Explore the Bible Sunday School Lesson for September 24

Here’s the Explore the Bible Sunday School lesson commentary for Sept. 24, written by Robert Olsen, Ph.D., associate professor of Christian studies at the University of Mobile.

Explore the Bible Sunday School Lesson for September 24

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By Robert Olsen, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Christian Studies, University of Mobile


Mark 6:30–43

Rest (30–32)

A common reference to the Christian life is that it is like the military — we are always on duty.

Just as a soldier is always on duty, even at night when sleeping, a Christian is always at the beck and call of our Master, Jesus. However, this does not mean we are always “on the go.” There are times in the Christian life when rest is needed, just as in the military.

The disciples had just come back from preaching the gospel, telling people to repent and casting out demons and healing sickness. (See Mark 6:7–13.) They told Jesus all that had happened, and Jesus took them to a solitary place to rest.

When we are involved in ministry, it is good for us to get together and discuss the results. This is always a source of encouragement and instruction for God’s people and motivates all of us to be on mission for God in whatever our calling is.

Unfortunately, a common problem in the church is that some people tend to do too much and get burned out as a result. When a task is left open, others have opportunities to pick up the slack and get involved.

Response (33–34)

The crowd followed Jesus around the lake so they could continue to hear Him and see His miracles. When Jesus saw them, He had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. He recognized their spiritual needs and so began to minister to them.

God has put many people in our lives who have deep spiritual needs, from fellow Christians who are hurting to nonbelievers who are completely lost.

We need to be aware of our surroundings and minister when we can, where we can.

Resources (35–38)

Instead of sending the crowds away, Jesus told the disciples to round up what food they could find, and then Jesus did the miracle of multiplying it so everyone could eat, perhaps as many as 20,000 people if you include women and children.

Jesus’ concern for the physical needs of others has historically given rise to ministries that bring aid to those in need — hospitals, food kitchens, missions, etc.

However, Jesus was not only concerned with healing others; He always preached the gospel. If we only provide physical comfort for others, they still face a godless eternity in hell. While we can help bring physical healing, the gospel brings spiritual healing, which is what people need more than anything.

The miracle of feeding the 5,000 is the only miracle apart from the resurrection of Jesus that appears in every gospel, indicating how important this event is. Not only does it show Jesus being concerned for those around Him, but His ability to do such miracles also affirms His deity.

Relief (39–44)

The disciples obeyed Jesus and did what He told them to do — go round up the resources. Jesus then did the miracle.

In our own lives and ministries, it is our duty to obey what God commands us to do, no matter how daunting the task may be. God is the one who gets the glory, and God is the one who does the miracle of salvation in the lives of those around us while also changing our hearts, sanctifying us as we serve.