What does Mark 6:41 mean?
ESV: And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all.
NIV: Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all.
NASB: And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food and broke the loaves and He gave them to the disciples again and again to set before them; and He divided the two fish among them all.
CSB: He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed and broke the loaves. He kept giving them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all.
NLT: Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. He also divided the fish for everyone to share.
KJV: And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.
NKJV: And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all.
Verse Commentary:
The wording here is reminiscent of the Last Supper wherein Jesus "took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them…" (Mark 14:22). The Last Supper was a celebration of the Passover, a remembrance of when God struck down the firstborn in Egypt except for the Israelites. God commanded the people to eat the meal in haste, dressed for travel (Exodus 12:11). The unleavened bread, bitter herbs, and roasted lamb gave the Israelites energy for their flight from Egypt, across the Red Sea. Similarly, the Last Supper provided for the long night and horrible day after, when the Twelve witnessed Jesus betrayed, beaten, and crucified.

In the field outside Bethsaida, Jesus provides a more leisurely meal to satisfy the people on their trek home. He uses the lunch of a poor boy (John 6:9) and fulfills the needs of thousands. The bread is made of barley, a grain usually only fed to horses, not fine flour. The fish is mostly likely dried and bony, a far cry from hot, roasted lamb. But it is enough.

A short time before, Herod Antipas had hosted a different kind of supper. Although we aren't told what was served, the text infers that Antipas and his guests drank too much wine and ogled his young, dancing step-daughter. Antipas designed the banquet to impress and win the favor of the local nobility and military commanders. His carelessness revealed that his wife was the true drive behind the throne, and his weakness cost the life of John the Baptist. A humble meal provided by God is far better than a feast with earthly kings.
Verse Context:
Mark 6:33–44 provides another depiction of Jesus' miraculous feeding of thousands of people. The Twelve have worked so hard on their first missions trip they haven't had time to eat (Mark 6:31), and an attempt to rest is foiled by a demanding crowd. Instead of avoiding the interlopers, Jesus heals (Matthew 14:14) and teaches them. Instead of dismissing them, He feeds them. The Twelve again witness Jesus' great power and authority but don't catch the lesson: Jesus is God and can provide whatever anyone needs. This story is also found in Matthew 14:13–21 and Luke 9:11–17, and it is one of the few miracles mentioned in John (John 6:2–14). This makes it the only miracle referenced in all four Gospels.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus returns to His hometown of Nazareth, but the people there are faithless and skeptical. As a result, Jesus performs no more than a few minor miracles. He then assigns His twelve apostles to travel in pairs, preaching repentance and healing various conditions. Mark then takes a brief detour to explain the death of John the Baptist, beheaded after Herod Antipas is tricked by his wife. The focus then returns to Jesus, explaining His miraculous feeding of thousands of people, walking on water, and healing people in Gennesaret.
Chapter Context:
Even as the Twelve are given opportunity to wield some of Jesus' power and authority, they still struggle to understand. They misinterpret who He is, what He has come to do, and how much He will ask of them. They fear Jesus' display of deity, but seem to dismiss the murderous rejection of His hometown and the death of John the Baptist. It's easy to have faith in a prophet who seems poised to rescue Israel from foreign rule. It is still beyond them to understand that He is actually God.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 5/25/2024 12:44:25 AM
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