Jesus Test’s the Disciples – 4-7-22

Wherever He entered, into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might just touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well.” Mark 6:56 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Mark chapter 6 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

6 Then He went out from there and came to His own country, and His disciples followed Him. And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” So they were offended at Him.

But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.” Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.

Sending Out the Twelve

And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits. He commanded them to take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bag, no bread, no copper in their money belts— but to wear sandals, and not to put on two tunics.

10 Also He said to them, “In whatever place you enter a house, stay there till you depart from that place. 11 And [a]whoever will not receive you nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet as a testimony against them. [b]Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!”

12 So they went out and preached that people should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them.

John the Baptist Beheaded

14 Now King Herod heard of Him, for His name had become well known. And he said, “John the Baptist is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.”

15 Others said, “It is Elijah.”

And others said, “It is [c]the Prophet, or like one of the prophets.”

16 But when Herod heard, he said, “This is John, whom I beheaded; he has been raised from the dead!” 17 For Herod himself had sent and laid hold of John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife; for he had married her. 18 Because John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”

19 Therefore Herodias [d]held it against him and wanted to kill him, but she could not; 20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected him. And when he heard him, he [e]did many things, and heard him gladly.

21 Then an opportune day came when Herod on his birthday gave a feast for his nobles, the high officers, and the chief men of Galilee. 22 And when Herodias’ daughter herself came in and danced, and pleased Herod and those who sat with him, the king said to the girl, “Ask me whatever you want, and I will give it to you.” 23 He also swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half my kingdom.”

24 So she went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?”

And she said, “The head of John the Baptist!”

25 Immediately she came in with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”

26 And the king was exceedingly sorry; yet, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he did not want to refuse her. 27 Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded his head to be brought. And he went and beheaded him in prison, 28 brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. 29 When his disciples heard of it, they came and took away his corpse and laid it in a tomb.

Feeding the Five Thousand

30 Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. 31 And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. 32 So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.

33 But [f]the multitudes saw them departing, and many knew Him and ran there on foot from all the cities. They arrived before them and came together to Him. 34 And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things. 35 When the day was now far spent, His disciples came to Him and said, “This is a deserted place, and already the hour is late. 36 Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves [g]bread; for they have nothing to eat.”

37 But He answered and said to them, “You give them something to eat.”

And they said to Him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?”

38 But He said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.”

And when they found out they said, “Five, and two fish.”

39 Then He commanded them to make them all sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in ranks, in hundreds and in fifties. 41 And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all. 42 So they all ate and were filled. 43 And they took up twelve baskets full of fragments and of the fish. 44 Now those who had eaten the loaves were [h]about five thousand men.

Jesus Walks on the Sea

45 Immediately He [i]made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away. 46 And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. 47 Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. 48 Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by. 49 And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; 50 for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be[j] of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” 51 Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled. 52 For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.

Many Touch Him and Are Made Well

53 When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret and anchored there. 54 And when they came out of the boat, immediately [k]the people recognized Him, 55 ran through that whole surrounding region, and began to carry about on beds those who were sick to wherever they heard He was. 56 Wherever He entered, into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might just touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well.

Footnotes

  1. Mark 6:11 NU whatever place
  2. Mark 6:11 NU omits the rest of v. 11.
  3. Mark 6:15 NU, M a prophet, like one
  4. Mark 6:19 held a grudge
  5. Mark 6:20 NU was very perplexed, yet
  6. Mark 6:33 NU, M they
  7. Mark 6:36 NU something to eat and omits the rest of v. 36.
  8. Mark 6:44 NU, M omit about
  9. Mark 6:45 invited, strongly urged
  10. Mark 6:50 Take courage
  11. Mark 6:54 Lit. they

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Isaiah 41:10- “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

I don’t know about you – but wow this book is fast pace and I am tired out! Jesus is probably tired out! The 12 are probably tired out! Is Mark ready to slow this down???
Today reading, seems to be a slight break in the speed. Mark records Jesus going home to visit. In His home town He does exactly what He does everywhere – goes to the synagogue and speaks. He is rejected by them. None the less it appears Jesus stays and visits with his family while He sends the 12 out.
Obviously the 12 go out to continue the work while Jesus ministers to his family, but it is generally assumed that this was their first solo (without Jesus) test to go out into their own ministries. 
Jesus sent them out in 2 and I am a firm believer that when ministering in person it is a team job. Many seemingly solo teams have a spouse that supports them. But there are times you are alone and God tells you to minister. Here is the general rule – two. God will not call you to go alone and street preach, wandering around bad areas at night preaching. Nope. God may have you go in a team, though. God may have you go shopping for food alone and run into someone and tell you to minister to them alone. Yep.

