Summary: Most people miss what Jesus did immediately after he and Peter walked on water. He and his disciple went to Gennesaret and healed many people
Do what you need to do to get God’s attention!
Today we are going to be looking at about the smallest passage of scripture I believe I have ever preached from. It is just 80 words and it is only 4 verses in length but what great truth it contains!
The part of the chapter that usually gets preached is the preceding verses where Jesus is seen walking on water by the disciples and Peter asks Jesus permission to go out on the water and do the same and Jesus says “Come”. We all know that Peter took his eyes off Jesus for an instant and looked at the waves and began to sink. Jesus then reached down and rescued him from drowning. That part is preached often. However the part that we will be looking at is what happens after Jesus steps into the boat and they land on shore a while later. Walking on water is a marvelous miracle but we are going to see that there were far many more truly blessed miracles once they got ashore.
Jesus and his disciples had been on the northeastern side of the Sea of Galilea in the previous chapters. Over there Jesus had healed the man possessed by a legion of demons. Just prior to where we are here John the Baptist was ordered beheaded by Herod who made a very stupid promise during a lavish banquet. Salome who danced at his party asked for the head of John the Baptist to appease her mother Herodias whom John the Baptist had publicly rebuked Herod for marrying because she was his brother’s wife. When Herodias got the chance to get even she did. John’s disciples then came and took his body and laid it in a tomb. Jesus at the same time had sent out his 12 disciples into the countryside to tell everyone that the kingdom of God was at hand.
Many, many people responded to the disciple’s message. We also find in this same 6th chapter of Mark- Jesus feeding a crowd of 5000 people from 5 loaves and 2 fish late in the afternoon. Once taught and fed Jesus then dismissed the crowd and his disciples so he could go up into the mountainside to pray. He sent the disciples out to cross the Sea of Galilea where he met them walking on the water. So that is the history leading up to where we now are in Mark chapter 6.
Jesus and the disciples disembarked from the boat and entered a small region and town that was all called by the same name- Gennesaret. It was actually 3 things – a valley, plain and a town by the same name. It was an area just two miles wide and four miles long. It doesn’t seem too impressive in scripture- but it actually was. Gennesaret was one of the most beautiful spots in all of Israel. It was a lush, fertile and beautiful place and for its size it had a great number of residents. The rabbis of Isreal often referred to it as the “Garden of God” not to be confused with Garden of Eden which had been closed for thousands of years. It was a kind of paradise. It had mineral pools and sick people went there or were sent there for its medicinal water and care.
Now to the 1st point of how to get God’s attention. The second of our 4 verses says “As soon as they got out of the boat people recognized Jesus.” How does anyone get God’s attention? # 1st You must recognize Jesus.
Anyone who wants God’s attention must come to God through Christ Jesus and must recognize Jesus as the Son of God. It is impossible for anyone to get to God or gain his attention without going through Jesus. Jesus said “I am the way, truth and life-no one comes unto the father but through me. The two must be and do go hand in hand. I Timothy 2:5 states “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men-the man Jesus Christ who gave himself as a ransom for all men.
Anyone who seeks God must come to him only thru his Son. You cannot circumvent or go around Jesus.
The people of Gennesaret recognized Jesus as the Son of God and they accepted him as the Messiah. We always think that all of Israel rejected her Savior. While the majority did- a very large number didn’t reject Jesus . Remember when Jesus was on trial? Remember how the crowd and the mob out shouted those who pleaded for Jesus? There were those who cried out for Jesus but they were out shouted because the Pharisees had salted the crowd with hecklers. But you need to know that Jesus was a very popular, very well known and very visible person. Thousands upon thousands of Jewish citizenry had seen him in the countryside however the Bible says many of the city dwellers especially those in Jerusalem wondered who he was when he entered their city.