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Mark - Lesson 10

  • Thomas Klock Harvest Ministries
  • 2007 21 Sep
  • COMMENTS
Mark - Lesson 10

Lesson 10

Compassion and Faith

Mark 6:30–56

 

Son of Man, Son of God

Studies in Mark’s Gospel

 

LAST WEEK IN REVIEW

The first half of Mark 6 showed us much about the heart of unbelief and compromise.  Jesus’ own family and others He had grown up with rejected Him.  Rather than letting this harsh rejection derail His ministry in Galilee, Jesus instead multiplied it!  He sent out the twelve disciples in pairs to be able to cover more ground there.  This mission gave the disciples training in how to serve and live by faith, and it is the final push being made by Jesus into the Galilee area, for He was now transitioning away from ministry there.  Sadly we read of the execution of John the Baptist under Herod.  Herod’s evil wife Herodias (whom he shouldn’t even have married) was the force behind this plot to murder John.  She used everyone to accomplish her purposes, even her own daughter who danced provocatively in front of Herod and his guests!  It accomplished what Herodias wanted: the silencing of the voice that had repeatedly rebuked Herod and herself for their sin.  Yet the chapter continued on from there, and that is where we will pick up this week.  This is a chapter from which we can learn a lot about having a true heart of compassion, but also in which we see faith tested and many ministered to despite the enemy’s efforts to stop His work in its tracks.  Let’s turn to it now and learn what we can apply to our lives today from these things.  We look this week at a heart of faith and compassion.

 

 

DAY ONE:  Return and Rest

Please carefully read Mark 6:30-32 and answer the following questions.

 

1.  What happened when the apostles returned from their mission (v. 30)?

 

2.  What did Jesus prescribe for His men, and why (v. 31, 32)?

 

3.  These men as well as Jesus Himself needed rest in view of the stress of all that had been going on.  The Greek word for rest is in the middle voice, literally meaning refresh yourselves, rest up; a deserted place (or desert in the kjv) isn’t a desert in the sense we use the word, but a deserted place, solitary, lonely, uninhabited,[i] the kind of place for an “over-wrought, exhausted Christian worker. How solicitous Jesus was for His tired servants. He Himself was careful to take His needed rest. It is the duty of His servants to do so also. The Devil would wear us out before our time, if he could.”[ii]

 

This helps us see that Jesus is concerned for His followers’ physical well-being, taking into account our physical limitations. Jesus never encouraged His disciples to pamper themselves, nor did He encourage laziness![iii]  There was a saying many years back about being “burned out for Christ,” letting Him completely exhaust us in service.  While that sounds spiritual, rest is important to successful service and Christian living.  The Old Testament law commanded one day in seven to rest, and also the observance of several holidays set aside on which to rest and regain strength.  What did Isaiah record about this rest and renewal we all need (Isaiah 40:28-31)?

 

4.  What are some further important things that we read from the following passages about times of rest and renewal in our lives?

 

Psalm 37:7; Jeremiah 6:16

Matthew 11:28-30

Hebrews 4:9-11


Scripture Memory:  This week we will be memorizing Mark 6:34.  Review the passage several times throughout the day each day this week, and by the end of the week, you should have it memorized completely.

 

And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.   Mark 6:34, nkjv

 

DAY TWO:  A Heart of Compassion

Please carefully read Mark 6:33-37 and answer the following questions.

 

1.  Despite Jesus’ attempt to find rest for Himself and His men, what happened (v. 33)?

 

2.  How did Jesus respond to this delay (v. 34)?  In contrast, what was the disciples’ reaction to this (v. 35, 36)?

 

3.  What challenge did Jesus set before the disciples, and what was their reaction to this challenge (v. 37)?

 

4.  In human terms, Jesus had the right to be upset and ignore the needs of the crowd or react like the disciples did, wanting them sent away.  Even 200 denarii (the equivalent of about eight months’ wages today[iv]) couldn’t provide them all even a snack!  Yet Jesus looked at these people not with human vision, but from the compassion of His heart.  The Greek phrase for moved with compassion literally means to be moved as to one’s bowels, or to be moved with or have compassion (the bowels were thought to be the seat of love and pity); it also can be translated to feel deeply or viscerally (in the gut), to yearn, have compassion and pity.  This phrase is used in the New Testament only by or about Jesus, and suggests not just pity for someone but His practical help for the one pitied.[v]  It is interesting that Jesus began by teaching these people, for their spiritual need was greatest at that moment, but He didn’t ignore their physical needs. 

 

What are some things you glean as you read the following passages about the compassion God has for us as sheep, lost and drifting without a shepherd?  Record your thoughts about this.

Psalm 86:15

Isaiah 49:14-16

Isaiah 53:4-6; Jeremiah 50:4-6

Hebrews 4:14-16; 1 Peter 3:8, 9

 

Scripture Memory:  Try to fill in the missing words in the blanks below, by memory if at all possible, and then review the passage several times today.

 

And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with _____________________ for them, because they were like _________________ not having a ________________________. So He began to teach them ___________ things.   

