Jesus promised to give rest to the weary... but you might not get it when you want it.
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Mark 6 (ESV)
1 He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him.
2 And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue,
and many who heard him were astonished, saying,
“Where did this man get these things?
What is the wisdom given to him?
How are such mighty works done by his hands?
3 Is not this the carpenter,
the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon?
And are not his sisters here with us?”
And they took offense at him.
4 And Jesus said to them,
“A prophet is not without honor,
except in his hometown
and among his relatives and in his own household.”
5 And he could do no mighty work there,
except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them.
6 And he marveled because of their unbelief.
And he went about among the villages teaching.
7 And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two,
and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.
8 He charged them to take nothing for their journey
except a staff—
no bread, no bag, no money in their belts—
9 but to wear sandals
and not put on two tunics.
10 And he said to them, “Whenever you enter a house,
stay there until you depart from there.
11 And if any place
will not receive you
and they will not listen to you,
when you leave,
shake off the dust that is on your feet
as a testimony against them.”
12 So they went out
and proclaimed that people should repent.
13 And they
cast out many demons
and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.
14 King Herod heard of it, for Jesus’ name had become known.
“John the Baptist has been raised from the dead.
That is why these miraculous powers are at work in him.”
15 But others said, “He is Elijah.”
And others said, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.”
16 But when Herod heard of it, he said, “John,
whom I beheaded,
has been raised.”
17 For it was Herod who had
sent and seized John and bound him in prison
for the sake of Herodias,
his brother Philip’s wife,
because he had married her.
18 For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
19 And Herodias
had a grudge against him
and wanted to put him to death.
But she could not, 20 for Herod feared John,
knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe.
When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed, and yet he heard him gladly.
21 But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his nobles and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee.
22 For when Herodias’s daughter came in and danced,
she pleased Herod and his guests.
And the king said to the girl,
“Ask me for whatever you wish,
and I will give it to you.”
23 And he vowed to her,
“Whatever you ask me,
I will give you, up to half of my kingdom.”
24 And she went out and said to her mother,
“For what should I ask?”
And she said, “The head of John the Baptist.”
25 And she came in immediately with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me
of John the Baptist
on a platter.”
26 And the king was exceedingly sorry,
but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her.
27 And immediately the king sent
with orders to bring John’s head.
and beheaded him in the prison
28 and brought his head on a platter
and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother.
29 When his disciples heard of it,
they came and took his body
and laid it in a tomb.
30 The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught.
31 And he said to them,
“Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.”
For many were coming and going,
and they had no leisure even to eat.
32 And they went away
in the boat
to a desolate place
33 Now many saw them going and recognized them,
and they ran there on foot from all the towns
and got there ahead of them.
34 When he went ashore
he saw a great crowd,
and he had compassion on them,
because they were
without a shepherd.
And he began to teach them many things.
35 And when it grew late,
his disciples came to him and said,
“This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late.
36 Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”
37 But he answered them,
“You give them something to eat.”
And they said to him,
“Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread
and give it to them to eat?”
38 And he said to them,
“How many loaves do you have? Go and see.”
And when they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.”
39 Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass.
40 So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties.
41 And taking the five loaves and the two fish,
he looked up to heaven and said a blessing
and broke the loaves
and gave them to the disciples to set before the people.
And he divided the two fish among them all.
42 And they all ate and were satisfied.
43 And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish.
44 And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.
he made his disciples get into the boat
and go before him to the other side,
while he dismissed the crowd.
46 And after he had taken leave of them,
he went up on the mountain to pray.
47 And when evening came,
the boat was out on the sea,
and he was alone on the land.
48 And he saw that
they were making headway painfully,
for the wind was against them.
And about the fourth watch of the night
he came to them,
walking on the sea.
He meant to pass by them,
49 but when they saw him walking on the sea
they thought it was a ghost, and cried out,
50 for they all saw him
and were terrified.
But immediately he spoke to them and said,
“Take heart; it is I.
Do not be afraid.”
51 And he got into the boat with them,
and the wind ceased.
And they were utterly astounded,
52 for they did not understand about the loaves,
but their hearts were hardened.
53 When they had crossed over,
they came to land at Gennesaret and moored to the shore.
54 And when they got out of the boat,
the people immediately recognized him
55 and ran about the whole region
and began to bring the sick people
on their beds
to wherever they heard he was.
56 And wherever he came,
in villages, cities, or countryside,
they laid the sick in the marketplaces
and implored him
that they might touch even the fringe of his garment.
And as many as touched it were made well.
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Mark 6 Summary
v1-6 - Jesus is rejected by His home town.
v7-13 - Jesus sends His disciples out to preach two by two.
v14-29 - John the Baptist is executed to make good on a drunken boast.
v30-45 - Jesus and the disciples try to get away for some well deserved rest, only to be met by a crowd of over 5,000 who are hungry to be taught, and then just plain hungry. Jesus satisfies both aspects of their hunger.
v46-52 - Jesus sends the disciples back across the lake so that He could spend time in prayer. As they struggle into the wind, Jesus catches up by walking on the water.
v53-56 - The news Jesus is coming precedes His arrival, and every medical case from miles around is waiting for Him when He arrives.
And Jesus said to the disciples, “Come away by yourselves to a quiet place and rest a little.” For many were coming and going, and they had no time even to eat. - v31
Imagine how good this offer sounded to the disciples. They'd done the hard work of ministry, which likely had been accepted by some but rejected by most. Things have been so busy that they didn't even have time to eat.
They set out on the boat to find a quiet spot on the lake, only to be greeted by another onslaught of needy people who've all converged in the middle of nowhere.
Yet Jesus, who's likely just as tired, if not more so, than the disciples doesn't roll His eyes or mutter under His breath when He sees their getaway has been ruined. Rather,
When Jesus saw the massive crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. - v34
Jesus came to offer you true peace and rest, but He might not give it to you exactly when you want it or think you need it the most. Pray that you will see the situations you face in life through His compassionate eyes, and then dig in and do the work He's called you to do.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The One who leaves men stunned and astonished (v51)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will see problems as opportunities and have the energy to share the peace and compassion of Christ.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: