Our Next Guest Is: 5,000 Hungry Men

Series: Our Next Guest | Week 4: A Journey Through the Gospel of Mark

Day Five Mark 6:30-44 

30 The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught. 31 Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.

32 So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone. 33 But many people recognized them and saw them leaving, and people from many towns ran ahead along the shore and got there ahead of them. 34 Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

35 Late in the afternoon his disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. 36 Send the crowds away so they can go to the nearby farms and villages and buy something to eat.”

37 But Jesus said, “You feed them.”

“With what?” they asked. “We’d have to work for months to earn enough money to buy food for all these people!”

38 “How much bread do you have?” he asked. “Go and find out.”

They came back and reported, “We have five loaves of bread and two fish.”

39 Then Jesus told the disciples to have the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of fifty or a hundred.

41 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. 42 They all ate as much as they wanted, 43 and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftover bread and fish. 44 A total of 5,000 men and their families were fed. – Mark 6:30-44 (NLT)


  1. After a long tour of ministry, what does Jesus realize the disciples need?
  2. How does Jesus feel about the interruption to their retreat (verse 34)? How do you imagine the disciples felt (verse 36)?
  3. What imagery from Psalm 23 do you see in this story?


The retreat time alone with the disciples may have been interrupted, but Jesus didn’t miss the opportunity to show compassion to the crowds who followed them. He nourished them spiritually with good teaching and physically with as much food as they wanted. Although it may not have been what they expected, the disciples were probably nourished as well. Spend a few minutes now asking God to give you eyes to see the ways He may be working around you, even if it doesn’t fit your expectations or seems outside the realm of human possibility. Offer Him even the little you have and watch Him do abundantly more than you could even imagine.

For Further Reading: Sheep Without a Shepherd

*TPCC does not necessarily endorse all For Further Reading/Learning sources. They are simply meant to be a helpful tool.

Our Next Guest