Pastor David B. Curtis

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Jesus' Compassion and Power

Mark 6:30-56

Delivered 06/11/2006

As Christians we are to be like Christ. In order to be like Christ we have to know what He is like. The best way to learn about Christ is to read the Gospels. Lots of books discuss views and ideas about Him, but the Gospels reveal Christ. Every story, statement, and teaching unfolds some aspect of His divine and human natures, the beauty of His character, the faithfulness of His redemptive work, and His call to follow Him.

As we journey through the Gospels, we find ourselves walking in the shoes of the disciples. We get a clearer picture of how their understanding of Christ grew with each encounter, experience, and teaching. We find them struggling to grapple with the reality that God had come among them, and that His purpose was not anything like the desires that religious men had for Him.

We know that once the Twelve began to follow Christ, they did not understand everything about Him. Earlier in Mark's Gospel, we find the disciples in a boat with Christ crossing the Sea of Galilee. As Jesus slept, a storm arose. It must have been frightening for them because they woke Christ, crying out for Him to save them because they were perishing! "He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm," Mark records:

Mark 4:41 (NASB) And they became very much afraid and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?"

Later they understood that He was no mere man, but He could command the winds and sea because He created them! But it took some time for them to put the pieces together and really grasp the full picture of Jesus Christ the Lord.

Though the revelation of Jesus Christ in the Scripture is complete and total, our understanding of this revelation is not. We are much like the disciples as we make our way through life and the whole process of walking with Jesus Christ. We grasp a little here, and a little there. It is through seeing the truth of Scripture, going through the struggles and fears of life that bring truth into reality, wrestling with our questions like the disciples, and observing the Lord's work in us. It is clear and plain in the Scripture no doubt, but it takes time to grasp this.

The Bible explains that the natural man does not receive this kind of truth, because it is only through spiritual means that revelation can be received (1 Cor 2:14). That's why the disciples could grow in wonder and amazement at what they were grasping of Christ, while the Pharisees could watch a withered hand become completely healed before their eyes and only conspire to destroy the Christ that did the healing.

In the first part of chapter 6 through verse 13, Jesus sends out His disciples. As soon as they go out, we might think that is the end of that discussion, and Mark is going to go on to something else. He tells us about the faith of John the Baptist. But in verse 30 Mark comes back to the discussion about the disciples being sent out. Here, we see the disciples returning from their mission on which Jesus had sent them two by two:

Mark 6:30-31 (NASB) And the apostles gathered together with Jesus; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught. 31 And He said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest a while." (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.)

Mark here refers to the twelve as "apostles" for the first time. This is the only time in Mark's Gospel where he refers to them that way. "Apostle" means: "one sent." They had been "disciples" up to now, but now they had been "sent out." Now they returned to report.

From reading Matthew's and Luke's accounts of this return, we know that these disciples were very excited by their ministry. They were tremendously encouraged by the results they had seen, and they came back all pumped up, eager to report to Jesus everything that had happened.

Let me ask you a question here: where the twelve fully mature having complete understand of who Christ was? No! As we shall see in this text, there was much they still didn't understand. So Jesus sent out these ignorant men who did not by any means understand the fullness of the message they were preaching. But he sent them out and gave them power to act and expected them to learn as they went. Believer, if you are waiting until you know everything before you get involved in the service of Lord, you'll always be waiting. Do like the apostles and learn as you serve.

Notice the parentheses at the end of verse 31, (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) In the Greek this literally reads: "They didn't even have an opportunity to have a meal."

This is why Jesus took these disciples off to a lonely place; to minister to them and to teach them. But he had some difficulty doing it, because the next passage says:

Mark 6:32-34 (NASB) And they went away in the boat to a lonely place by themselves. 33 And the people saw them going, and many recognized them, and they ran there together on foot from all the cities, and got there ahead of them. 34 And when He went ashore, He saw a great multitude, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things.

On the Sea of Galilee, from any point on the rocky shore, all other locations along the shoreline are visible. It isn't too difficult for people to watch a departing ship and to follow it across the lake as it moves towards its destination - and this is exactly what this crowd appears to have done.

