Missing the point of the miracle


Mark 6:51–52 (ESV): 51 And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, 52 for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.


This chapter details an intense time of Jesus’ ministry. The chapter begins with Jesus being rejected by his hometown Nazareth and not able to do any mighty work there.

Next we find Jesus sending out the Twelve on a short-term mission trip. The story shifts from Jesus to tell of John the Baptist’s beheading by King Herod. Then we rejoin Jesus as the Twelve return from their mission trip.

Jesus desired to go away with them for debriefing and rest, but the crowds saw them and followed them. Jesus had compassion on the people and taught them.

When it grew late, the disciples tried to persuade Jesus to send the crowds away because they were hungry. But Jesus told the disciples to feed the people.

When the disciples despaired for what to do, Jesus performed a miracle, multiplying the loaves and fish of a small boy to feed the entire crowd, as well as leaving behind twelve baskets full of bread and fish.

The people wanted to crown Jesus king, but Jesus sent the disciples across the lake by boat. Jesus then dismissed the crowd and went into the mountain to pray.

In the middle of the night, while the disciples were slowly crossing the water, Jesus came walking by on the surface. They thought he was a ghost, but Jesus reassured them and got into the boat with them. Here we find our highlighted text.


The painfully obvious question is, “What did the disciples not understand about the loaves and how did that connect with Jesus’ command of nature?”

The answer appears to be simply that the lesson of the loaves was that the Son of God has absolute power, therefore we need not fear for lack of food or when difficulties abound.

Obviously, that God has all power does not mean He will always choose to intervene in our problems and cause us to experience smooth sailing. But we need not fear, even when we are “making headway painfully” or think we see a “ghost” walking by. God is God, and God is in control.


Heavenly Father, thank you for the assurance that you are in control and that you love me and will supply my needs according to your will and your riches in Christ Jesus. Increase my faith in you. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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