Mark 6:36-40

Mark 6:36 (KJB)
Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat.

The disciples spoke to Jesus and suggested that He dispatch the huge crowds while there was still a little daylight left so they could find their way back to the villages and find food to eat. The disciples were concerned about the fact that the people had nothing to eat. Once again the disciples were operating in the flesh and only seeing the natural.

Mark 6:37 (KJB)
He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?

Jesus was definitely aware of the fact that they did not have any food among them which could feed a crowd of that size. He was also well aware of the fact that they only had two hundred pennies in the treasury which would be 200 denarii. That would still be an insufficient amount of money to be able to buy the amount of food needed to feed such a crowd. So while the disciples were once again only looking at the natural, Jesus had something else in mind. What Jesus was trying to do was to get them to start thinking beyond the natural and start exercising their faith. They had just concluded a very successful missionary journey where they saw themselves committing miracles in the name of Jesus and here they are back to looking at the natural circumstances.

Mark 6:38 (KJB)
He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.

There were thousands of people assembled on that hillside and the disciples came to Jesus telling Him all they have is five loaves of bread which would probably be barley loaves and two fishes. At this time, they were with Jesus for over two years and yet they did not realize who they were walking with. Five loaves and two fishes in the hand of God can feed all on the earth. (John 6:9 KJV) There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? The answer for the question in John 6:9 was about to be realized.

Mark 6:39 (KJB)
And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass.

(Psa 23:2 KJV) He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. What a tremendous parallel between the scene here by the sea of Galilee and the second verse of Psalm 23. Jesus is having the sheep sit down in the green grass by the calm waters of the sea. The word for “companies” in the Greek can also be understood as “small groups” such as family groups.

Mark 6:40 (KJB)
And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.

What we have here is great picture of the church down through the ages. Once the believers start meeting in churches, there will be assemblies with different numbers of believers all over the world and Jesus the Great Shepherd will be able to feed every true assembly with the Gospel and never run out, just as the provisions for this crowd was overflowing to the point where there were leftovers. Moses even had broken up the people of Israel by companies. (Exo 18:21 KJV) Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: This way it is easier to adjudicate any matters plus also to teach and give personal ministry.