“They Had Not Understood About the Loaves” 
– Mark 6:52

(They didn’t  really understand that Christ was God).

by Wayne Partain




         V. 48, Jesus walked on the sea.

         V. 51, He entered the boat, the wind ceased.

         V. 51, “They were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled.”

         V. 52, “For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.” They were slow learners.

         To multiply loaves was an act of omnipotence. After this miracle they should not have been amazed – much less afraid – when they saw Him walking on the water and calming the sea.


They did not fully understand the true identity of Christ.

         Since Christ created all things (John 1:3), He had complete control over bread, fish, winds, waves, everything.

         The miracle of the “loaves” should have convinced the apostles that Christ was God, the Creator and Controller of all things.

         The “loaves” should have produced great faith in His Deity!

         Christ had control of the fish. He even put money in the mouth of a fish. Matt. 17:27, “go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel.”

         His control of the fish is also seen in Luke 5:6 (“caught a great number of fish”) and Jn. 21:6.

         Matt. 8:26, “rebuked the winds and the sea.” He could easily control what He had created.


“From what country?”

         Matt. 8:27, “What kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” (Lit. “from what place or country is this man?”)

         They should have known what “country” He was from. Christ told them over and over that He had descended from heaven.

         Christ thought, talked, worked and acted like a man – “What kind of MAN is this?” But also:

         He thought, talked, worked and acted like God, for He was God (Jn. 1:1; Rom. 9:5; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:8; 2 Pet. 1:1; 1 Jn. 5:20).

         Jesus was God as well as man, but the apostles were slow to grasp the reality of His Deity. They just wanted to know what kind of MAN He was (Matt. 8:27).

         Like a lot of other people they just couldn’t fully realize that God had actually come to the earth. But He did!

         This is the most inspiring and encouraging thought imaginable. Think what it means! Almighty God actually came to this earth, became a man and lived and worked as God and man.


Apostles did not grasp full meaning of “Immanuel.”

         Matt. 1:23, “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us.” That is, God and Man. Divine nature and human nature in one Person.

         1 Tim. 3:16, “God was manifested in the flesh.”

         Jn. 1:14, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

         The Creator (v. 3) lived in a created body in order to offer that body as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, Heb. 10:5.


Nor the full meaning of “Only Begotten.”

         Does not mean “descendant.” Has nothing to do with “origin.” Christ is eternal.

         “Only Begotten” = “the sole representative of the Being and character” of the Father.

         “Expresses both His eternal union with the Father in the Godhead and the ineffable intimacy and love between them, the Son sharing the Father’s counsels.”

         “Lays stress upon the full revelation of God’s character and will, His love and grace.” (Vine).


Nor even the meaning of “Son of God.”

         Again, not “descendant” – as we speak of our “sons.”

         But identity, likeness, sameness, equality.

         Jn. 5:18, He “said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.”

         Jn. 10:32, “My Father” (not “our” Father).

         Jn 10:36, “I am the Son of God.”

         Jn. 10:33, “blasphemy .. You, being a Man, make Yourself God.” They had it right!

         Jesus proved it by acting like God, displaying and demonstrating attributes of God.


He was the Fullness of the Godhead Bodily.

         Col. 2:9, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”

         There was ample evidence of this fullness.

         He knew man as only God can. Jn. 2:24, 25.

         He could read thoughts as only God can. Matt. 9:4; 12:25; Lk.5:22

         He was worshipped as only God is worshipped.  Matt. 2:2; 14:33; 28:17; Jn. 9:38 …. Same word (worship) used Mt. 4:10.

         He forgave sin as only God can forgive sin. Matt. 9:6; Luke 7:48. To say that the apostles could forgive sins the same way Jesus did is blasphemy.

         No mere man could have revealed the Father. Not even Jesus Christ could have revealed the Father if He had only thought, talked, lived, worked as a man.


He was the image of the invisible God.

