Shalom and welcome to V’ahavtah Yisroel, a Hebrew phrase, which means You Shall Love Israel. We hope you’ll stay with us for the next 30 minutes as our teacher, Dr. Baruch, shares his expository teaching from the Bible. Dr. Baruch is the senior lecturer at the Zera Avraham Institute based in Israel. Although all courses are taught in Hebrew at the Institute, Dr. Baruch is pleased to share this weekly address in English. To find out more about our work in Israel, please visit us on the web at loveisrael.org. That’s one word, loveisrael.org. Now here’s Baruch with today’s lesson.
Dr. Baruch: Obviously every individual wants God to move in their life in a mighty way, to bless them, to help them, to assist them with their problems and other things that are part of their life. The question is, will God do that? We know he’s able, but what does it take for God to move mightily in a person’s life? Well, that’s what we’re going to talk about in this lesson. Take out your Bible and look with me to the book of Mark in Chapter 6, the book of Mark and Chapter 6. We’re going to look at one of the most famous miracles. In fact, other than the resurrection, it’s the only miracle of Messiah that appears in all four gospels. I’m talking about the feeding of the 5,000 and I want us to see why that miracle came about. Now, it wasn’t something that was planned by Messiah.
Now that doesn’t mean that he didn’t know it from eternity past, nothing surprises God, but I want to emphasize that our behavior, our prayer life, how we live, does bring about changes. Not everything has been determined from the foundation of the world, everything that you’ll say and do there’s free will, and God utilizes that in order to accomplish his perfect will in bringing about his kingdom and establishing righteousness and justice and holiness in this world. So look with me, if you would, to the book of Mark Chapter 6, and we’re going to begin in verse 30. Now, you’ll recall that earlier in this chapter, Messiah sent out his disciples, but there was a change. He sent out those that he called apostles. Why? Because that word in the biblical language, apostle, means to be one that is sent forth.
And he told them to go out and to proclaim, that’s very important, to proclaim the truth of the good news and also to do mighty deeds, to heal the sick, to cast out demons, to raise the dead, mighty deeds. I want you to see that there was an emphasis in Messiah’s presentation to them, his commissioning, how he spoke to them, what to do and what they said when they return. Verse 30, And the apostles gathered to Yeshua and they proclaimed to him. They just didn’t say, it’s a very unique word, they proclaimed to him all which they had done and all which they had taught. Now there’s a change in the order. With Messiah, there’s always an emphasis on the teaching, on his word and his deeds, those signs, wonders and miracles, they all confirm his truth. But here, the disciples were more concerned with what? More concerned with what they were able to do to perform these miracles.
And all too often, we tend to be that same way. Instead of emphasizing the truth of God’s word and applying this truth to our life, we’re more interested in seeing God simply do things for us. And we don’t realize that it’s a commitment to the truth that will bring about God’s mighty actions in our life. God is always faithful, but the question is, are we going to be a recipient of that faithfulness? And unless the focus of our life is upon the truth of God, we are going to be very disappointed, we will be frustrated because God will seem so distant, so inactive in our daily life. Let’s move on. Next verse, verse 31, and Yeshua says to them, now let us go ourselves into a deserted place. Now some Bibles will say the word desert, but the word here simply means a place that is really uninhabitable.
It doesn’t have to be far from a community, but we’re talking about a place that individuals don’t live, a place that is remote in the sense that you really can be alone there. So he encourages, let us go into this place by ourselves. And he did so, why? Because there were so many people, it says at the end of verse 31, coming and going, that they were not even able to find an appropriate time to eat. So they needed some rest and relaxation. They needed to eat and have some time by themselves. And therefore, as we move on, what do we see? Verse 32, and they went out into a ship, boat, and went into a deserted by themselves. But the people they saw, they saw them going and they knew, many knew, meaning where they were going and they went by foot. They traveled by boat, but the masses, they went by foot from all the cities and they ran. Now that’s unique.
