Mar 6:39-40  Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties.

Up to this point the crowd would have seen Jesus being interrupted and discussions taking place. ‘What’s going on?’ ‘Why has he stopped speaking?’ ‘Can you hear what he is saying?’ Those near him were pushing forward to listen and were passing rumours back to their neighbours. It could have appeared that no one knew what to do. So it was important for them to acknowledge Jesus’ leadership.

By now Jesus clearly had a plan in mind for he next started to engage the people’s attention. He commanded them to sit in groups of hundreds and fifties. It is difficult to cause a disturbance from a seated position! By taking such action he achieved two purposes. First, he brought order out of chaos. Second, he was confirming his authority.

Lack of clarity of leadership brings great insecurity, especially when people are under stress. Here, hunger and thirst were beginning to take hold and people were getting restless. Perhaps there were other voices than the disciples’ making suggestions about what should happen. Clear leadership was vital if the crowd were not to become an irritable rabble.

When we have a ministry activity it is essential for everyone involved to know ‘where the buck stops’. Who will make the final decision? Who will give the lead and provide the motivation? These are issues we shall consider in future postings.

Learning points:
Clarity of leadership and authority are vital components for success

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