Jesus and the disciples get to the shore and they are hoping for a little R & R. But when they arrive, there are well over 10,000 people waiting on the shore to meet them. As the people see the boat going across the sea, they are running on land. They keep going through cities, and more and more people follow. By the time Jesus lands on the shore, there is a huge mob.

How do you think you would have reacted if you had been in Jesus' place? Here they were, trying to get away from the crowd, away from the pressure and the hassle and harassment of this ministry for a few quiet moments, arriving at the other side of the lake only to find waiting the same crowd they had just tried to get away from!

The text says Jesus saw them and He was irritated with them. No it doesn't. It might make us feel better if it did say that, but that is not what it says. It says, "He saw a great multitude, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd."

Sheep without a shepherd are a disaster. They panic, and they do not know where to go for food and water. They are constantly in danger. Jesus looks at this crowd of people and "He felt compassion for them."

That word for compassion is a very strong word. It means to be so moved on the inside that it compelled Him to take action on the outside. Sometimes we see situations, and we would say: "You know, I feel sorry for them." But that is not this word. This word goes well beyond that. It is to be so moved that we actually do something about it to help resolve the situation.

He could have seen the broken, blind, and hungry and rightly said: I owe you nothing! You breathe My air, walk on My earth, drink of My rivers. I have given you far more than you deserve! You are sinful, unworthy, and rebel against Me. You have no intention to follow Me on your own. You're only following me because you want me to make your life more comfortable.

But instead, at the sight of even rebels with needs, Jesus felt compassion. The word literally conveys the idea of a heart contracting convulsively. We might say, His heart was squeezed by what He saw, or He was overwhelmed by the consciousness of human need. The Greek word used here for compassion is "splagchnizomai." Splagchnizomai is found only in the Gospels and in every usage it is always related to need. Normally, it is the sight of people "distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd" that moves Christ to compassion, or the sight of two blind men so that Jesus, "moved with compassion," touched their eyes and healed them (Matt 20:34). Or it is the sight of a leper so that Jesus, "moved with compassion," touches and heals the leper (Mark 1:41). It is used of the time that Jesus saw the funeral procession of the son of the widow in the city of Nain, and upon seeing her in the loss she experienced, He felt compassion for her and raised her son to life (Luke 7:13). In the case of our text, it is the helplessness of men that generates the compassion of Christ.

Our God is a compassionate God­ When Moses stood before the Lord on Mount Sinai, Yahweh revealed Himself to Israel's leader. The first adjective the Lord used to describe Himself to Moses is "compassionate":

Exodus 34:6-7 (NASB) Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; 7 who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations."

He is a God that judges and deals with sins. But He is also a God of great compassion, patience, and grace!

When Moses instructed the younger generation of Israel in obedience, he reminded them:

Deuteronomy 4:31 (NASB) "For the LORD your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.

The 8th century prophet, Joel, called upon the wayward nation to repent, reminding them:

Joel 2:13 (NASB) And rend your heart and not your garments." Now return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness, And relenting of evil.

Several centuries later, Nehemiah recorded the confession of those that returned from exile:

Nehemiah 9:17 (NASB) "And they refused to listen, And did not remember Thy wondrous deeds which Thou hadst performed among them; So they became stubborn and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But Thou art a God of forgiveness, Gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness; And Thou didst not forsake them.

Compassion belongs to the Lord God; it is a vital aspect of His divine nature. So when we look at Christ, we should not be surprised by the compassion that He demonstrated as the Messiah. The Lord Jesus Christ is a compassionate God.