We don’t see too often that word, to run, in the Bible. One of the places that it appears is in the book of Genesis in a very significant passage of the Torah called Va’era, which is when Abraham, immediately after his circumcision at the heat of the day, he was there and he sees three individuals pass. Now the term Va’era means, and he was manifested, and according to that passage, God was manifested in three persons before Abraham. And what did this old man do who was recovering from a circumcision? The text says that he ran, very unique, in a show of commitment, a excitement, and these individuals, here’s the point, these individuals, they wanted to be with Yeshua and they were willing to run after him. They’re in a boat, they’re running along the shore. They knew the place and we see at the end of verse 33 that they even get there before them.
Now that shows a commitment, that shows a desire to be with Yeshua. And my question to you is this, do you have that same commitment? Do you have that same desire? Does your life actions reflect that? And what is Messiah going to emphasize in this passage? Well, let’s press on. Look with me, if you would, to verse 34, and Yeshua went out and he saw the great multitude, a large crowd. So this just wasn’t two or 10 or 20 or even a hundred people. We’re going to see that altogether, there was probably over 12, 14, 15,000 people, men and women and children who pressed after Yeshua to be with him.
A very unique occurrence and probably the reason why all four gospels included that in their retelling of the truths of Messiah. Look again at verse 34, and he went out and he saw this great crowd. And what happened? It says that he had compassion. Now, literally, that verb for having compassion has to do with just something swelling up in your stomach, a feeling, and it’s in the passive in the biblical language means he was caused to fill that way. By what? Their commitment to him. So he had compassion. And how did that compassion manifest itself before this multitude of people? He paid their mortgages? No. He gave them a new car? Not exactly.
What we see here is that he was full of compassion and therefore, he wanted usually. This concept of compassion when it’s applied to God is followed by a blessing and I want you to see how Messiah blessed this multitude of people. We read in that verse, look again, verse 34, it tells us that he had compassion because they were like a sheep who had no shepherd. Therefore, we read, he began to teach them. Now, here again, when he sent out his disciples, the emphasis was on teaching. The miracles, the signs, all confirmed the truth of God. When they came back, the emphasis was what they did, but now he had compassion and we read at the end of verse 34, he taught them much. Now in order to teach someone much or many things, it also takes much time and that’s going to become the emphasis of this next section. Same story, same account, Messiah is teaching and he’s teaching and he’s teaching and look what the scripture says in verse 34, 35, actually.
And already the hour was, literally same word, much, meaning it was very late. He had taught them many hours, but I want you to see something. None of those people who had ran after him, who had followed him into this deserted place, none of those people wanted him to stop. They weren’t complaining. They weren’t saying, this is too much for me. It’s too long. They wanted to hear more. It was who? His disciples. Now sadly, in the gospel accounts, the disciples, they just don’t get it. They didn’t get it until after the resurrection. And the problem is this. All too often, you and I, we’re not getting the things we should from the truth of scripture. We’re focusing on the wrong things. We’re thinking about time. We’re thinking about food. We’re thinking about a whole ray of things that are tied to this world, rather than the truths of Messiah, which are connected to the kingdom.
And these disciples, notice what they say, once more verse 35, and the hour was already much, or late, and the disciples came him and they said, because this is a deserted place and the hour is late. Now you don’t think Messiah knew where they were? You don’t think he knew that the hour was late? I mean, he’s the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings and his disciples, and it’s very significant, there’s a change in word. Every time there’s a change, we need to see significance from the biblical text. What were these 12 men called initially? Apostles. But now they’re called disciples, which comes from the biblical word which means student or to learn. Messiah is teaching, but they weren’t very good students because they wanted recess. They wanted class to be over and they wanted to get something to eat.
So they say, Messiah, we’re in this deserted place. The time is already late. Therefore, send them away. Send them away in order that they can do something that they can go out into the country and the villages around about, and they can purchase for themselves and there’s an emphasis, for themselves something to eat. Now, they just wanted to dismiss them, but Messiah had something else. He wanted to teach an important message, not just through words, but also through a miracle. A miracle does what? Confirms the teaching. And we’re going to see some important clues to understand what Messiah was teaching on and how we need to respond to that truth. So look, if you would to the next verse, verse 37. Messiah answers, and he says to them, remember the requests, send them away that they might go and buy for themselves food.
