Text: Mark 6:30-46 and Matthew 14:23-36
Event(s): Return of the twelve, feeding of the 5,000, Jesus walks on water
Mark 6:30 “both what they had done and what they had taught” Full, complete, effective ministry involves both what we do and what we say. Actions, or the works of ministry, should always accompany our message.
Mark 6:31 “and rest a while” What a great model to follow from such a caring Teacher and Lord. We have to remember, He is Lord of ALL, and yes, we are invited to partner with Him, but it doesn’t all depend on us. When we start to believe that we have to “do it all” or that we can’t stop, or when we start to feel guilty for taking much needed breaks, we’ve begun to drift and our attention has begun to shift on ourselves instead of on Him.
Mark 6:38 “how many loaves you do you have?” From the parallel account of this event recorded in the Gospel of John, we learn this was the food that belonged to a young boy.
Mark 6:43 “and they took up twelve baskets full of fragments” God is very much a “pick up the fragments that nothing be wasted” kind of God. Even those parts of our lives that seem like they were a waste to us, or seem like they had no purpose, He will use them and cause ALL things to work together for good.
Matthew 14:25 “in the fourth watch of the night” The fourth watch begins at 3:00am and runs until 6:00am. I’m quite a heavy sleeper, but there are times I find myself waking up – wide awake – at 3am just to find myself unable to fall back asleep. I used to get frustrated but then, I remembered that in the Bible, 3am is the fourth watch of the night and it was then that Peter stepped out for the boat and walked on water. It was also in the middle of the night God led the children of Israel out of Egypt and parted the water before them. What we often consider interruptions or inconveniences are actually divine invitations.
Today’s Takeaway: Today’s passages really highlight how we are able to experience the impossible with God – to Whom nothing is impossible. Much like the woman with the issue of blood, who caught a glimpse of what she was believing for in the life of the little 12 year old girl, we too can catch a glimpse of what we are hoping and believing for by seeing these miracles Jesus performed with the food and with Peter walking on water. The key is to keep our eyes on Jesus and to pay attention to the promptings we feel that are outside of the ordinary. For it’s in those moments He may very well be inviting us to walk closer with Him. Watch for – listen for – be alert for the unexpected moments, and let us keep our faith stirred to believe God for the impossible.
Additional (optional) reading: The full parallel accounts of these events can be found by reading Matthew 14:13-36, Luke 9:10-17 and John 6:1-21