         Col. 1:15, “who is the image of the invisible God.” The invisible God made visible in Christ.

         Jn. 1:18, “No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son (God), who is in the bosom of the Father, has declared Him.”

         Jesus was the living revelation of the Father.

         He was the living demonstration of the Father.

         Jesus’ nature, character, thoughts, words, works, will, knowledge, power, love, compassion, holiness and glory revealed the Father and thus exhibited His own Deity.


The express image of the Father.

         Heb. 1:3, “who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person.” NASB, “the exact representation of His nature.”

         Heb. 1:6, “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”


To know Christ is to know the Father.

         Jn. 8:19, “if you knew me, you would know my Father also.”

         Jn. 1:18, Christ came to make the Father known, to declare, explain, interpret Him.

         Read N. T. – especially Matthew, Mark, Luke, John – to really know Jesus Christ.

         In so doing we also know the Father.


To see Christ was to see the Father.

         Jn. 12:45, “And he who sees me sees Him who sent me.”

         Jn. 14:7-9, “ If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him. Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?”


 “Show us the Father.”

         Do you want to see the invisible Father? Look at Jesus. Jesus “showed” us the Father.

         To “show” is to make visible, make apparent.

         Christ came to “declare,” “interpret,” “make known” the Father. (“Exegesis” is from this word).

         The people could SEE the attributes of the Father – exercised (used), exhibited, portrayed by Jesus Christ.

         But they could NOT have seen them if Jesus had only used human attributes. (In this case they would have only seen a MAN, which is what the Watchtower teaches).

         Just imagine! When we pray to our Father in heaven, we can “see” and “know” Him – for Jesus is exactly like Him, the very image of God!


What the Father does the Son does.

         Jn. 5:19, “The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.”

         Some think Christ could have done differently. He said He could not. I believe Him.

         Did Father use divine attributes? So did Jesus. Did He exercise omnipotence, omniscience, perfect holiness? So did Jesus.

         Father and Son do identical things, in identical manner. Singular will. Unity.

         Jesus was in no way independent of the Father. He did nothing separate and apart from, much less contradicting, the Father.


Works of the Father and the works of the Son were the same works.

         Jn. 10:37, “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me. But if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.”

         The works of Christ are the works of the Father. Very same works can be called the works of Christ or the works of the Father.

         Therefore, to reject works of Jesus is to reject the works of the Father.


“All things that the Father has are mine.”

         Jn. 16:14, Holy Spirit “will glorify Me, for He will take of what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.”

         Father, Son, Holy Spirit perfectly united in One to carry out the work of salvation.


Heavenly Glory exhibited.

         Jn. 1:14, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

         Jn. 2:11, “This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory.”

         Jn. 17:5, “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” Jesus did not in His daily life exhibit radiant celestial glory (nor did He have a halo over His head), but He DID exhibit such celestial glory on one occasion in the presence of three witnesses (Peter, James, John).

         Matt. 17:2, “and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.”

         2 Pet. 1:16, We “were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’“

         This was an exhibition of another divine attribute, His divine glory. Three apostles saw it when they were “fully awake” (Lk. 9:32).


Jesus acted like Himself.

         Did you ever say regarding someone that “he’s not himself”? Or “he doesn’t act like himself”? “He acts strange, not acting normal”? Did Christ not act like Himself? Did He not act like God? Did He only act like a man? This is what is being taught by some brethren.

         Everyone knew Christ was a man for He looked and acted like a man. Ate, drank, got tired, slept. This does not need proof.  Was obvious. So, yes, He acted like a man.

         Incidentally, what was Jesus’ appearance? Jn. 4:9, “You, being a Jew ..” A foreigner who had never seen or heard of Him recognized him as a Jew.

         But if Jesus had only thought, lived, talked, worked like a mere man, He would not have “acted like Himself” – because He was not a mere man! He was both God and man.

         But “What kind or manner of man is this?”

         The God-Man. Immanuel. God manifested in flesh.

