Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Jesus prays for you when you can’t pray for yourself Jesus puts you where you don’t always want to be Jesus sees you when you can’t see Him

The Drawing Power of Jesus

Mark 6:45-56

Rev. Brian Bill

July 16-17, 2016

Have you ever noticed that grandparents love to show pictures of their grandchildren to every one they meet? It’s like they can’t help it. I’ve never understood that so now that Beth and I are first-time grandparents I’m going to resist inundating you with pictures of our grandson named Philip…OK, that didn’t last. Have I shown you pictures of Pip?

Pictures capture moments in time and help us remember key events. Two weeks ago, Pastor Ed gave us a snapshot of John the Baptist and challenged us to always speak the truth, no matter the consequences. Last weekend Pastor Tim gave us a picture of how Jesus multiplied a young lad’s lunchable into a meal for a multitude in order to teach us that with Christ the impossible is always possible.

Mark 6:43 tells us what happened after every one was done eating: “And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish.” Each of the disciples filled a doggy bag to remind them of what Jesus had done.

As we dive into our passage today we’re going to be served a seven course spiritual meal as we simply walk through these verses and allow God’s Word to feed us. Are you ready to eat?

1. Obey even when you don’t understand. Let’s begin in Mark 6:45: “Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.” Mark loves to use the word “immediately” to help us see that Jesus moves quickly from one encounter to the next. In this case it seems rather abrupt, doesn’t it? After this amazing miracle, we read that Jesus “made his disciples get into the boat.” This is the word for “compelled” and has the idea of the disciples being pushed into the boat. In Matthew 8:18, it says that Jesus “gave orders” to them.

Too many of us want to know all the details before we decide to obey. It’s like we have to figure out the why instead of just saying, “God, whatever you want me to do, I’ll do it.”

I’m sure this doesn’t make sense to the disciples but frankly it doesn’t have to. John 6:14-15 reveals that the people wanted “to take Jesus by force” and make Him king. Jesus deploys the disciples and then he dismisses the crowd because He doesn’t want any part of a political coup.

Are you struggling with obedience today? Is there anything you’re resisting simply because it doesn’t make sense to you? Keep Isaiah 55:8-9 in mind: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” You may be spiritually stuck simply because you’re demanding to understand before you’ll obey.

2. Jesus prays for you when you can’t pray for yourself. Look at verse 46: “And after He had taken leave of them, He went up on the mountain to pray.” We saw earlier in Mark 1:35 that it was the custom of Christ to meet with His Father in prayer: “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” He unplugged from others in order to plug into prayer.

The Bible says that there are at least three things that Jesus prays for.

• For our faith to not fail. In Luke 22:31-32, Jesus says to Peter: “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

• That we stay away from sin and Satan. Jesus prays for His followers in John 17:15: “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.”

• That we experience undivided unity. The heart of Jesus is for harmony among the family of faith as seen in John 17:20-21: “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, [that’s you and me] that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” When we exhibit oneness, our witness to the world will be powerful and palpable.

I attended a community-wide prayer time last Sunday night at Word of Life Church in Rock Island. It was put together in response to the racial tension in our country and in the Quad Cities. Approximately 100 people of various races attended, including pastors from many different churches. I had the privilege of being one of the pastors to lead in prayer and started by reading Ephesians 2:14: “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility…”

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