How many people? 12, 14, 15,000 individuals are there. And what does Messiah say? Well, the first word, second in the Greek text is that word, day, which means it’s probably translated in your Bible simply as a word, and. But it’s better translated with the word, but. It means in contrast. And even though the disciples were saying, send them away. In contrast to that, Messiah said something totally different. He said, “You give them something to eat.” And they were saying, “If we should go and we should buy 200 denarri worth of food, is that what you want so that they might eat.” Now, they were sure that he would say, “Well, not that.” And pay attention to that phrase, 200 denarii. A denarii is a day’s work. According to biblical backgrounds, a common work year, a daily labor, because of Shabbat and the new moon festivals and the feast of Israel and the going up and coming back, 200 days or 200 denarii, same thing, was a typical year salary for a typical wage earner.
And what it’s saying here is do you want us to invest a year salary in feeding these people? I mean, it didn’t make much sense, but what did Messiah do? Well, he had a different view. He wasn’t going to provide through money. He was going to do it differently. And that’s an important truth to us because all too often, we get in our minds how God is going to do something and we focus upon this so much when God wants to do something else, when he wants to bless in another mean means he wants to fulfill that need through another way. We’re so focused upon what we perceive that God’s going to do that we miss out on God’s methodology for providing that need, blessing that situation. Verse 38, and Messiah said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” Now that’s emphasized, two commandments, go and see.
And when they knew, they said, “Five,” meaning five loaves, probably buns and, “two fish.” Now, what would that be in regard to such a large group? That’s basically a lunch for a young boy who’s out fishing for the day. And what we see here is when he heard what they had, all their resources, notice that those resources as lacking as they were, were not such that it caused them to change plans. God’s able to take what we have and multiply it into meeting our needs, and here’s the key, and his purposes. Not just our needs, our needs and his purposes. Verse 39, and he commanded them to sit, all of them, and the word is symposium, kind of like a meeting, a convention, symposium repeats twice. It means sit together in one place, but in groups. And he says upon the green grass, now that tells us it’s not a desert.
It’s more of a wilderness. They sit down, verse 40, and they set each one in groups, some groups of 100 and some groups in 50. I remember that because 50 is going to be an important aspect. The number 50 and the number 100. Put that together and you’re going to see something very important. Anyway, look at that next verse. They were to sit in these groups and he took up the five loaves and the two fish and he lifted up, meaning he lifted up his eyes. Now that is a Hebrew idiom for prayer. He took these five loaves and two fish and he prayed to God. And it says a very unique word, that he blessed God. Two basically Greek words, it’s literally to say good or bless. He blessed God because when God is present, there is no limitations.
There’s nothing that can’t be overcome. And therefore, when we look at the next verse, verse 41 again, and he took up the five loaves and the two fish. Lifting up his eyes to heaven, he blessed God and he broke the bread and he gave it to the disciples. And they set it before the people, set it before them, and the two fish he also divided. And what happens? They ate and they were satisfied. Now here again, that word satisfied is in the passive. They were caused to be satisfied. From what? From five little loaves and two fish, and how many people were there or were coming to that? A great multitude. Now, why did God meet their needs? Why did God move mightily in that situation? Those people, they weren’t coming for a miracle. They weren’t coming for any other reason than one thing. They wanted to be with him.
And that really gets foundational to our faith. If our faith is not rooted in a desire to be with Yeshua, to be in his presence and to learn from his truth because his truth is inherently related to the kingdom. So if you’re not interested in the King, you’re not going to be interested in the kingdom and you’re not going to be pursuing him, you’re not going to be running after. What’s going to happen, is this. Your prayer life is going to reflect that you’re trying to get God to run after you and do the things that you want and be in the places that you want to be, not the opposite. But when we approach God properly, God moves. God takes whatever limitations that may be there, whatever meager resources that may be present, and God can take them and bless them in a mighty way.
