Don’t miss Jesus
Pray: Humbly ask God to give you wisdom to understand this portion of the Bible and the faith to live out what He reveals to you.
Read: Mark 6:30-56
In January 2007, Joshua Bell, one of the world’s most well-renowned musicians, disguised as a street performer, played four Bach arrangements on the violin at a subway station in Washington D.C. During the 45 minutes that he played in the subway, thousands of people walked by him, but only six stopped to listen, with only one child standing for more than a few seconds. He collected $32.67 in change. No one knew that the violinist was Joshua Bell, or that he was playing such an intricate piece, or that his violin was worth $3.5 million. Because of their own schedules and absent-mindedness, thousands of people missed some of the most beautiful music they would ever hear.
In this passage, Mark details some of Jesus’ most famous miracles, where He fed thousands of people with fives loaves of bread and two fish, and where He walked on the water. After spending the past year with Jesus, most would think that the disciples would have by now understood that Jesus was God in flesh. They had seen him heal countless numbers of people. They had watched him cast out demons and declare the forgiveness of sins. But even after all that, when Jesus walked out on the water to them, they still didn’t know who He was.
When Jesus approached the disciples on the water, Mark records that they were terrified and that they believed a ghost was appearing before them (6:49-50). Despite watching Jesus feed thousands of people with just a little bit of food, their hearts were hardened and they didn’t understand Jesus was God (6:52), much like the thousands passing by in the subway in Washington D.C. They were witnesses to miracles, but they did not know the identity of the Miracle-maker. We read this and want to reach into the Bible, grab the disciples by the shoulders, shake them and say, “Don’t miss Jesus!”
Fortunately, throughout this chapter and throughout the book of Mark, we see that Jesus is forever compassionate and full of grace. When the crowds were approaching Jesus and the disciples in the midst of their rest, He was not annoyed with them but had compassion on them, for “they were like sheep without a shepherd” (6:34). When the people were hungry, He fed them (6:41). When He sent the disciples out on the boat, He watched them as they struggled, and despite their unbelief, He got onto the boat with them and told them not to be afraid (6:50-51). In Gennesaret, Jesus knew that all those who were in need of healing were not looking to follow Him or hear His teaching, but He had compassion on them, and “as many as touched it were made well” (6:56).
Jesus is a compassionate and patient Christ. In the fourth watch of the storms in our life, when it seems that hope is gone and that there is no way out, Jesus sees. He cares. He comes. He comforts, and He calms, just as He did in the boat that stormy day(6:48). When our hearts are sick and when we are unworthy of Him, His mercies remain steadfast and His love unchanging. Oh may we learn to marvel at His patience! Oh to see the compassion in His eyes and be astounded by His power over all creation. May we learn from the disciples and from the subway commuters and behold the One who cares for us so richly!
1) Which set of miracles would have left you most astounded? (Feeding 5000, Walking on Water or healing the sick) Why?
2) What is it about Jesus in this chapter that you love the most? Why? (Tell Jesus that in prayer.)
This week's devotional is written by Zach Jones. Zach is an FSU student and City Church Owner apprenticing to be a college City Group Leader.