Remember, compassion means to be so moved on the inside that it compels you to take action on the outside. As Christians, as children of the heavenly Father, we have a duty to imitate Christ, who is described in the Bible as compassionate:

Colossians 3:12 (NASB) And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;

Heart translates splagchnon, a Hebraism that literally refers to the inward parts of the human body (heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, etc.). It is often used in the New Testament to speak figuratively of the seat of the emotions. That is its use here. Compassion is from the Greek word oiktirmos, which means: "pity," "mercy," "sympathy," or "compassion." Taken together, the phrase could be translated: "put on heartfelt compassion," or "have a deep, gut-level feeling of compassion." Believers must not be indifferent to suffering, but should be concerned to meet people's needs. God wants us to be full of compassion, full of pity toward others. Are you hardhearted toward people who hurt? The world is heartless today. It has become indifferent to suffering and hurt. But as God's children, we are to have a heartfelt compassion toward those who hurt.

How do we get this heartfelt compassion ? By spending time with God. The more you walk with Him, the more you will look like Him. Bible study, prayer, and fellowship aid us in walking in fellowship with our God.

The miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 that we are about to look at is found in all four Gospels. John gives a lengthy treatment of this crowd. He fed them, and then they continued to follow after Him. He could not get away from them! They were spiritually dull, thinking only of their physical needs. Jesus told them:

John 6:26 (NASB) Jesus answered them and said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves, and were filled.

They didn't follow Him because they saw signs of Him as Messiah so that they would believe, but because He fed them. In other words, the compassion of Christ is not motivated by the response of the crowd. His nature is one of compassion. He saw needy people, felt compassion, and took action.

Mark 6:35-40 (NASB) And when it was already quite late, His disciples came up to Him and began saying, "The place is desolate and it is already quite late; 36 send them away so that they may go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat." 37 But He answered and said to them, "You give them something to eat!" And they said to Him, "Shall we go and spend two hundred denarii on bread and give them something to eat?" 38 And He said to them, "How many loaves do you have? Go look!" And when they found out, they said, "Five and two fish." 39 And He commanded them all to recline by groups on the green grass. 40 And they reclined in companies of hundreds and of fifties.

This is a very vivid description. It undoubtedly reflects Peter's memory of this event, which he related to Mark. This is the only miracle, by the way, except that of the resurrection of Christ, that is recorded in all four gospels. They never forgot this ­ Peter especially. He even remembered the green grass that was growing all over the hills and fields in the month of April when this took place, and that, as the people sat down, they looked like a vegetable garden. "He commanded them all to recline by groups" could be literally translated: "garden plot by garden plot." He could still see them, sitting on the hillside, lined up like vegetables in a row, waiting.

The disciples seem concerned about this crowd and want to send them away so that they could get something to eat:

Mark 6:37 (NASB) But He answered and said to them, "You give them something to eat!" And they said to Him, "Shall we go and spend two hundred denarii on bread and give them something to eat?"

The "you" there is emphatic, which just means that is the point: "You! You do it!"

Two hundred denarii would be about eight months' wages. I don't think they are saying they have a bag of money and are asking if they should spend that much. I think they are saying: What are we supposed to do? Pull up a million dollars out of the bag and go buy them something? What are we supposed to do?

There were few towns nearby, and towns were generally small, at most accommodating only a few visitors in towns of a few thousand people. Further, most of the day's bread would be consumed by evening. It would have been nearly impossible for roughly ten thousand people to fend for themselves in the countryside.

What Jesus was asking them to do was absolutely impossible. Oftentimes in difficult situation what we say is: "If I just try a little harder, if I just discipline myself, if I just stretch myself a little more, I think I can probably pull it off." That is like Avis Rent-a-Car's motto: "We will just try harder." That is not what Jesus wants the disciples to do ­ try harder. He wants them to see that it is impossible. He wants them to look at their abilities and their resources and say: "No matter what we do, this is absolutely impossible." Too often we have to come to the end of ourselves before we trust God.

Mark 6:38 (NASB) And He said to them, "How many loaves do you have? Go look!" And when they found out, they said, "Five and two fish."

Where did they find the five loaves and two fishes?

John 6:9 (NASB) "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?"

These loaves were barley loaves, which were thin little flat pieces of bread. The two fish were like sardines. They were a relish that they would eat with their bread. Basically, five loaves and two fish would have been a very small lunch for one person; it was not much. You would certainly have a hard time feeding 10,000 people with this snack.

