Feeding the crowd of Twelve.

Mark 6

We couldn’t talk about eating with Jesus (our Advent theme) without the story known as “the feeding of the 5000.” But did you know that it could just as easily be called, “the feeding of the Twelve?”

All that food, enough to feed 15,000 people with 12 baskets left over, is part of a story that starts this way:

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

The Twelve had been on an internship project, “MIN 402 Applied Miracles and Preaching Theory.” They had a great time. They couldn’t wait to tell him about it.

But unless Jesus went off by himself, choosing to be alone, there always seems to be a crowd. “Just one question, Jesus.” “Jesus, can you settle this argument?” “This will just take a minute, rabbi. Would you just tell my brother he’s wrong?”

Even as Peter and Judas and the rest were trying to tell Jesus what happened, people with needs and questions kept arriving. Jesus was completely aware of what was happening. He could hear their frustration. So he took them away.

The crowds figured out where their boats were going. There wasn’t any alone time with Jesus. But the twelve did get to sit and listen as Jesus taught. They got to see up close how he taught, and prayed, and calmly fed the crowd. And finally gave them each a huge basket of food.

He didn’t forget their needs or their desire to talk with him. He never does. He simply wanted to show that he could do it in a large way.


There’s an updated photo on Diapers for Advent, thanks to some people who have helped.