The Meaning of Mark 6:41 Explained

Mark 6:41

KJV: And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.

YLT: And having taken the five loaves and the two fishes, having looked up to the heaven, he blessed, and brake the loaves, and was giving to his disciples, that they may set before them, and the two fishes divided he to all,

Darby: And having taken the five loaves and the two fishes, looking up to heaven, he blessed, and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples that they might set them before them. And the two fishes he divided among all.

ASV: And he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake the loaves; and he gave to the disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.

What does Mark 6:41 Mean?

Verse Meaning

By praying Jesus gave God thanks for the food and reminded the people that it came from Him. Giving thanks before meals was a common Jewish and early Christian practice. Jesus blessed God for giving the food. He did not bless the food itself. Looking up to heaven further clarified that it was God to whom He was praying, though looking down while praying was customary. The bread was probably "finger-thick, plate-shaped "loaves."" [1]
Mark did not record how Jesus performed the miracle, though evidently the multiplication happened in Jesus" hands. He stressed that it was Jesus who did it. This was the most important point to him. Jesus met the needs of people in innumerable creative ways. It is important for disciples to focus on the source of the provision, God, rather than the means and methods He uses to provide. By thanking God for the food and then providing it miraculously for the people, Jesus was presenting evidence that He was God. Thoughtful individuals in the crowd remembered God"s miraculous provision of manna in the wilderness ( John 6:14) and realized that Jesus was God"s servant who delivered what God provided, namely, a second Moses.
Jesus served the people through the disciples who presented what He had provided to the multitudes. The disciples served as waiters. This is the work of servant disciples. This was another lesson in discipleship.

Context Summary

Mark 6:30-56 - The Sympathy And Compassion Of Jesus
When the Apostles returned they had much to tell. Some were flushed with success, others radiant with victory over demons, others, perhaps, overstrained and weary, and all needing the quiet, holy influence of repose and silence in the Lord's company. And in those quiet hours or days, as the fever passed out of them, He taught them memorable lessons of how He would feed the world by His Church, and how His people would be safe amid the storms that swept the sea, for always he would watch them from the height, and come to them at the moment when His help was most needed. Christ sits as host at the great table of the Church, and the meager resources of His servants yield the starting point for His multiplication of bread. He bids us go and consider how little we have, that we may properly estimate the greatness of His help. Notice how the upward look precedes the breaking and giving. There is enough for each, not of bread alone, but of fish; and the disciples are refreshed by another kind of ministry. So the Lord recreates us by turning exhausted energies into new channels. What threatens to overpower us brings Christ to our side. But His footsteps must be arrested, if we would have His company. Where Jesus is, storms cease and the sick are made whole. [source]

Chapter Summary: Mark 6

1  Jesus is a prophet without honor in his own country
7  He gives the twelve power over unclean spirits
14  Various opinions of Jesus
16  John the Baptist is imprisoned, beheaded, and buried
30  The apostles return from preaching
34  The miracle of five loaves and two fishes
45  Jesus walks on the sea;
53  and heals all who touch him

Greek Commentary for Mark 6:41

Brake the loaves; and he gave to the disciples [και απο των ιχτυων]
Apparently the fishes were in excess of the twelve baskets full of broken pieces of bread. See note on Matthew 14:20 for discussion of kophinos and sphuris the two kinds of baskets. [source]
Brake and gave [κατέκλασεν , ἐδίδου]
The verbs are in different tenses; the former in the aorist, the latter in the imperfect. The aorist implies the instantaneous, the imperfect the continuous act. He brake, and kept giving out. Farrar remarks that the multiplication evidently took place in Christ's hands, between the acts of breaking and distributing. [source]
All []
Peculiar to Mark. [source]
Were filled []
See on Matthew 5:6. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Mark 6:41