Mark 6:41-44 (NASB) And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food and broke the loaves and He kept giving them to the disciples to set before them; and He divided up the two fish among them all. 42 And they all ate and were satisfied. 43 And they picked up twelve full baskets of the broken pieces, and also of the fish. 44 And there were five thousand men who ate the loaves.

"He blessed the food" ­ The text actually records simply that Jesus "blessed," and this would be the normal practice for the Jew who gave thanks to God - a blessing of God for the provision would be spoken rather than a pronouncement over the food to bless it. The traditional and usual blessing said at the time of a meal was: "Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who bringest forth bread from the earth." He wouldn't have blessed the food, but blessed God for providing it for them.

As you read through the text, it is interesting that everything is going through the disciples, so I am convinced it is ultimately about them--about teaching and training them. There is no indication that the crowd understood that a miracle had occurred. Rather, the text makes it clear that this was done for the disciples' sake.

This miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 was not really about feeding 5,000 people. It was about training twelve people. Jesus set this up in order to teach them that they have to trust Him. He can provide for their every need. This is a lesson that everyone of us needs to learn. This is what all of life is about ­ us learning to trust God.

Mark 6:42 (NASB) And they all ate and were satisfied.

The text doesn't say, "They all got a little bite." It says they all "were satisfied." In other words, they all ate more than if one of them would have eaten the lunch themselves. They ate until they were satisfied.

Mark 6:44 (NASB) And there were five thousand men who ate the loaves.

It was typical in the first century that you counted crowds by the number of men in the crowd. But that does not include the women and children. Conservatively speaking, it would easily have been well over 10,000 people. This was a huge crowd that was fed with five loaves and two fish.

Jesus wanted them to learn from this: I want you to learn that with Me nothing is impossible. Do not ever limit yourselves to your ability and your resources. Just take what you have, give it to Me, and watch Me do My thing. Learn from that."

What Jesus did was designed to remind them of the feeding of the multitudes of Israel in the wilderness when the manna came down from heaven. He was drawing a deliberate picture of who He was for these disciples. This is why John's Gospel records that He said to them:

John 6:41 (NASB) The Jews therefore were grumbling about Him, because He said, "I am the bread that came down out of heaven."

This miracle was done for the development of the disciples' faith. These disciples were expected to learn from this something of Who it was they were following. But they seemed to miss the point.

This event was related somehow to God's whole ministry to Israel. Mark says, "They picked up twelve full baskets of the broken pieces..." Whenever the number twelve is used in these stories, it relates to the twelve tribes of Israel. Jesus himself said He chose twelve disciples so that they might sit upon twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. In the previous section, there was a dying girl who was twelve years old, and a woman who had had an issue of blood for twelve years. Now there are twelve baskets of food taken up. This is a reminder to these disciples that Jesus was the Promised One who was to come to Israel.

John's Gospel goes on from the incident of the feeding of the five thousand (John 6:1-14) to record a discussion Jesus had the following day about the significance of the bread that they'd eaten, which had been multiplied beyond natural possibility (John 6:25-71). And, if this incident is a good example of the way He drew out truth even from the miracles that were being performed in their midst, similar discussions must have arisen when signs and wonders were being performed throughout Galilee.

Many attempts have been made to rationalize this account. The suggestion is made that when the crowd saw the disciples (or the little boy) sharing food, they too began to share their food; or that it was only a symbolic meal, a taste giving the promise of participation in the Messianic Feast, which somehow satisfied the people. But all have to accept that that is not what the account actually says. The account tells us quite clearly that under Jesus' ministration, the food was somehow multiplied until it fed the whole crowd with more than enough. And that is what Mark wants to convey. The Son of God was here. That this manifestation of His power was expected to teach them a vital lesson comes out in 6.52 and 8.17-20.

Mark 6:45 (NASB) And immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side to Bethsaida, while He Himself was sending the multitude away.

There are two things here we don't want to miss. Mark says "immediately"--this is one of Mark's favorite words. This was not a month later. This was not a week later. This was a matter of minutes later.

