What does Mark 6:37 mean?The Twelve have just had a very successful time of preaching, healing, and exorcising demons (Mark 6:7-–13). Now they are faced with well over five thousand hungry people (Matthew 14:21). The Old Testament records prophets who made much food out of little (1 Kings 17:8–16; 2 Kings 4:1–7, 42–44). The Twelve should remember this, but seem unable to come up with anything but an unfeasible earthly solution to the problem.
A denarii is roughly the day's wages of a common laborer (Matthew 20:2). Philip points out that it would take nearly a year's income to give everyone there just a bite (John 6:7). Jesus wants the Twelve to learn that God will always give them what they need to do His will. Meeting physical needs of others should be a priority for Christ-followers, and refusal may reflect a lack of faith (James 2:15–16) and love (1 John 3:17–18).
But the Twelve are not the first to doubt God's provision. Moses had the same problem while leading the Israelites. The people were tired of manna, and Moses was so frustrated with their complaints he asked God to kill him (Numbers 11:13–15). Even when he doubted God outright, God provided (Numbers 11:18–23, 31–35).
If we ask according to His will, with righteous motives, God will provide (James 4:3), but that doesn't mean God will always provide abundantly (Luke 12:15). God is more interested in our hearts than our bellies. He will give us what we need to obey Him (Philippians 4:19), even if that "daily bread" isn't our favorite flavor (Matthew 6:11). God's love and concern for us means supplying us with what we need in order to accomplish His will. Hard though it may be to accept, a truly loving Father doesn't necessarily give His children what they "want," even if those children think it's something they "need."