Mark is quickly becoming my favorite Gospel. It Might be helpful to have a bible open to Mark as you read this. I will probably be editing this sometime in the future to include the feeding of the 4,000. So keep an eye out.
I am beginning to see how sacramental Mark is. Redemption by water is a recurring theme throughout Mark. The feeding of the 5,000 and 4,000 pointing toward communion. The feeding of the 5,000 points a lot toward psalm 23. It describes the people there as sheep. These people who are there listening and learning from the Lord. He commanded them to sit down in groups on green grass. A better translation would be He commanded them to recline in symposia. They reclined, relaxing. Symposia is having fun eating, drinking, speaking theologically or philosophically. That directly falls in line with the psalm, "He makes me lie down in green pastures." The 5,000 followed him before this when he got on a boat – He led them beside still waters. The third verse of Psalm 23 could apply to what he was teaching them restoring their souls- leading them in paths or righteousness. Verse 4 goes back to the overriding shepherd theme. Verse 5 He prepares a table – Jesus gives them something to eat and they eat until they are satisfied, until they were full. It was a feast for most of them. Finally, verse 6 points directly to what comes from what The Feeding points to, the Lord’s Supper.
You might be asking, "How does the feeding point to the Lord’s Supper?" Well lets look at it then. We are sheep without a shepherd covered in our own sin. Rejection God. We all have gone astray like sheep. We are all dumb like sheep, but Christ has compassion on us. He teaches us many things.
The disciples said to him "This is a desolate place and the hour is now growing late." It was most likely a desert. The disciples tried to send them away. This world is a desolate place and Christianity is frowned upon in society. The disciples take the worldly view here and want to send them away to find food for themselves in this late hour. . How often do we want to not deal with unbelievers and let them fend for themselves in these end times? But Christ does not take the worldly view. He calls for the apostles to give them something to eat. Who are the apostles in the church today? Pastors! The apostles are called to feed the people who he teaches. Pastors today feed believes through the word and sacrament. The feeding seen most physically in Holy Communion. The apostles answer with a very worldly question. "Are we to spend money equal to that of the wages of 200 days of work? Jesus tells them to go and see how many loaves they had. They came back with 5. This is just something I think but I think that the 5 loaves could correspond with the 5 wounds of Christ. The 5 places where Christ’s body was broken His head from the crown of thorns, each hand from the 2 nails, his side from the spear, and his feet from the nail.
He commanded them to sit down in groups. So they sat down in groups of fifties and hundreds. That would have been about the size of a church at the beginning of Christianity. The fifties and hundreds could also refer to how the Romans ran things in their army. Pointing to the church militant.
After they were seated, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. He broke the five loaves(his five wounds) and gave it to the apostles to distribute to the people. Just as he gives his body to us all, and charges the apostles(pastors) with the task of distributing it.
They all ate and were satisfied. No one was left out! Everyone had their fill. The disciples picked up 12 baskets of extras. 12 baskets one for each tribe of Israel whom the apostles over saw. 5,000 men ate, I’m not sure how important that number is but I think it shows that there will always be a remnant of Israel. Jews who believe in the true God; Father, Son, and Spirit.