Before The Throne Of God
One Thing Remains
What can I say? What can I do?” coda/transition
Spiritual parenting workshop / seminar at foursquare
Make sure you’re on the rock church newsletter (1st clipboard)
March 9th gospel worship service
Wheaton College students in need of one night housing for that (2nd clipboard)
Chrissy helps organize Mexico home building project
We already have one full team, but the 3rd clipboard is collecting names to see if there’s enough interest to make a 2nd team
Grab a bible from the back, that’s the Common English Bible translation, which I’ll be reading from tonight
Normally when I’m studying though I use the New Revised Standard translation.
What does Mark want us to know? What are we being invited into?
The apostles returned to Jesus and told him everything they had done and taught. Many people were coming and going, so there was no time to eat. He said to the apostles, “Come by yourselves to a secluded place and rest for a while.” They departed in a boat by themselves for a deserted place. Many people saw them leaving and recognized them, so they ran ahead from all the cities and arrived before them. When Jesus arrived and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Then he began to teach them many things. Late in the day, his disciples came to him and said, “This is an isolated place, and it’s already late in the day. Send them away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy something to eat for themselves.” He replied, “You give them something to eat.” But they said to him, “Should we go off and buy bread worth almost eight months’ pay and give it to them to eat?” He said to them, “How much bread do you have? Take a look.” After checking, they said, “Five loaves of bread and two fish.” He directed the disciples to seat all the people in groups as though they were having a banquet on the green grass. They sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. He took the five loaves and the two fish, looked up to heaven, blessed them, broke the loaves into pieces, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. Everyone ate until they were full. They filled twelve baskets with the leftover pieces of bread and fish. About five thousand had eaten.
(Mark 6:30-44 CEB)
The crowd is relentlessly audacious, they go before Jesus to His destination
Mark has been hinting at something
The woman with bleeding for 12 years performs a courageous act of faith
Jesus is paying attention to people with courageous, relentless faith
Jairus risks everything to come to Jesus to get healing for his daughter
Then on the other side, Jesus seems to offer judgement on His disciples (“O ye of little faith”, “Why do you doubt me?”, etc.)
Jesus calls this relentless pursuit of Christ faith
How’d does Jesus respond? How do the disciples respond? How do we respond (what are we being invited to)?
“Like sheep without a shepherd”
Jesus again has this gut-level compassion for the crowd
When I see that level of faith in others, I find myself wanting that
Something in them that keeps them centered and grounded, this settledness
Mark is echoing a large number of Old Testament readings, some of which we’re going to examine tonight
Joshua being chosen to replace Moses
“Let the Lord, the God of all living things, appoint someone over the community who will go out before them and return before them, someone who will lead them out and bring them back, so that the Lord ‘s community won’t be like sheep without their shepherd.”
(Numbers 27:16, 17 CEB)
Oracle indicting the current leading class of Israel
I will place over them shepherds who care for them. Then they will no longer be afraid or dread harm, nor will any be missing, declares the Lord.
(Jeremiah 23:4 CEB)
I will appoint for them a single shepherd, and he will feed them. My servant David will feed them. He will be their shepherd. I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David will be their prince. I, the Lord, have spoken. I will make a covenant of peace for them, and I will banish the wild animals from the land. Then they will safely live in the desert and sleep in the forest.
(Ezekiel 34:23-25 CEB)
So Jesus is picking very deliberate phrases and leveling that same indictment on the current political climate of Israel
Isaiah talks about God, the true king, rising out of the sea
Where is Jesus coming out of here? The sea!
If we’re practical, the disciples response is like our response
Jesus moved by compassion, disciples moved by practicality
Again, conflict between Jesus and his disciples
Counting 5,000 people
But that’s only going to be the adult males!
There’s no doubt going to be women and children in the crowd as well
How do they respond? Sarcasm! That’s how good friends respond!
And Jesus ignores the sarcasm. Like good friends do!
There’s always plenty to give in our kingdom of generosity
Jesus refuses to give in to their hardness of heart
Jesus blesses the meal in traditional Jewish custom, but then invites his disciples in to the event by giving them the bread and fish to distribute
When Jesus says what do you have, he isn’t literally looking for a number, he’s searching after their hearts
What do you have? Let’s start there!
Ed. note: That’s funny, I’m reminded of Bruce Almighty right now (with the whole people continually coming with requests).
There are parts of us that long to participate in hype he kingdom of God
If I’m completely transplant, a part of me is ready for this to be over already
Come to the table when you’re ready
Come, bless and be blessed