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When Evil Seizes the Moment

Mark 6:21-23

The sinful nature is very cunning. It not only nurtures a desire to do wrong, but it waits for an ideal opportunity to do it (James 1:14-15).  The evil heart-radar of those who ignore God, spots its chance and then blindly seizes it.  It does so, because the sinful heart does not want to see anything outside of itself; it operates in the dark and is intensely resistant to the light of truth (John 3:19-20).

Trapped by Evil

Mark 6:24-29

This sick saga of hatred, intrigue and murder were the end-points of a cascade of pride and passion in which King Herod Antipas willingly participated until he could find no way out (Mark 6:17-29).  He had invited all the important people to his birthday party so that he could look like a generous ruler; which he was not (Mark 6:21).

Come and Rest with Jesus

Mark 6:30-31

Our recent passages (Mark 6:14-29) were a flashback to the beheading of John the Baptist.  That grisly saga started when Herod heard that Jesus had sent out His disciples two by two to different towns to announce the need for repentance (Mark 6:12-13) ... just as John had done!  Perhaps the disciples thought they might be next for execution.

On Holiday with Jesus

Mark 6:32-34

The Christian often expects one thing, but gets another!  For the disciples, the prospect of 'quality time' with the Master after their first experience of being sent out on mission (Mark 6:7-12) would have been a welcome holiday.  Perhaps the boat trip across to the other side of the lake felt like a relaxing cruise.  But not for long!  The crowds who were seeking Jesus (for all kinds of reasons) were so keen that thousands of them ran around the lakeside to form a reception committee when the boat landed.

Jesus is Never Too Late

Mark 6:35-37

The disciples had come to that day, exhausted.  After being sent away in pairs on mission (Mark 6:7-13), they needed to debrief with Jesus and exchange accounts of their experiences with the others (Mark 6:30).  Jesus took them away from the crowds by sailing to a remote beach on the other side of Lake Galilee (Mark 6:31).  Anticipating a 'day off' with Jesus, they got another day's work as thousands followed on foot!  Jesus taught the crowds, satisfying their hungry souls (Mark 6:32-34).  As the afternoon drew on, the disciples may well have been thinking about their own stomachs or perhap

What do you have for the Lord to use?

Mark 6:38-44

Five thousand families had gathered to hear the Lord Jesus and towards the end of the afternoon they were hungry.  It was a wild and lonely place with no nearby town where the disciples could purchase supplies.  So, Jesus sent them off to find out how much food the people had brought with them.  The response hardly represented a banquet!  John tells us that the only supplies were a young boy's lunch picnic (John 6:9), which he was willing to give to Jesus.  It was a pitifully small amount, but that is how God often works – indeed, if we could do everything with our own resources, we would n

Alone Again But Not Alone

Mark 6:45-46

The 5000 families had been fed, the disciples were refreshed, but Jesus had another appointment.  He needed time with His Father, and that needed to be alone.  Jesus had not come to wow the crowd but to please His Father ... and so the pressing priority was to pray.  There was no protracted celebration of the miraculous feast; instead, the disciples were dispatched across the lake in a boat - immediately!  They also had an appointment - with alone-ness – and after that, with Jesus.

Always in Sight

Mark 6:47-50a

Jesus was by Himself on the mountainside, praying, while the disciples were getting into heavy weather on the lake.  The sails had come down and they manned the oars to keep the boat's head into the wind: lest the waves should come sideways, to swamp their vessel and sink them.  But Jesus knew all about it ... whatever they felt about needing to save themselves ... He was planning to do that job for them.

Amazed and Hard-hearted

Mark 6:50b-52

Exhausted people don't always make good decisions. After the disciples had served a miraculous picnic of bread and fish to five thousand families (Mark 6:39-44), Jesus told them to go back to Gennesaret by boat while He stayed up a mountain to pray (Mark 6:45-46).  It was a windy night on the Sea of Galilee.  The sail came down and they were soon rowing hard against the westerly gusts (Mark 6:48).  They were very tired and saw a shape coming towards them in the darkness.  As it drew closer, they saw it was the figure of a man, walking on water, in the middle of the night.  

Loving Kindness can Soften Hard Hearts

Mark 6:52-56

The disciples had a problem.  They had hard hearts (Mark 6:52).  Despite being with Jesus, hearing His teaching and witnessing His miracles, they were operating like roadies, the support team for Jesus: they helped Him but did not realise that He wanted them to become like Him (1 John 3:2).  They served Him but did not know Him, incapable of appreciating the wonder of being with the Creator of the universe (Colossians 1:16).  Hardness of heart was the recurring problem of God's people in the Old Testament.  They knew the truth but did not want to obey (Zechariah 7:12).  In the same way, the

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