Summary: The storms of life often come as a direct result of our obedience to Christ. Remember, he’s got his eye on you. You aren’t alone. He allowed you to face this storm for a purpose. Often that purpose is to let you get a glimpse of his glory when he pass
Enduring The Storms
On the Path of Obedience
Last week we looked on as Jesus taught his men that if they were going to follow him they would have to be both Obedient and Attentive. In other words they would have to listen to God for direction and obey, but they must also keep their eyes on him in case he takes a turn or moves in another direction.
So even though Jesus brought his disciples to the other side of the lake for a little R and R, the game plan changed as thousands of people followed them and showed up at their retreat site. Rather than being upset or inconvenienced, Jesus had compassion on the crowd. According to another gospel he taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed their sick.
The apostles also learned another invaluable lesson about following Jesus that day. It was a lesson we need to learn as well. IF we are going to follow Jesus we must exchange Self-Sufficiency for God-Dependency.
It was getting late in the day and the apostles, still thinking about why they were supposed to be there to begin with, came to Jesus and counseled him to send the people away to buy some food. But Jesus surprised them again by saying, “You give them something to eat.” The apostles estimated it would take 8 months of a man’s wages to buy enough food for all these people. So Jesus asked them how much food they had on hand. They came back with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.
With their Self-Sufficient mindset, they thought, “game over.” But what Jesus wanted them to understand was that he was the all sufficient one. In him all things are possible.
So Jesus thanked God for the food and proceeded to feed everyone more than enough that day. In fact there were 12 baskets filled with broken pieces left over.
As long as we operate our lives based on what we can do, or figure out, or handle, we cannot go where God is leading us. God is taking us on a journey through a land where impossibilities are made possible.
What are you facing today that seems irreversibly hopeless?
What obstacle is blocking the road on your journey of faith?
Listen! God is calling you to trust him enough to obey him—pay close enough attention to him to adjust when he changes course—and depend on him for everything. He is more than sufficient to accomplish what concerns you today!
As we continue to press on through the book of Mark this morning, I want you to be impressed by the continuity of this book. The flow is perfect.
If you need to hear and learn the same lessons the apostles did about obeying, continuing to be attentive and depending on God through it all, then what Jesus is about to teach his apostles will be right up your ally. Because class is still in session for these men and they have much to learn, as do you and I.
Let’s continue in Mark, beginning in chapter 6, verse 45.
Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.
When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified.
Immediately he spoke to them and said, "Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid." Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.
When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.
Mark tells us as soon as Jesus finishes feeding the multitude of people he sent his disciples on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.
Two words grab my attention right off. The first word is immediately. Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat. There was a sense of urgency in Jesus’ actions here. He went from demonstrating patient compassion for this crowd of people, taking the time to make sure everyone was fed, to immediately dismissing the crowd.