Monday, January 9, 2012

Mark 6

Jesus' ministry begins to expand. After his rejection at Nazareth, Jesus commissions the 12 Apostles to "prepare the way for him" by teaching and preaching and healing the sick.
      The death of John the Baptist sends Jesus and the inner circle on retreat to a deserted place. John was Jesus kinsman. John had been preaching against the King because King Herod had taken his brother Herod Phillip's wife away from him. Under Hebrew law (and Herod was Jewish) it was forbidden to marry your brother's wife if your brother was still alive -- no divorce could change the provision in the law. John, being the firebrand preacher that he was, had been challenging Herod on this point. In order to silence him, Herod had John thrown in prison but respected him enough as a prophet to not have him killed, at least until the story reported in 6:14. Ministry is prophetic and those in power who claim to be people of faith have to be called to accountability and injustice must be opposed in all circumstances -- regardless of consequences.
    The story of the feeding of the 5000 is unique in the Gospels because it is the only miracle of Jesus that appears in all four of the Gospels. Like any true "eyewitness" account of an event, when the four stories are compared they tell the same essential story but differ in the details. They differ in where the bread and fish come from, who initiates the conversation and details on the location. I was once told by my Uncle Jerry, who was in law enforcement in Michigan, when the police get the exact same story from several people they assume that these people collaborated on the story before hand (and are probably not telling the truth). It is the hallmark of eye witness accounts that they will differ in the details.
     Notice in 6:53, when Jesus returns to Gennesaret (see 5:1ff where we had the whole incident with Legion and the pigs rushing down the hillside), the people have been looking for Jesus and when he comes they immediately bring their sick and infirm to him. How often does that happen? Once we realize what a difference Jesus has made . . . we want more.


CasioKid said...

I noted in last weeks' reading that Christ ( the Son of God ) was confirmed by many...the dove at his baptism, the words spoken by many as they encounter him.... from Bible times to now! Interesting that a reputation is first earned, then precedes a person throughout life. Jesus IS the same,
yesterday, today AND tomorrow! We are his disciples preparing the way for our Lord right here, right now. His yoke is easy and his burden is light.

the Reagan family said...

What always strikes me about this passage is how He sent out the disciples to go before Him with nothing save their clothes, sandals and a staff! What an exciting journey that must have been to be dispelled by the Master Himself in expectation that all provisions would be met! Give your disciples in 2012 that same sense of expectancy, Lord!

Rachel Vuaghan said...

One of my favorite scriptures in all the Bible is found in this chapter! Verse 34, "And Jesus... was moved with compassion for them." So powerful. I can't help but be overwhelmed by that compassion.

Paula Kreib said...

What faith is demonstrated in these chapters. Faith that God will provide for all our needs. Just like He did for the Hebrews after the Exodus. When Jesus is not accepted in his own village, it is so like us today. We often don't recognize the special qualities of our own family/friend. Too often it is sparks of jealousy. v. 37 the disciples are told to feed the people. It's like their response is" are you kidding?"! But, when Jesus gives thanks, he has plenty to go around. Scripture tells usJesus often wants time to be alone to pray and talk to His Father. Let us not forget his example.