Now, look at the next verse, verse 43. And he lifted up fragments that filled up 12 baskets. Now numbers are important in the scripture and don’t think it’s just a coincidence that there were 12 baskets full of fragments of bread and also of the fishes. That tells us a very important thing. The number 12, what should come into our mind? Israel. And what we see here is when he was teaching much, he was teaching on what? He was teaching on Israel and Israel is inherently related to the kingdom. Israel personifies the kingdom, scripturally speaking. When we talk about Israel, the Jewish people coming out of exile into the Promised Land, into Israel, we think of that as redemption and Messiah was saying very clearly in this passage that there’s going to be something in regard to him and his purposes, his plans, which focus upon Israel. And what is that? Well, let’s look at the last verse and we’ll see exactly what it is.
Verse 44, and they, the ones who were eating the loafs, and of course the fishes. There were what? 5,000 men. Now it says 5,000 men and that’s in addition to the women and the children. Probably like I said, if there’s 5,000 men, 5,000 women, probably two or three, four children for each family. So we’re talking about a great sum of people, but in order to communicate truth to us, what do we have? Well, we have 5,000. Now we came across that number earlier, 5,000. Remember what it says? That he commanded them to sit down in groups and there was an emphasis on that. He said it in two different ways in the biblical language, sit down in groups, some of 50 and some of 100. Now, if you take 50 and you times it by 10, you get 500, but if you times it by 100, you get 5,000.
So those 50 groups of 15 and groups of 100, put it together, we’re talking about 5,000, 50 times a hundred. Why is that important? 100 has to do with completeness or that in its entirety, but 50, whenever that numbers appears in the scripture, what should enter into our mind? Jubilee because 50 is a number of Jubilee. And the key concept here is liberty, being set free. And the truth is this, in this passage, the disciples, they were all thinking about the work, the deeds, the miracles, but the masses, they were thinking about Messiah. And when we put at our focus, when we make foundational in our life, the things of God, his truth, being with him, we’re going to find deliverance, we’re going to find that liberty and that’s what this passage is talking about. When we place him first, all other things, we don’t need to worry about.
It’s just like that verse of scripture in the book of Matthew, Chapter 6, where it says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,” and then what? “All these things will be added unto you.” The priority. When we focus upon godly truth, what happens? Well, all these other things in our life will fall into God’s will. Didn’t say everything will be exactly how we want it. We’re not going to have problems? No, we’re going to have what God wants from us. We are going to be positioned in his purposes. The last thing I want to say is this. Earlier today, I was speaking to another group and we were speaking about another passage where the phrase, grace and truth appears. And primarily in the scripture, we see that, grace and truth in that order, why? Well, the truths of God’s aren’t going to be very important to us.
The truths of God are not going to be able to be understood by us until first we receive the grace of God. It’s only when we receive the grace of God through Messiah, Yeshua, that gospel message. It’s only when we receive the grace of God, then and only then, we can begin to perceive the truths of the living God, to understand what he’s about, begin to apply them to our life so that we can see his movement, his faithfulness being measured out to us, where we submit to what? Submit to his will. So in this passage of scripture, a great miracle takes place, but it didn’t happen by chance. It didn’t happen because people demanded a miracle and that’s what they were seeking, no. It came about because the people move mightily in the direction of Messiah. They pursued him and when we pursue him, his faithfulness is going to be realized in our life. We’ll close with that until next time when we press on in Mark in Chapter 6.
Speaker 1: Well, we hope you will benefit from today’s message and share it with someone else. Please plan to join us each week at this time and on this station for the radio edition of loveisrael.org. Again, to find out more about us, please visit us at our website, loveisrael.org. There you will find articles and several other lectures from our teacher, Dr. Baruch. These teachings are in video form. You may download them or watch them in streaming video. Until next week, may the Lord bless you in our Messiah Yeshua, that is Jesus, as you walk with him. Shalom from Israel.