Year 2 Day 287
Read - Mark 6:30-34
Message - Alan Burke
Today as we begin, I want you think back to where we were last week in v14-29. There we are told of the death of John the Baptist. It is a scene that almost seems out of place in the narrative as the twelve were sent out by Jesus, to take the message of repentance and now we are told of their return. Part of the reason why we had the account of John’s death was because it revealed to us how some were responding to the message of repentance. Whereas here as the disciples return something else happens. For while Herod had silenced this message, the people instead flock to Jesus because of it.
Look then to what we are told here, because of all those flocking to him, because there was so many people, that they didn’t even have a chance to eat (v31). The demands on Jesus and the apostles were constant. There in the midst of this, with the people coming, we see something of the saviours compassion. Firstly, there in v32 towards his apostles. As he invites them to come with himself, to go to a quiet place to get rest. We don’t know how long these apostles had been out ministering, we don’t know if was just for a day or more, but now they are together once more and they are wearied after their exertion and Jesus sees they need rest.
So they move from where they are, they go away by themselves, on a boat to a solitary place (32). Everything here is taking place beside the Sea of Galilee, and we know from Luke’s gospel they withdrew to Bethsaida (Lk 9:10), that it’s about four miles on the boat along the edge of the lake. The crowd though pursue Jesus. Most of us at that stage would have had enough and be telling people ‘could you not just leave us alone, we haven’t even had dinner’. Likely we’d be saying something much stronger. But Jesus, well Jesus sees the crowd and (34) has compassion on them.
First Jesus had compassion on the tired apostles who are in need of rest and refreshment, whereas now even though apostles still in need of rest and refreshment he has compassion on this crowd. His heart goes out to them. It’s a compassion that we have seen many times in Mark’s gospel as he has preached the news of how the kingdom of God is at hand and how he has healed the sick, and now his heart goes out to this crowd before him. We will come back to the reason why on Wednesday but for now I want you to see what that compassion caused him to do and then I’ll leave you with a bit of homework.
What did that compassion cause him to do, well it meant that he began teaching him many things. What were these many things? They were that of the kingdom of God, in his compassion he taught them of the importance of repenting from their sin and believing the gospel. The most compassionate thing we can do for people is to tell them of their need of a saviour who came in his compassion in order that we might be saved.
Finally the homework, it’s not hard but for Wednesday have a wee think of all the passages that you can think of that talk about shepherd.
Q48 What are we specially taught by these words [before me] in the first commandment?
These words [before me] in the first commandment teach us, That God, who seeth all things, taketh notice of, and is much displeased with, the sin of having any other God. (Ezek. 8:5–6, Ps. 44:20–21)