this passage we see Jesus tell his disciples to come away to a desolate place so that they could rest for a while after being sent out to do ministry. When they arrive at the destination the large crowd was waiting for them. Pastor Mark told us on Sunday that despite Jesus and his disciples being exhausted, Jesus had compassion on the crowd and began to teach them.
What does this account teach us about having incredible compassion for those around us despite feeling like we have nothing left to give?
Verse 34 says that the people in the crowd were like sheep without a shepherd. Pastor Mark showed us that in Ezekiel 34:15-16 God says that he will be the shepherd for his people. In these verses Jesus is making the claim that he is the Shepherd that God promised to be in Ezekiel. Read the verses from Ezekiel once again. Based on what these verses say, how can we find rest knowing that Jesus is our Shepherd?
Pastor Mark challenged us by asking us what our response should be to the needs around us globally and locally. In what ways, small and large, can we respond to those needs?
2. Miracles and Purpose
How do you respond to this statement: If Jesus’ miracles were meant to show the sheer power of Jesus, they could have been “better?”
Pastor Mark pointed us to the fact that Jesus’ miracles were not supernatural, but rather very natural. He then quoted Timothy Keller with this statement: “The miracles of Jesus are not suspensions of the natural order, they are restorations of the natural order.” Have you ever thought about the miracles in this way?
3. Training Unqualified Disciples
Pastor Mark said, “until we can see that what Jesus is calling us to do is impossible, we will remain absolutely unqualified for it.” How does this statement fit in with the way you respond when you are faced with difficult trials? How does this truth affect the way we look at temptation to sin?
4. Miracles that Satisfy
Pastor Mark gave us a very vivid and impactful illustration that Jesus’ body must be broken for us to have life and be whole. In order for us to receive this gift, which is the very life of Christ, we must come admitting our desperation and inadequacy. This is how we all come to Christ as Savior, but how does this reality affect the way you live your life every day?
How does the realization that we must be inadequate make you feel?
What is the connection between faith and inadequacy?
What does it mean to be satisfied in Christ? How are you doing?
- Talk to your kids about the miracle that Jesus performed feeding 5,000 people with only five loaves of bread and two fish and how amazing this is.
- Tell them about how Jesus first “feeds” the crowd spiritually before he gives them physical food. Explain why spiritual food is just as important for us as physical food and relate it to our fighter verse: John 6:35.
- Use this opportunity to explain to your kids how we can see both Jesus’ humanity on display – the fact that he was going away with his disciples to rest, and his deity – the miracle of feeding the 5,000. Talk to them about how Jesus is both fully God and fully human and why this is important.
- Explain to your family how we were not created to be self-sufficient or independent, but instead we are supposed to be completely dependent on God for everything. Give them examples from their lives to help them understand; such as obedience to parents, doing their school work, or showing love to their siblings and friends. This is a crucial point that we should seek to make our kids aware of as often as possible. Look for ways to remind them throughout the day.
- As always, take the opportunity to talk to your kids about the gospel and how we must first come to Jesus and believe that he is our Savior. Following Jesus is never about keeping a list of rules or doing good deeds. Following Jesus is about receiving the free gift of his life. Just as Pastor Mark preached on Sunday, Jesus’ body had to be broken on the cross for us so that we could receive that amazing gift.
John 6:35: “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.’”
Ask God to reveal to you and your group or family how this verse affects everything in your life. Ask him to be more satisfying to your than anything else that this life has to offer.