Summary: Although Jesus needed some R and R by sailing away to a different location on the lake, He wound up ministering to the needy multitude, by puting others first and Himself last.
WEARY WAYFARERS WELCOMED
I. RESPECTFUL: Mark 6:30-32
C. Retreating? Mark 6:32
II. RABBLE: Mark 6:33
III. REDEEMER: Mark 6:34
Good news from afar-that is the way Mark opens this part of his gospel story regarding Jesus, His disciples and the many who came to seek Him.
They, the disciples, had been away on a preaching tour and they come back to Jesus with their good news about what they had seen and did. While telling Him of their good news, there were other events unfolding as the disciples were busy trying to handle the many needs of the people who constantly flocked around the Master and His followers, even as they were telling Him of their success. In their excitement, Jesus saw something which had escaped the disciples-the wear and the tear that their work was bringing upon them. He saw the signs of exhaustion, of physical overexertion and of the consequences that these things would have upon His beloved if they did not stop and rest a bit.
Regardless of the many demands of the people that still were not met, He told His men that they needed some good R and R and commanded them to do as He ordered. It was in their best interest to follow what He was trying to tell them and so they complied with His instructions.
As I study the passage before us, I see three things about this Scripture that intrigues me. The first thing I note is how RESPECTFUL Jesus was to those whom He loved so dearly. The next thing of note is that the RABBLE did not know that they were part of the reason for the group’s departure, and decided to follow the Master and the disciples when ever they could. Lastly, I note that the Lord, although still tired, rose to the occasion as the REDEEMER of the world and put aside His wishes and began to help the multitude again. Surely, there was no rest for the weary in this passage of Scripture.
* THE RESPECTFUL: Jesus was always the Gentleman of the Bible. He always took others’ welfare into consideration and always wished the best for those whom He met-even His enemies. These verses of Scriptures give us further insight into how Respectful He was to those with whom He worked.
The first thing I note is that He Received the good news from His followers in a joyous manner. He listened intently as they told Him of the exploits that they had done. They must have reminded Him of little children who run home to tell dad about something that they encountered which made their day and dad listens with great interest in their telling him of the simplest joys that they just received.
Next, I noticed that He soon Remonstrated with His followers by stopping their excessiveness and commanded that they should cease and desist their work immediately and go away for some rest. This was the farthest thing from their mind at that time-to stop what they were doing and go away for some quiet time. They were having the time of their lives and were so into their charges and to stop all and go away was not on the agenda. They must have wondered if Jesus had really been listening to them after all. Yet, without questioning Him, they complied and got into a boat and began to sail away. I wonder how much of a chatter they continued even on the water?
The third item of this Respectful Man’s habits was His concern for His disciples’ safety. He had just heard how Herod had beheaded John and He knew His time had not come. Why put the disciples at risk now by Him being captured and maybe them also? In order to avoid the chance of ruining everything now, He Retreated across the waters to safety-for Himself and His followers.
** THE RABBLE: The scene now shifts from the Respected one to the Rabble. They were with Him and His disciples and were enjoying the company of these thirteen dedicated men. Suddenly, these miracle workers, these kind men, these hard working men were leaving without any explanation. In Mark 4:36, Jesus and the disciples sent the people away, while a few of the many got into boats and sailed with the Master and His devotees, but here, the Master and His followers simply got into boats and left by themselves.
However, the Rabble, the crowd, was not going to give up so easily. They really wanted to be with Jesus and His disciples and they were determined to find them.
Mark says that they saw them-the disciples and Jesus-they saw them leave. In the midst of so much going on, with this one coming and that one going and another asking and another repeating, while others were bringing friends and neighbors to these kind men, suddenly, the thirteen began to shut things down and made their way to a nearby, moored boat. The Rabble stood and looked with amazement as Jesus and His disciples pushed away from the shore. Still standing and still watching, the Rabble saw which way the boat was heading and the people knew the area well enough to discern which way that that particular boat load of passengers were going to land. Their Recognition of Jesus and the disciples in that one boat must have been phenomenal. There were many boats on the lake like always, yet this mob of people zeroed in on one boat and they Recognized Him from the shore. They were not going to be easily dissuaded and once they determined where His landing area was going to be, they responded accordingly.