What Christ is Looking For: Mark 6:45-52 (Part I)
The accounts of Jesus’ teaching and miracles are meant to elicit a particular response from us. That is, these texts are not meant for us just to read over and give a depthless or glib response.
Discuss some of the responses to Jesus’ ministry (to Jesus Himself in particular) in Mark that we have seen thus far. For example, we have seen scorn, misunderstanding, etc.
What are the responses in our society that we see and how can we pray? Why don’t we take some time right now to pray that inappropriate responses would be overcome by the work of the Spirit. Included in this time of prayer would be prayers for people who have never really heard the Bible preached. We pray that the message would get to them through us and that God would be working right now on hearts to soften and prepare.
In our text we saw:
I. A complete submission to the mission. (read verses 45-47)
According to Luke 9:10 the disciples and Jesus were already in Bethsaida. How does this square with our text? Some have proposed that there were two Bethsaida’s; one in the region they were already in and another that they were to cross over to. Yet, this is not fully convincing. It may seem best, as some commentators have suggested, that Jesus was telling His disciples to remain near Bethsaida proper while He was praying and at a certain point, if He had not shown up yet, pass by Bethsaida and cross to the other side.
We spent a good deal of time focused on Jesus dismissing the crowds. What are your thoughts on this?
It was mentioned that Jesus was making it very clear that He wanted no part in the agenda of the crowd. See and discuss John 6:15 Jesus was completely submitted to the mission that His Father had given Him. He had come to do His will. When Jesus dismissed the crowd He was making it very clear as to what His intentions were.
Jesus then went to a place to pray. It is likely that He was praying regarding Himself and the intense situation in which He had just been outwardly tempted to bypass the road to the cross. He surely was also praying for His disciples that:
*They would be protected from the wayward plans for Christ (and themselves).
*They would have their eyes opened to see Christ for who He really was.
II. A necessary connection (read verses 48-50a)
To be be connected with Christ and His rejection of the world’s plans also meant that His disciples would be called upon to reject the world’s plans. To be connected with Christ meant that they would follow the path of Christ and go wherever He lead them. They were learning to follow Christ meant to give up on one’s own lordship and to follow His Lordship. This connection would often be uncomfortable and difficult.
The Lord had clearly commanded them to get into a boat in which they would struggle to get across the lake. (See and discuss John 16:33, Acts 14:22, and II Corinthians 6:4). What does this teach us?
To be continued...
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