Read thru the New Testament-February 26

Mark 6:33-56

Mk. 6:33-44-Even though Jesus had intended for the disciples to have some time away from the crowds…the people watched their progress across the Sea of Galilee and headed around the lake to their destination. A “great multitude” has gathered on the shoreline when they arrive.  Jesus felt “compassion” because they were like “sheep without a shepherd”…so He began to teach them.  It began to get late in the day and the disciples suggested that He send the people away into the area villages so that they could find food.  I can almost see a slight smile in the corner of Jesus’ mouth as He responds by telling the disciples to feed them.  He is all too aware of what is about to happen. They are flabbergasted and say that it would cost 200 denarii (this was the basic Roman silver coin used in Palestine and a rural worker would earn about 1 denarius per day)…to feed that many people…a significant amount of money!  Jesus tells them to “Go look!” and see what they have available to use to feed the people.  They return, probably thinking that their finding would bring an end to this approach to feed the people.  “Five loaves and two fish.”  Jesus tells the crowd to be seated in groups.  He takes the loaves and fish in His hands…looks up to His Father and blesses it.  Then, He starts breaking the loaves and fish into pieces, and pieces, and more pieces…until everyone in the crowd had pieces…and not just a tiny piece…but they all had enough to eat so that they were “satisfied”.  Afterward, they picked up 12 full baskets of leftover fish and loaves.  There were 5,000 men (plus women and children).  Never forget what can happen when we place what God has given to us…back into His hands.  The feeding of the 5,000 was a visual proof, authentication of His authority (over the earthly realm) for His verbal proclamation (over the spiritual realm).

Mk. 6:45-52-Jesus tells the disciples to get into a boat and go to Bethsaida…located further to the east of Capernaum and about 2 miles north of the Sea of Galilee.  He began sending the crowd home.  He then went of by Himself to pray.  Sometime between 3-6 a.m., Jesus looked across the lake and saw the disciples struggling to reach their destination because they were rowing into the wind. Jesus began to walk to Bethsaida…on the water…”and He intended to passthem by.”  When the disciples saw Him, they thought He was a ghost and were afraid, but He identified Himself and got into the boat.  When He did so, the wind stopped and they were “greatly astonished, for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened.”  Why didn’t the disciples connect the dots?  How many times would Jesus have to perform miracles before they would stop believing in Him in only the specific areas that He performed a miracle and begin to believe in Him as the Lord of everything?

Prayer: Lord!  Please do not let my heart be hardened.  Don’t let me miss what You are teaching me.  Help me to recognize the significance of everything You do so that I might realize exactly Who You are.  And Lord, please help me to see how what I have learned in one instance is to be transferred to the rest of my life.  Don’t let me compartmentalize, and limit You…to only what I have seen, or understand…but help the faith You give me to be extended to every aspect of life.

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