We’ve been looking at the Gospel of Mark sporadically since the beginning of the year. Today I’m continuing with the next portion, Mark chapter 6. Just to recap, up to now we’ve learned some basic reminders.
Mark teaches us by the life of Christ that Satan will come to us when we’re in a weak moment to tempt us or deceive us. And we overcome these temptations through Truth, the Word of God. Satan would have us believe that riches and self-gratification are escapes from suffering, but this isn’t true. Instead we must dig our heels in and trust in God to meet the needs of our life.
We come to Jesus, after all, because of a faith that wells inside us, and we approach the throne of grace with expectation.
Dynamic Faith verses Amazing Disbelief
Mark 6 shines out with examples of dynamic faith. In contrast, it also reveals great lack of faith.
Before we begin, give Mark 6 a thoughtful read.
Why do you think Jesus said a prophet isn’t welcome in his own home town? Have you ever felt like this? Have you ever felt invisible or boxed in, unable to find a place to use your gifting?
The people of Nazareth only saw the flesh of Jesus, not recognizing He is the Son of God. He didn’t hold much value in their eyes. I think today there are many people in the Body of Christ that can relate to this. It is good practice to walk with our eyes open, treating each person before us as if Christ was standing amongst us.
We can walk spiritually blinded. Jesus didn’t do any extraordinary work in his hometown, because the locals lacked faith. In fact, their unbelief was so thick, it astounded Jesus. How remarkable the statement that we can amaze Jesus, in all the wrong ways! This passage is revealing.
There’s something else I want to note at the beginning of Mark 6. The most important thing to Jesus is teaching. The Word says He went from village to village teaching. By passing on Truth, Jesus was preparing His Body for Heaven. This is what we need the most, and it keeps us from being deceived. Whatever you collect throughout your days, I hope Truth is the primary one!
Some people today think that healing is the most important thing. But based on this passage, I see something different. Jesus is passing out Truth. He’s far more concerned with the spiritual health of the being, because the spirit lives on, but the flesh will die.
Elijah or John the Baptist?
We’re all familiar with this story found in Mark 6:30-52. It’s one of the most shocking passages in Scripture, and while it’s not graphic, we definitely see that it’s gruesome. Herod was feeling guilty about beheading John the Baptist. Mark goes on to give a brief summary about the account. The people thought Jesus was Elijah or John the Baptist. So did Herod! This is because of what the Old Testament taught about the coming Messiah. The concept of Elijah as a forerunner was widely accepted and expected. At the time, most failed to see that this role was actually filled by John the Baptist. The people were willing to accept Jesus as a good rabbi or prophet, but not as the Messiah.
This is because they expected their Messiah to come as a political Savior, a military leader, to free them from bondage just as Moses had done. They overlooked what Isaiah 53 prophesied, that the Messiah would first come as a suffering servant before He came like the Lion from the tribe of Judah!
To silence his guilt, Herod silenced John the Baptist.
Jesus Gives Us Rest
But I want to pull out some new insights. Why does Jesus take His disciples to a remote place on the far side of the Sea of Galilee? If you’re in full time ministry, you will understand this.
Mark reveals to us that the disciples had no time to rest. They didn’t have time to eat or nourish themselves. Take note, then, how important rest is to Jesus. Take note, too, that Jesus had compassion on the people. His compassion was so great that He taught them. Notice what the text doesn’t say. It doesn’t say His compassion was so great that He healed them. That wasn’t his first concern. Teaching them was. Get grounded in Truth!
In the Business of Saving Souls
Again, we see Jesus wanting to save souls. This happens not by physical healing, but by spiritual healing. We must regain control of our minds and get into right thinking. Belief. Faith. And this happens through proper instruction and this is the first step we take to wellbeing. We must feed not just the body, but the spirit. That’s why you’ve taken the time to read this, right?
Mark describes the people as sheep without a shepherd. A good shepherd takes care of the flock. Jesus takes care of the people here by feeding both their body and their spirit. He is the Good Shepherd. He provides green grass for them to eat and lie down on.
Mark wants us to gather the symbolism of this main event, to, at the end of it. For there were not one or two or ten basketballs of food left over, but twelve. He has enough to offer each of them, all from five loaves and two fish! Will you give God everything you’re holding and trust Him to multiply it?
To finish, Mark gives us this account with urgency. He tells us Jesus immediately took the disciples away. Why?
The people wanted to make Him king. It was no accident that He fed them miraculously. Immediately, the crowd equated this feeding with Moses and the manna in the Sinai. The provision of Yahweh. But they wanted the same liberation. Jesus, though, needed to complete His mission to free us once and forever, for forever. For eternity. He didn’t come to be their earthly king. He came to be their sacrifice. His mission was the Cross.
Look to the Heavens now, though, because the suffering servant has redeemed us, and He is coming quickly! His mission will be militant. He will overthrow every world power! Don’t like the way nations are run and the way the world is looking today? Hold on and don’t lose hope. God has it all under control. He’s coming for His Bride! Don’t even think you can stop Him! He’s been waiting across the ages to be united with her!
Written by Jori Sams
Jori Sams is a Christian author and freelance writer with nearly 2000 published pieces on the Internet, with over 1500 being published by Yahoo. Her books are published through Writeious Books. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her following the sun…