The timing was such a plan of God – Jesus was able to be with His family when news of His cousin’s passing came to them. (Jesus’s cousin is John the Baptist.) God knew and made a way for them all to be together and comforted.

Herod was bad – but not that bad. BUT YET VERY BAD. He did not like John the Baptist nor the fact that John called him out for his sin – the sin of marrying his brother wife. So he was bad for taking his brother’s wife, not that bad because he threw John in the prison and did not kill him. But yet very bad because he did end up killing him in a man pleasing, sinful partying spirit.
Time to step into some historical context. Herod, taking his brother’s wife was not just a public divorce scandal – and all the world was talking about it. The brother’s wife was an evil and manipulative, power hungry woman as well. And her daughter, Herod’s niece was forced to dance (in an erotic manner) for Herod and his friends. This was not a healthy functioning home with wholesome values. This was seep in the promiscuous sinful ways for the flamboyant Roman life – BUT THEN, they took it further, and this was the divorce (a scandal so bad) that started a war. That is right, the actions happening here are more than the words written – and this was an outrage even to those who lived a life seeped in promiscuity and sin. There would have been no reason for Mark to write any more about the scandal, or he might turn into a gossip column and miss the point of the gospel – because he reader surely, already knew all the juicy details and rumors. Mark kept to the point and only to the part about John.

Since Herod was already tabloid news. Then the death of John on the heels of it and with the war. Jesus’s family definitely needed Jesus there comforting, as a man and as God.

It doesn’t say how long Jesus stayed with his family, But what we do know is the disciples all came back pumped up and excited about what they saw and did and Jesus was sad. It seems Jesus picked up the excitement and came back into the ministry stronger with more presence and power.

The Feeding the Five Thousand

So people found Jesus and started following him again. Staying with him, even after meal time… even without eating. Jesus had compassion on them (and I am sure he was hungry too). So as you read above, the disciples tried to figure out how in the flesh, they could feed the multitude. It can only happen in the spirit, yes spirit can produce physical food. They prayed and where do you think the multiplication comes from? It is supernatural.

So remember the rule about not writing about yourself, we discussed it about the way Luke wrote acts. The idea was so that you were not writing to make yourself look good. Here we have a section that causes many to believe that Mark was present for the feeding of the 5000. Not only present, but He was the one with the boxed lunch of fish and bread! Let us take a closer look:
“But He said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.”
And when they found out they said, “Five, and two fish.”
Verse 38.
In other gospels Matthew and other wrote that it was a child’s lunch. We also know that Mark was taken under Peter’s wing. And they were close enough to Mark’s home that his mother may have packed a lunch and let him go. Even more interesting is Mark’s cousin, Barnabas (as we saw in Acts) was following Jesus. He was not one of the 12 disciples, but many others where with them. So Mark could have gone with Barnabas. Yes – this is a whole LOT of speculation.
Jesus also said to see how much the disciples had. If Mark was following, His lunch would have been counted. In this version, it could have been Peter’s lunch for all we know. But the other gospel’s say it was a child’s lunch.
This cannot stand alone as proof that Mark was also following Jesus, but there are other things like this coming up in this book and when you put them all together. You see that starting here, Mark, is giving more of a first-hand account of the acts of Jesus, if you are looking for proof that Mark was there.

That is one theory. Another is that Mark is just writing Peter’s account of everything. And Mark must have joined somewhere around Jesus’s death and resurrection because he is there in the book of Acts.

