Summary: The tension between our quest for tranquility and the pressures of responsibility and loving others is an inexact science, but we must do our best to seek the balance, which may be different for each one of us.

The Quest for Tranquility

(Mark 6:45-55)

1. We had a great time in Virginia — suburban Washington DC — at Hannah’s wedding.

2. We love our new son-in-law and got to live next door to Luke and Sarah at hotel.

3. Family came from Chicago, and friends came from Kokomo. It was odd seeing them all “out there.”

4. The wedding and reception were both beautiful and creative.

5. As joyful as the occasion was, weddings are a lot of stress. Much needs to be done and much can go wrong. Fortunately, stuff got done and nothing major went wrong.

6. I was stressed between a funeral in Chicago the week before camp, a week away at camp, and a week away in Virginia. The 700 mile drive and the crazy streets of Reston, VA were on my mind as well.

7. Part of the package of meaningful and enjoyable events in life is stress.

8. What stress you out most? It might be something very different from what stresses me out. Things both good and bad can stress us.

9. Jesus and his disciples were stressed by something very good, ministry.

Michael Brown writes:

"Jesus spent a tremendous amount of his time pouring himself out for those who were severely ill, crippled, lame, blind, and even demonized - a ministry not nearly as glamorous as it sounds. These were often the outcasts, the untouchables, the beggars, the wretched; people with terrible wounds and sores and disfiguring skin conditions; screaming lunatics and wild men; epileptics tormented with seizures, foaming at the mouth. At times the stench of sickness and death must have been unbearable. At other times the horrific sights of twisted bodies and sightless eyes must have been overwhelming. And the crowds never stopped coming to him with their sick and dying family members and friends, even removing the roof of a house to get a paralytic to Jesus when there was no other way to reach him because of the throngs (Mark 2:1-12). And the text records that Yeshua healed them all!" (Michael Brown, Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, Volume 3 [Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 2003], p. 74)

10. His disciples were stressed to. In a previous text, we find out they could not even enjoy a relaxing meal (Mark 6:31).

11. They had not done physical work, but emotional, spiritual, and mental stress is perhaps the worst kind. It plugs up our arteries with cholesterol, works up our blood pressure, and makes it difficult even to rest when we have a moment.

Main Idea: The tension between our quest for tranquility and the pressures of responsibility and loving others is an inexact science, but we must do our best to seek the balance, which may be different for each one of us.

I. Jesus Attempt to Buy Himself and His Disciples TIME to Relax Was Not Too Successful (45-56)

A. Previously, the crowds followed him into the WILDERNESS (see 6:30-45)

B. Now he sent his disciples into a boat to get away and he went to pray on a MOUNTAIN

C. His plan was to walk on the water to be ALONE (48c)

1. Desperate times call for desperate measures

2. Only instance of him walking on water, wanted to help them incognito

3. BTW, Mark’s information comes mostly from Peter, but in Mark’s Gospel, he does not mention Peter walking on water or Christ complementing him as his leading disciple — humility?

D. Jesus COMPASSION altered his plan

1. Middle of the night

2. Ship visible from the mountain height

3. He would walk to help them; he had planned to walk across alone

4. Compassion often means we must alter our plans…

E. The disciples continued to be SURPRISED at Jesus’ miraculous power

1. They thought he was a ghost

2. He calmed the sea, and they were surprised, even though had done so before

F. After A Brief Rest, They Began to MINISTER Again

1. Main purpose of rest, holidays, and vacations is to rejuvinate

2. The crowds returned

3. Touching his tzitzits (tassels, wings) of his garment granted healing

(see Malachi 4:2)

II. Tranquility is Elusive, But the Lord is On Our SIDE

“quality or state of being tranquil; calmness; peacefulness; quiet; serenity”

A. God allows TESTING to break the tranquility

1. Because God interrupts tranquility doesn’t mean we should give up on seeking it — delay not same as cancellation; time for everything under sun

2. Early years: afraid to go on vacation — a death wish on others

B. Jesus arises to address his disciples DISTRESS

1. Last week, I heard there was a “What A Friend We Have in Jesus” binge

2. We need that kind of binge, we need to be reminded of Phil. 4:4-8

C. Like Jesus, we should embrace the concept of RELAXATION to unwind

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