Today’s Readings: Mark 6:30-56 & Daniel 11:36-45
Confession time … I can’t help but find as I read accounts of the disciples’ engagement with Jesus, wondering and questioning why they simply couldn’t see who Jesus was. Surely their up-close and personal connection together with what they witnessed, provided every opportunity to question this power Jesus had over nature. Surely what they saw unfold was not normal!
How is it that anyone has the ability to feed a crowd of 5,000 with just 5 loaves and 2 fishes (with left overs!)?
They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand. Vs 42-44
What would you have said to Jesus if he had asked you to orderly seat 5000 (and that was just the men) because he was going to feed them with such limited food? Honestly …. how this must have challenged their faith … or were they so tired that they simply blindly obeyed??
How is it that someone can walk on water?
About the fourth watch of the night he went out to them, walking on the lake. Vs 48b
How is it that someone can stop the wind?
Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. Vs 51
But then, as I stop and reflect on what has unfolded, reality sets in, because the disciples really are no different to you or me who fail to see the miracles of God that unfold every day around us!
But more than the story of well-known miracles in these passages are some of the significant words that provide insight into the character of God found in Jesus.
Jesus’ gentle concern for the weariness and welfare of his disciple …. and this same concern he has for you and me ….
Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest. Vs 31
Jesus, even as the son of God, was diligent in prayer. After the crowd were fed … Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boar and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray. Vs 45-46
But then, it was his concern for his disciples that interrupted his prayers and moved him to action to respond to their need – yes another teaching moment, but also highlighting Jesus’ compassion.
He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Vs 48a
Do these passages jump out from the pages at you, or are you like me and as you read these familiar passages, primarily focus on the incredible miracles and the lack of response of the disciples??
And the reaction of the disciples?? Almost a glossed over ignorance because they did not understand, even though they were eyewitnesses to the power of the creator God in control of the universe he had created.
Lord God, give me eyes to see, ears to hear and an open heart that never fails to see you at work in and through your people here where I live. May I never lose sight or forget the miracle of my own changed heart, and that day when you lifted the veil from my eyes when I saw and met Jesus for the first time; the anchor Jesus has been when I found myself buffeted by the winds of life; rest and peace from the weariness and burdens that can consume and weigh down.