Mark, or whoever the child was, learned a valuable lesson that day. If you give your all to Jesus, he will multiply it. When you have no cash for the offering plate – give your lunch, or whatever it is you have. If it is not enough – give it. Let God multiply it.
“So they all ate and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of fragments and of the fish.Now those who had eaten the loaves were about five thousand men.” Verses 42-44.
Prosperity, abundance, multiplication, provisions, and blessings – they are all in here. And as much as it make us uncomfortable, because of the corruption of man who found a way to exploit the poor, they are still biblical truths.
If we are indeed perched upon the end of the end times, then this is a lesson we MUST learn, and quickly. To put aside stinking thinking about God and a poverty mindset. God provides. God multiplies. And God is abundance. And if you do not have abundance, than God isn’t done yet. Do not give up, draw in to God more. We need to learn to give in our poverty and receive in our gratitude.

After a big win for the disciples, they jump on a ship with all their leftover fish and bread and again encounter a storm. Isn’t it just like the enemy to come attack while you are floating on the sea of abundance? First thing you do in a sea storm is lighten the ship – and just like that the enemy is there to steal what the Lord has given. It’s true.
Like when you have a breakthrough and you are praising the Lord – that is just a hole punched in the enemy line – stand fast, cause you are still in the fight! If not the enemy will come and take it from you. Hold onto your breakthrough, your blessings, your provisions, your abundance!

Jesus is up on a hill praying and sees their distress and walks out there to see if they are ok.
I wrote a whole long things comparing all gospel versions of this back in 2020. (You can scroll back and find it if you want.) It would seem from that study that the point is to keep your eyes on Jesus. If when the storm came they focused and prayed, or even called out for peace in the name of Jesus as Jesus had done, things would have been different. More and more, Jesus is leaving them on their own testing to see what they do – how they handle it. And if they watched Jesus, they would have seen him sitting and talking to the Father, and leaving that conversation and walking to them to make sure they were ok. (and verse 48 shows he was going to by pass them – they were struggling, but they were ok)

Until Peter jumps out to walk on water! I love that about him!

Hillsong UNITED released that song ‘Oceans (where feet may fail)’ – have you heard it. It is so beautiful. The first time I heard it I imagined I was Peter jumping out of my boat in zealous loving desire to be more Christ-like. That song should also come with a warning. I got caught up in worship and prayed that song! And I was taken into the storm, outside of the boat, forced to keep my eyes focused on Jesus and with no other option than to believe in His provisions.

God has continued to meet my needs. Every last one. Yesterday someone brought me a specialty flosser (a gadget to floss your teeth). Now, I am low on floss and need more and completely out of those fancy flossers. Regular floss is not very expensive. I could find enough coins to buy some. But God provides and it is exceedingly abundant. He had someone bring me the fancy flossers. For no reason, but here is a random bag of flossers.
Blessings are NOT always materialistic things. They aren’t always things as all – but shifts in the spirit that ripple in our physical world. So I try to express the struggles of my experiences and how God manifests in them and changes me – so you will understand the blessings of the Lord. But they are also physical and God cares about the little things as much as the big things (the mortgage is paid this month as well).

Mark complete today’s reading with a broad and general overview of what happened in the land of Gennersaret as well as a great summary to the ministry of Jesus as a whole. “And as many as touched Him were made well.”

My summary of today – even though Jesus is busy with personal and political things, He is still working through the plan to grow and prepare me for the future. Like the disciples, sent out to learn to do ministry. Then learning to trust him for provisions, taking nothing and multiplying it. Then going through the storm without Him (we saw them panic in the storm with Him earlier this week, and they panicked again without Him – But Peter leapt into the water!) These all provide vital lessons they needed to live in the persecution and ministries they were called to. These are also vital lessons we must learn to survive this new form of world we live in. So if you are going through the lesson of being in a team and building a ministry, or if it is a more difficult lesson of trusting him for provisions, or if it is an attack and a lesson – like a storm raging – Jesus is preparing us so keep the faith. Because just like this chapter ends, so does our story – many lives will be changed. We will make it to heaven and bring many with us!

For those of you new followers of this blog – We are doing a weekday study of Mark. This weekend there will be no commentary from me as we continue reading the wisdom books. We will pick up with Mark chapter 7 on Monday. This weekend we are very close to completing Proverbs and on Resurrection Sunday we shall begin the Psalms.

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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