“When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.” (Mark 6:34 ESV)
Some years ago I was walking to work in a terrible deluge of rain and wind. My umbrella was no help and I was quickly soaked. To top it off, I had to follow a sanitation truck up the street. I pitied those poor sanitation men, not just for the rain but for the fetid odor that came from that truck. The stink combined with rain made me feel like I was being assaulted and beat up. So I told the Lord so. He responded. “That that’s what happens to my people during the week, they get beat up and assaulted by the world, other people, governmental authorities, the media, the devil and by the daily hardship of life.”
In this week’s gospel reading from Mark we see Jesus dispensing bread to a crowd of people, people who were needy, people who were assaulted by the hardship of life in their day from their brutal Roman rulers as well as their oppressive religious authorities.
In this miracle Jesus reveals that He is the bread of life. He shows us that He provides for all our physical needs. He is almighty God. He is able to transcend the laws of the world He created. He is able to do the impossible and create bread and fish in abundance out of practically nothing. By this miracle He shows us He is the source of spiritual life and truth. He dispenses grace the same way He dispensed that bread, abundantly, without us asking, and more than enough for everyone.
Our calling as Christians is to dispense the bread of life, Jesus, the gospel of God’s grace. This does not mean we ignore sin, but Jesus wants people to know that He loves them. He died for them. He is not out to get them and toss them into hell. He wants to take them into heaven. And only He is the way to eternal life.