The Feeding of Five Thousand
A Little History of Mark's Gospel
Miracle Story: Work of Wonder
Mark 6:30-44 tells us a story of Jesus performing a miraculous miracle of providing for his followers. When the people were hungry and there was no food around they ask Jesus if they could go back to town to get food. However, Jesus takes five loaves of bread and two fish and multiplies it, to feed five thousand men. Everyone had eaten and was satisfied
Deeper Information and Meanings
Not only does this story of Jesus feeding a great multitude occur in the gospel of Mark, but it is also featured in Matthew, Luke, and John. The author which is assumed to be Mark (otherwise annonymous) writes about a feeding of 5000 which is highly contrasted to the macbre banquet of Herod. Herod's banquet is a birthday celebration for only a select upper class. It was held in a palace. Jesus offers a banquet in this story however it is held for ordinary people on green grass and everyone is welcome and invited. These two banquet scenes embody the contrast between the followers of Jesus and the people with power.
The introduction (Mark 6:30-34) of the narrative highlights the evolving picture of Jesus. It shows the difference between Jesus' desire for solitude and his care and concern for the large multide of people who come from all different places. Mark portrays the strong emotions of Jesus, when the crowds prevent Jesus and his disciples from enjoying the solitude they sought (Mark 6:31), and Jesus shows his surprising compassion. Also a metaphor can be found in this story. The feeding could actually mean teaching, and the eating of bread meaning learning wisdom.
Mark writes this Gospel for Jews, to instill faith in them. They were undergoing a hard time in history, being oppressed by the Romans. Another reason he does this is to show how Jesus is better than the Roman god Edesia who was the goddess of food and drink and feasting. Mark wrote this story to show its readers that Jesus can do miracles that are better than the ones a Roman god can do. The whole purpose of this was ensure to the Jews that they were following Jesus, someone better than any Roman god.