Whew, another long tale when Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand.
So, random side story aside, this is a logical place to continue from verse 13. Jesus sent them out, and they came back and wanted to talk about what they had done. Apparently, Jesus’ building was a busy place, his popularity haveing grown greatly because of the Apostle’s work and Jesus own works.
“It’s loud, let’s get in a boat and go somewhere quiet.” Good luck!
Jesus sees a crowd following him along the shore to see where they are going and feels compassion. That’s nice. He taught them may things, once again seems like Jesus’ teachings are not the purpose of this story.
I imagine that more gathered once Jesus started teaching. It was getting late and the disciples also had compassion, wanting to let the people go and buy food. “We’ll feed them.” says Jesus. “WHAT!? HA HA, Jesus! Very funny! Are YOU gonna pay the 8 months of wages to feed this crowd?”
This is approximately 5000 people, for reference.
Jesus says, “Hold my hat.”
So, we don’t really see reactions here. It’s 5 loaves and 2 fish for 5k+ people. (The word refers to 5k adult men, so likely plenty of women and children can be added to that number.) Someone would have IMMEDIATELY noticed that as Jesus broke the bread and fish into bits, that something odd was going on. Did he turn his back? Humans are inherently curious beings, surely someone would have tried to peek. What this tells me is that how Jesus did these things is not important to Mark, only that he did them. The 12 baskets seem fishy (haha) only because it’s a buzz number for Jewish thought. One basket for each disciple? Jesus trying to make a point about faith again maybe?
I really don’t know what the point of this story is, other than to recount a tale of one of Jesus’ miracles. So, what we have is 5.5 chapters on Jesus’ authority, a story about how people thought Jesus was Elijah or John or a prophet, and then a story of his miracles. There definitely seems to be a shift in purpose away from authority. Perhaps when we arrive at the end of this list of miracles, a pattern will become clear?