For a majority of people in the USA, food is not a huge daily issue. Most people have enough resources to get some kind of food on a daily basis. And while we should take time to note that there is plenty of the population that suffer from food insecurity issues, our government and social service agencies try to help those in need.
However, in the days of Jesus, this was not the case. In the days of Jesus, food was a daily struggle. In fact, in the Lord’s prayer, Jesus prays for his “daily bread.” Food in the 1st century could not be taken for granted.
That is why the mention of food in Mark 6 is so important. The concept of food is mentioned in Mark 6 in both the sending of the 12 and the feeding of the 5000. In both cases, food becomes a priority issue.
But what makes it a priority issue? Well, take a look at what food does and represents: Does) We need food for survival. According to sources, one can survive without food for 21 days before the body becomes so depleted that it shuts down (as in stop breathing, because food gives our organs energy to function). No human being can survive without eating. Represents) We use food for gatherings/fellowship. Food is social, and people are social. For thousands of years people have been gathering together and eating a meal. It is something that makes us the human race.
What is interesting about food in Mark 6 is that in the sending of the disciples, they are told not to take food, and in the feeding of the 5000, they brought no food. In both cases, Jesus becomes the pinnacle point for the lack of food. The disciples obeyed Jesus and took no food, and the crowd followed Jesus with no food. What is this saying?
I think what this is telling us is that Jesus is the sustainer, even more than food. Food is something we chase after, but when we chase after Jesus, or when we obey His instructions, we are given what we need. Think about this: “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear ...Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them…”(Matt 6:25-26).
While food is vital to our survival, Jesus is more vital. That is the lesson taught to us in Mark 6.