April 16 2020: Mark 6:1-44 Recap
As we jump back into our Awe & Wonder Series, I want to remind those who have been keeping up with our sermons where we last left off because we’re going to jump back into our series starting at chapter 6 verse 45. So, what happened in the first 44 verses of the chapter? Having not preached in this series since late February (because we transitioned to a stewardship series and then an Easter series which lasted about 8 weeks), there’s a few things, I would want to remind our community of.
I was hoping to add this to my introduction of my next sermon but after thinking through everything this text has taught us, I figured it would be impossible. Even what I have written down here is not all that the text offers us but a snap shot of what we have learned so far!
This is the story of Jesus heading back to his home town Nazareth for a second time and being rejected again by his own people (I’m not adding the biblical text but feel free to look up the reference yourself if you have more questions about the text). And we see interesting phrasing that Mark uses here!
- V2: Many who heard him were astonished
- V3: And they took offense at him
- V6: And He marveled at their unbelief
These are common reactions to Jesus. Many after first encountering the wisdom of Jesus are utterly amazed (astonished). I think if you’ve never read the words of Jesus before, take some time to study the sermon on the mount and discuss it with a pastor. It will utterly change your life! But many people stay there, “He’s just a good teacher.”
Some people are offended. Jesus cuts through the pretense of PC culture. He doesn’t say you’re perfect and special. He calls you a rebel and broken, a child of darkness. Incredible offensive and where the Christian and unbelieving witnesses would differ is on whether this statement is true and what is the solution to this problem.
Many leave Jesus not believing who he says he is (unbelieving). Jesus is not just some prophet and wise person, nor is he just a provocateur. He is the son of God who takes away our brokenness and rebellion. We are to experience Him as Lord and Savior, the one who went to the cross on our behalf to take our place so we might be brought into the family of God (Big Gospel Idea)
After Jesus is rejected, they all leave and He sends out his twelve apostles (his closest disciples and followers). He gave them the charge to take nothing and to be thankful to those who house them on their journey. They went out and did three things: proclaim the gospel, cast out demons and heal the sick.
He sends them out with very little and to stay at the accommodations God has prepared for them, rejecting what religious leaders did at the time (finding the best house in the village to stay at going from home to home) and trusting fully in God who will provide for all their needs. It prompts the question to us, do we trust Jesus as He sends us out to proclaim the gospel (Jesus loved us so much he died in our place to set us free from the evil one, sin and death)?
Disciples go out and they start fixing the brokenness in the world. Those who are controlled by demons and sickness they set free! They preach the gospel that people should turn from the ways they tried to live their lives without God and turn back to God (repent) verse 12. This is our job today as Christ followers, to go out proclaim people should turn back to God, the maker of heaven and earth, heal the sick and help fix the broken. We are to go in the power and authority of Jesus (Big Gospel Idea).
The apostles of Jesus go out and begin to do these wonderous things and the word spreads about it. Mark takes us on a ‘side story’ where Herod Antipas (son of Herod the Great), a ruler of one-fourth of his father’s kingdom, hears of what Jesus and the apostles are doing and gets the jitters because he believes John the Baptist (cousin of Jesus) has come back from the dead to be a thorn in his side because he killed him!
Mark then goes into the story of how John the Baptist, the man Jesus considers to be the best man on earth, dies: By Herod’s niece (his daughter in-law) dancing, sexually, for him during a birthday banquet Herod threw for himself to honor himself. He’s so ‘thrilled’ he says, he would give her anything she wants and she, by her mother’s command, asks for John’s head.
The most righteous, best man on earth (considered by Jesus himself) is beheaded after being locked up because he spoke truth to power, calling out Herod’s scummy behaviour. Many believe that if you’re righteous and good and perfect, you’ll live a full, long life, filled with blessings. John’s life teaches us otherwise.
And if the story ended there, it would be a tragedy. But we believe it doesn’t. As followers of Jesus, we believe we have eternal life through his life, death and resurrection and when we stand before God on judgement day, we will look to Jesus who will speak on our behalf. What could be better for John than Jesus who speaks on his behalf calling him the greatest of men? Our faith bids us come and die to ourselves because our prosperity is in the words of Jesus on our final first day as we wait to hear, “Well done, Good and Faithful Servant”. Live your life for the audience of one: King Jesus!
We return to the main storyline where Jesus’ apostles come back and report to him. Jesus suggests leaving to find some rest only to cross by boat to find a great crowd who ‘were like sheep without a shepherd’ (v34 ESV). He teaches them and as it grows late, commands his disciples to feed them. With nothing but five loaves of bread and two fish, Jesus multiplies the food and feeds five thousand men and thousands of women and children as well.
In this passage we see the great care Jesus has in every aspect of his mission. It is shown well that He is the God of Love!
- He cares about his apostles’ work as they come back and report to him ‘all that they had done and taught’
- He cares about his apostles’ rest for ‘many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.’
- He sees the crowd and ‘he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.’ He teaches them caring for their spiritual health
- He sees the hunger of the crowd and doesn’t send them away hungry but cares finally for their physical health.
We as followers of Christ are to care for those around us as Christ cared for us, sheep without a shepherd, enemies of God and children of darkness. He saw us and loved us and cared for every aspect of our lives. He fed us emotionally, spiritually and physically caring for both our work and our rest!
And that’s it folks! We’re all caught up for our Sunday’s service! I hope you’ve enjoyed reminding yourself of what we’ve learned so far. If you want to hear our previous sermons, you had head over to our sermon archive page where you can scroll down to Awe & Wonder and hear those 4 sermons and how we discuss in greater detail the text of the bible! Looking forward to jumping back into the text with you come Sunday! Have a great rest of your week!
Parkland Community Church:
We Exist to Develop People Who Love Jesus and Serve Others.