Mark also says, He "made" them get into the boat. This is a very strong Greek word. The verb anagkazo means: "He forced/compelled them (to go ahead without Him)." We would say He forced them onto the boat. In other words, Mark wants you to know that they were absolutely sure this was what Jesus wanted them to do. They did not get partway out and think, I wonder if Jesus wanted us to leave? He forced them in the boat.

Why does Jesus hurriedly force them to leave? After that amazing experience, the crowd had great aspirations for Christ! They wanted Him to fit into their plans. John comments that Jesus perceived what was happening:

John 6:15 (NASB) Jesus therefore perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force, to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone.

Think about the dynamic of this situation. Here was a sizeable crowd of over 10,000 people enthusiastic about Jesus Christ. Popularity was at a high point. At this point the disciples could even get swept up in "Messiah fever." If He was crowned king, then that put them into prominent positions! Visions of titles and benefits danced through their heads! So Jesus acted promptly to get them out of there.

Mark 6:46 (NASB) And after bidding them farewell, He departed to the mountain to pray.

Jesus' prayer life is repeatedly mentioned in the Gospels. Think about this, believer; Jesus had just had a very busy day of ministry. He tried to escape the crowds, but they just got larger. He is no doubt tired, but instead of going to bed, He spends the night in prayer. He was an exhausted man, but He stayed up all night praying. That should tell us something of the importance of prayer.

Mark 6:47-48 (NASB) And when it was evening, the boat was in the midst of the sea, and He was alone on the land. 48 And seeing them straining at the oars, for the wind was against them, at about the fourth watch of the night, He came to them, walking on the sea; and He intended to pass by them.

"Straining at the oars" ­ is a present passive participle that refers to distress or torment. They were rowing and getting nowhere, as a matter of fact, they were being blown off course. The passive voice tells us that this distress was put upon them by the wind, not by their inability to handle a fishing boat. The present tense tells us that the distress continued.

The boat remained visible to Him while He was there on the mountainside. Jesus decided to make for the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee via a direct route across the water. He came to them on the water "about the fourth watch of the night" ­ the Romans divided the period of darkness into four watches of equal length beginning with the first, which fell between 6-9pm. The Jews divided it up into three equal periods, but, as it's the "fourth watch," we can immediately see that the Roman system is being used. This would be approximately 3-6am when the dawn was beginning to break. Now, how do you explain that He walked on the water? The very phrase of walking on water is commonly used to express impossibilities. Even the ancient Egyptians used the emblem of two feet walking on the sea to express an impossible thing.

They had watched Him speak to the waves and wind as though He owned them, and they were silenced. Now He walked on the sea, and not a smooth sea at that! Only the One that created the seas can walk on them. But by treading on the sea, Jesus now takes a role that the Hebrew Bible had reserved for God alone (Ps 77:19; Hab 3:15)

Job 9:8 (NASB) Who alone stretches out the heavens, And tramples down the waves of the sea;

Mark says, "He intended to pass by them." This has caused much discussion. Everybody has an opinion, but I think this language is meant to evoke epiphany language from the Old Testament, where God "passes by" while revealing His glory. It is doubtful that Jesus merely meant to "walk past" them. Thus, Jesus intended to disclose His glory to these men by "passing by." This is further substantiated by the language Jesus Himself uses when He addresses the frightened disciples in the boat: "Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid." is literally, "Have courage! I am. Do not be afraid." Did you hear that? Jesus identifies Himself with the title, "I am," meant to convey His deity. Mark intends us to get the inference that He is the "I am," the God of the covenant (Exodus 3.14-15). This is the same thing Jesus said to Moses 1500 years earlier: I am who I am, the ever existing One, God himself. Recognition of who Jesus is also means that you recognize what He can do.

Mark 6:49-52 (NASB) But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed that it was a ghost, and cried out; 50 for they all saw Him and were frightened. But immediately He spoke with them and said^ to them, "Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid." 51 And He got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped; and they were greatly astonished, 52 for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened.

The sea appears to have been believed to have been the home of demons and evil spirits (perhaps an indication in the disciples' minds when the pigs threw themselves over the cliffs that the evil spirits were returning to the place from which they had come).

