The Word This Week

Mark 6:30…

Sometimes the greatest ministry opportunities take place when you least expect or even desire them to.

Jesus had spoken of His desire to take His apostles aside to a deserted place to rest for a while. The need is twofold: In one sense Jesus desired to have the opportunity to hear from His guys – as they had just returned from their first two-by-two ventures into ministry on their own - apart from Jesus for the first time.

Jesus understood their need for some downtime to reflect over God’s great victories over the enemy’s kingdom at their hands – and to recharge their strength for what lay ahead. (Jesus knew they were about to transition from His year of popularity into a coming year when they would see Jesus’ popularity begin to dwindle away - followed by outright opposition to His ministry.)

But the people continued to seek Him without pause, and arrived at their planned retreat location before they did. In what must have been a disappointment for His apostles, rather than escaping from the massive crowds, Jesus taught them. There would be no rest for the weary.

Jesus had compassion on the crowd, regarding them as sheep without a shepherd. He would be their Shepherd. He taught them for the remainder of the day.  

Since the location was remote, the apostles began to grow concerned for the practical needs of the people who had come to Jesus and remained. This was a massive crowd, numbered as five thousand men – and so we can assume with women and children we may be speaking of twenty to thirty thousand in attendance. In the apostle’s opinion, Jesus would be wise to send them away while there was still time for them to go the local villages to find food.

Jesus’ response must have been received as an extreme challenge by them. “You give them something to eat?”

Are you serious?

Jesus is very serious. He had just seen His guys return from delivering a message of repentance and providing miraculous healings and deliverance from demons – all while they were on their own apart from Jesus…

A walk by faith is never satisfied and is continually challenged by greater steps of faith, lest it not be faith.

Jesus had them take a quick inventory of material resources on hand so they may perceive what kind of faith would now be required of themselves. Ahh yes…five loves and two fish…

What would you have thought?

Pastor Bill