Mark 8:6 Brake and gave []
See on Mark 6:41. [source]
Luke 9:16 Brake and gave [κατέκλασεν - ἐδίδου]
Note the two tenses, as in Mark 6:41, and see note there. [source]
Luke 9:16 And gave [και εδιδου]
Imperfect active of διδωμι — didōmi kept on giving. This picturesque imperfect is preceded by the aorist κατεκλασεν — kateklasen (brake), a single act. This latter verb in the N.T. only here and the parallel in Mark 6:41, though common enough in ancient Greek. We say “break off” where here the Greek has “break down” (or thoroughly), perfective use of κατα — kata f0). [source]
John 6:11 The loaves [τους αρτους]
Those of John 6:9. Having given thanks The usual grace before meals (Deuteronomy 8:10). The Synoptics use “blessed” ευλογησεν — eulogēsen (Mark 6:41; Matthew 14:19; Luke 9:16). He distributed First aorist active indicative of διαδιδωμι — diadidōmi old verb to give to several To them that were set down Present middle participle (dative case) of ανακειμαι — anakeimai old verb to recline like αναπεσειν — anapesein in John 6:10. As much as they would Imperfect active of τελω — thelō “as much as they wished.” [source]
John 6:12 And when they were filled [ως δε ενεπληστησαν]
First aorist (effective) passive indicative of εμπιμπλημι — empimplēmi old verb to fill in, to fill up, to fill completely. They were all satisfied. The Synoptics have εχορταστησαν — echortasthēsan like John 6:26 Gather up Second aorist active imperative of συναγω — sunagō to gather together. Broken pieces From κλαω — klaō to break. Not crumbs or scraps on the ground, but pieces broken by Jesus (Mark 6:41) and not consumed. Be lost Second aorist middle subjunctive of απολλυμι — apollumi with ινα — hina in purpose clause. Only in John. There was to be no wastefulness in Christ‘s munificence. The Jews had a custom of leaving something for those that served. [source]
1 Timothy 6:20 That which is committed to thy trust [τὴν παραθήκην]
Only in Pastorals. Comp. 2 Timothy 1:12, 2 Timothy 1:14. From παρὰ besideor with, and τιθέναι toplace. It may mean either something put beside another as an addition or appendix (so Mark 6:41; Acts 16:34), or something put with or in the keeping of another as a trust or deposit. In the latter sense always in lxx. See Leviticus 6:2, Leviticus 6:4; 2 Maccabees 3:10,15. Hdt. vi. 73, of giving hostages; ix. 45, of confidential words intrusted to the hearer's honor. The verb is a favorite with Luke. The meaning here is that teaching which Timothy had received from Paul; the “sound words” which he was to guard as a sacred trust, and communicate to others. [source]

What do the individual words in Mark 6:41 mean?

And having taken the five loaves two fish having looked up to the heaven He blessed broke He kept giving [them] to the disciples of Him that they might set before them He divided among all
Καὶ λαβὼν τοὺς πέντε ἄρτους δύο ἰχθύας ἀναβλέψας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν εὐλόγησεν κατέκλασεν ἐδίδου τοῖς μαθηταῖς ‹αὐτοῦ› ἵνα παρατιθῶσιν αὐτοῖς ἐμέρισεν πᾶσιν

λαβὼν  having  taken 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: λαμβάνω  
Sense: to take.
πέντε  five 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Masculine Plural
Root: πέντε  
Sense: five.
ἄρτους  loaves 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Plural
Root: ἄρτος  
Sense: food composed of flour mixed with water and baked.
δύο  two 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Masculine Plural
Root: δύο 
Sense: the two, the twain.
ἰχθύας  fish 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Plural
Root: ἰχθύς  
Sense: a fish.
ἀναβλέψας  having  looked  up 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: ἀναβλέπω  
Sense: to look up.
οὐρανὸν  heaven 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: οὐρανός  
Sense: the vaulted expanse of the sky with all things visible in it.
εὐλόγησεν  He  blessed 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: εὐλογέω 
Sense: to praise, celebrate with praises.
κατέκλασεν  broke 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: κατακλάω  
Sense: to break in pieces.
ἐδίδου  He  kept  giving  [them] 
Parse: Verb, Imperfect Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: διδῶ 
Sense: to give.
τοῖς  to  the 
Parse: Article, Dative Masculine Plural
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
μαθηταῖς  disciples 
Parse: Noun, Dative Masculine Plural
Root: μαθητής  
Sense: a learner, pupil, disciple.
‹αὐτοῦ›  of  Him 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.
ἵνα  that 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ἵνα  
Sense: that, in order that, so that.
παρατιθῶσιν  they  might  set  before 
Parse: Verb, Present Subjunctive Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: παρατίθημι  
Sense: to place beside or near or set before.
ἐμέρισεν  He  divided 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: μερίζω  
Sense: to divide.
πᾶσιν  among  all 
Parse: Adjective, Dative Masculine Plural
Root: πᾶς  
Sense: individually.