Jesus gets into the boat and suddenly the wind stops, and they are utterly astonished. We find ourselves thinking, Hey, come on guys. Get a clue. How many times does He have to do this before you figure it out? This is God in the flesh. He can do anything. This whole discussion started in chapter 4 when Jesus calmed the sea in the middle of the storm, and they asked the question, "Who is this man that even the wind and the sea obey Him?" These chapters are answering that question. He is the God over demonic enemies when He healed the demoniac. This is the God who has power over disease. This is the God who has power over death. This is the God who can do anything. All you have to do is trust Him. Why were they not getting it? We don't have to guess at that. Mark tells us in:

Mark 6:52 (NASB) for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened.

This reminds us that you have to take the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 together with the miracle of Jesus walking on the water. Mark intended for them to be interpreted together. One was supposed to prepare them for the other. The feeding of the 5,000 was intended that they might gain insight. In other words, He wanted them to learn to trust Him.

"Their heart was hardened" ­ hardened is the Greek word poroo, metaphorically it means: "to make the heart dull; to grow hard, callous, become dull, lose the power of understanding." This is a very strong word. It is used 5 times in the New Testament and 3 of them are referring to non-believers. And remember he is saying this of His Apostles.

Both Mark and John end the incident here with Jesus getting into the boat, the wind ceasing and calm being brought into the situation. John adds that the boat arrived immediately on the west side of the Lake:

John 6:21 (NASB) They were willing therefore to receive Him into the boat; and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.

No wonder "they were greatly astonished" Think about it. They see Jesus walking on the water; He gets into the boat and every thing is calm, and suddenly they are at their destination. That is amazing. This is not your normal everyday stuff.

What is missing from Mark's account of this story of Jesus walking on the water? Peter walking on the water. Matthew is the only writer of the Gospels who records the incident of Peter walking on the water towards Jesus:

Matthew 14:28 (NASB) And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water."

The word "if" is a first class conditional, "since it is you­ command me."

Matthew 14:29-31 (NASB) And He said, "Come!" And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But seeing the wind, he became afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!" 31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"

Let's give Peter some credit at this point, at least he did not try to swim to shore - he cried out, "Lord, save me." Peter's request is a present imperative, a command to keep on saving.

Why didn't Mark record this? Perhaps Peter didn't tell him. Why would Peter have wanted such an incident to go unrecorded? Perhaps because it demonstrated his own lack of faith and his inability to trust Jesus in the difficult situations of life.

Mark 6:53-56 (NASB) And when they had crossed over they came to land at Gennesaret, and moored to the shore. 54 And when they had come out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him, 55 and ran about that whole country and began to carry about on their pallets those who were sick, to the place they heard He was. 56 And wherever He entered villages, or cities, or countryside, they were laying the sick in the market places, and entreating Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were being cured.

I think Mark puts that last paragraph in there to remind us that Jesus just kept doing miracle after miracle after miracle.

We've seen healing coming about through the touching of the fringe of Jesus' garment before when the woman with the flow of blood secretly did the same when there were crowds pressing around Him, hoping that she might not be noticed. She was immediately cleansed of her ailment at that time and it's perhaps possible that the story of her deliverance had been so widely circulated that it had generally come to be accepted that this was a relevant way in which a person might receive healing!

We look at all that these disciples had experienced with Jesus, and we understand the problem was that they were experiencing these miracles, but they were not learning from them. They were experiencing God's faithfulness, but they were not learning from God's faithfulness. They were not gaining insight. It begs the question: How much does Jesus have to do before they get it?

It also begs another question. We have the entire Old Testament. We have the full New Testament story. We have 2,000 years of God's faithfulness in the Church. We have far more today than they had. So let's ask ourselves the question: How much does Jesus have to do before we get it? It is not enough just to experience His faithfulness. It is not enough just to see His miracles. We have to gain insight. We have to learn in order that we might trust Him.

What is there going on in your life today that is just too hard for Jesus? What is it that is so complicated you cannot trust Him?

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