         Jn. 20:31, He did many signs to prove it.


Did Christ only receive power and authority as did the apostles (as some teach)?


         Acts 10:38, “God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power”. Such texts are explained by some brethren to teach that Christ received limited power just as the apostles did. These brethren don’t understand about the “loaves.”

         These texts do not teach that Christ received and used limited power as did the apostles, but rather they establish His identity with Father and Holy Spirit. They work in perfect harmony. Jesus was no independent “wonder-worker”; He was one with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

         Besides, it would have been impossible for Him to reveal the omnipotent Father with limited power such as the apostles received.


Did Christ not use His own divine attributes (omnipotence, omniscience, etc.)?

         Some teach that Christ did not use His own omnipotence because they think this would have kept Him from living as a human being, being our example, and being tempted in all points like as we.

         Those who teach this deny the Deity of Christ in order to prove His humanity.

         But if Christ had not exercised His own omnipotence, then He would have had to receive omnipotence from the Holy Spirit in order to reveal the Father.  

         Because only God can reveal God in the sense of John 1:18.  Only omnipotence can reveal omnipotence. Only omniscience can reveal omniscience. Only perfect holiness can reveal perfect holiness.

         Repeat: It would have been impossible for Christ to reveal Father with limited power, limited knowledge, limited holiness.

         Besides, if using His own omnipotence somehow worked against His humanity (which it certainly did not do), then – assuming the illogical thought of His receiving omnipotence from the Holy Spirit -- by what reasoning would His use of the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit NOT work against His humanity?

         It is tragic when brethren create a problem and then in order to “solve” their problem deny all these wonderful truths about Christ that we have outlined in this study. This is precisely what has been done by some. They just can’t understand how Christ could be fully God and also fully man, so they solve their “problem” by denying His Deity.

         “Oh, but we believe in the Deity of Christ. We teach that He HAD divine attributes. He just did not USE them, because that would have kept Him from being our example and being tempted in all points like as we.” That’s what I mean: in order to “solve” the problem which should never have been a problem, they just deny the Deity of Christ because the Bible knows absolutely nothing about a Christ who had, but did not use, divine attributes. This is a figment of their imagination and puts them in the same category with the Watchtower and others who invent false “christs.”


“I AM”. Exodus 3:14, “And God said to Moses … Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.”

         Jn. 8:58, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” Once and for all, let it be clearly understood that Jesus Christ was Almighty  God, the Great I Am.

         Jn. 6:35, “I am the bread of life.”

         Jn. 8:12, “I am the Light of the world.”

         Jn. 10:14, “I am the Good Shepherd.”

         Jn. 11:25, “I am the resurrection and the life.”

         Jn. 14:6, “I am the Way, Truth and Life.”

         Only God can make and carry out such claims.

         These are divine qualities, attributes, actions.

         Jesus exhibited, portrayed, demonstrated these attributes – in thought, word and deed! Without doing so it would have been utterly impossible to be the bread of life, the light of the world, the Good Shepherd, the resurrection and the life, the Way, the Truth and the Life.



They confess and worship Him.

         Matt. 14:33, Then they “worshipped Him saying, truly You are the Son of God.” This follows Mark 6:52. “They ought to have worshipped Jesus as the Son of God when they saw the five thousand fed, but they did not. But when he had done that, and had walked upon the water, and quieted the wind, and transported the boat to the land, they were overcome by the iteration of his miraculous power, and confessed his divinity” (McGarvey).

         This is the confession that all should make, understanding the meaning of “Son,” “Immanuel,” “only begotten,” etc.

         We must never forget the lesson of the “loaves.”

         It reminds us that Christ, the Creator, is God over all,  that He has control over His creation.

         It’s good to be “amazed,” but the main thing is to know who He really is, and confess Him as the “Son of God,” (realizing the real meaning of this confession), so that we will obey Him and then feel safe in Him during the storms of life.




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