Monday, January 9, 2017

January 9 - Mark 6

Today's reading in our daily plan is Mark 6. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Have you ever gone home to visit family at Christmas or Thanksgiving and felt like maybe you didn't belong anymore? Jesus felt that way too, but for different reasons. Jesus grew up poor, his father a working class carpenter. So no one seemed to understand how he could be so full of wisdom and authority when he spoke. As a result, they were cynical and sarcastic. This lack of faith made it impossible for Jesus to do any miracles or have any impact in his own town.
  • Jesus went to other towns where people were receptive to hear what he had to say. He was now ready to send out his 12 disciples who had been studying underneath him for quite some time.  Jesus gave them power to teach the good news as well as the ability to heal the hurting.
  • Even King Herod was interested in who Jesus was.  He asked the same question people have been asking for centuries- "Who is he?  Is he just a lowly carpenter?  Could he be a prophet?  Or could he be a king?" Not knowing the answer distressed King Herod greatly. 
  • King Herod was also stressed because of the role he played in the death of John the Baptist. John was the one who prepared everyone for the arrival of Jesus' ministry. Herod had been seduced into killing John. 
  • Jesus and the disciples had been traveling for some time, so he gathered them all together and encouraged them to rest for a while. It's great to minister to others and help those in need, but sometimes it's ok to take a break.  Even Jesus did!
  • Finally, in verse 53 we see Jesus and the disciples return to Genneserat. This was the same region from chapter 5 where Jesus healed the demon possessed man and the town reacted by demanding Jesus leave. If you recall, Jesus gave the healed man the task of telling everyone about what Jesus had done for him.  Well, apparently he did because everyone wanted to touch Jesus in the hopes that they would be healed too.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • If we are true followers of Jesus, just like with the disciples, he will send us out with a mission of sharing the good news and bringing healing to hurting people.
  • John the Baptist had devoted his life to sharing the good news of Jesus. However, it didn't prevent his untimely death. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. God doesn't promise us an exemption from suffering, but He does promise to be with us in our suffering. We see an example of this with the disciples in an unexpected and unwanted storm, but with Jesus there with them when they call out to him.
  • In the story of the feeding of the 5,000, Jesus uses a small lunch of 5 loaves and 2 fish to perform an incredible miracle. God typically does his work and his miracles through simple means and simple people.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Have you become too "familiar" with Jesus like his hometown crowd? Have you become cynical in your faith that maybe he can't come through? Or maybe you're like Herod- intrigued by who Jesus said he was, but afraid to explore deeper. Take steps toward him today and he will walk toward you, just like in the storm. Let him know that you trust him to answer you. Whatever step you can take, take it!
  • God has given you a mission of sharing the good news and bringing healing and hope to the hurting. How are you living out that mission? How could you be better focused and more effective in living out the mission?