                                                                                                         Mark 6:34, nkjv

 

DAY THREE:  A Lesson in Faith—for More than 5,000

Please carefully read Mark 6:38-44 and answer the following questions.

 

1.  Jesus set the challenge before His disciples to feed this great multitude.  What logical task did He have the disciples start with in accomplishing this (v. 38)?

 

2.  John tells us that that Andrew, who always seemed to be bringing people to Jesus, brought Jesus a boy with his sack lunch of five barley loaves and two fish (John 6:8, 9).  The loaves he had were much smaller and flatter than modern loaves, so don’t think the boy carried five big loaves of bread under his arms; the fish were probably dried and salted,[vi] a kind of fish jerky rather than whole fish.  Upon hearing this, what did Jesus tell His disciples to do, and how did they accomplish this (v. 39-41)?

NOTES: We again see a special touch of Mark’s here.  John’s gospel tells us that it was Passover time (John 6:4) and the afternoon sun shone on the green spring grass.  The grass isn’t green in Palestine most of the year, mainly at Passover time.  Some Bible scholars have felt that Mark only indicates a one-year ministry of Jesus, but here we have an indication of more than a one-year ministry. It is still one year before the last Passover when Jesus was crucified.[vii]  The people were stated to be seated in groups, a Greek word from which we get our word symposium; also they were seated in ranks, which literally means like beds in a garden, or arranged by color like flowers in a bed. 

3.  The crowd was organized in ranks much like the armies would be in the Old Testament and also as found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and this might have led some in the crowd to think Jesus was organizing a Messianic army, as they wanted to make Him king by force (John 6:15).[viii]  What was the result of this distribution (v. 42-44)?

4.  The Greek phrase for broke the loaves, and gave has two verb tenses, meaning that He broke these loaves and then they were instantly multiplied and continuously given out.  It is difficult to say what size basket was meant by Mark, as the word means a wicker basket, which could range in size up to the large baskets which Roman soldiers would carry their supplies in.[ix]  That would have been a lot of leftovers, twelve baskets full for the doubting twelve disciples!  The amount of people fed here is deceiving in that it says about 5,000 men; counting the women and children, who were seated and served separately in that culture, there could have been as many as 20,000 people fed![x]

There is no doubt this was a tremendous miracle, and the faith of those around Jesus would have been greatly boosted, or so one would think, as we’ll see tomorrow.  We have looked at the concept of faith before in these studies in Mark, and it is a vital truth we must understand if we are to have a victorious and fruitful Christian life.  What are some ways that following passages tell us about building our faith in Him?

Romans 10:17; 1 Corinthians 2:4, 5
Romans 12:3-5
2 Corinthians 5:7, 8
James 1:2-8

Scripture Memory:  Try to fill in the missing words in the blanks below, by memory if at all possible, and then review the passage several times today.

 

And Jesus, when He came out, saw a _________________ multitude and was moved with _____________________ for them, because they were like _________________ not having a ________________________. So He began to _____________________ them ___________ things.   Mark 6:34, nkjv

 

DAY FOUR:  Jesus Comes Walking

Please carefully read Mark 6:45-52 and answer the following questions.

 

1.  Right after these events, which John 6 describes in much greater detail, what did Jesus do (v. 45-47)?

 

2.  Jesus literally compelled His men by force to get away from the crowd onto the boat.  One would think that given that several of the disciples were fishermen that they could handle any situation on the sea, but what happened once again to these guys, and what did Jesus do about it (v. 48)?

 

3.  Perhaps we shouldn’t be so hard on the men, for once again the Greek words used seem to imply this was an attack of the enemy on them, seeming to be an adversary grievously tormenting them.  Jesus was alone on the land, saw His men in trouble, and came to them, walking on the water! How did the disciples react to this, and what was the result of this all (v. 49-52)?

 

4.  In the midst of their trial, from their perspective it appeared that Jesus was bypassing them, when He actually was going to pass in front of them in the sense of an Old Testament appearance of Himself; this ties in with what Jesus told them here, as the Greek says “Have courage—I am—do not be afraid” reflecting God’s revelation of Himself in the Old Testament![xi] As John Phillips well said, Jesus addressed their situation in three ways:  “Be of good cheer” appealed to their emotions to comfort them; “It is I” appealed to their minds to remind them of who He is; and “be not afraid” told them they had to make a choice of their wills to trust Him despite what all surrounded them.[xii]  They had to experience this difficulty to learn the lesson they should have from the feeding of the 5,000.  Psalm 107 is almost prophetic of these events.  Read Psalm 107:4-9, 23-32, 41-43, and record how this applied to His disciples and to us as His followers in general.

 

Scripture Memory:  Try to fill in the missing words in the blanks below, by memory if at all possible, and then review the passage several times today.

 

And ________________, when He came out, saw a _________________ multitude and was _____________________ with _____________________ for them, because they were like _________________ not having a ________________________. So He began to _____________________ them ___________ things.   Mark 6:34, nkjv

 

DAY FIVE:  Multitudes Ministered To

Please carefully read Mark 6:53-56 and answer the following questions.

 

1.  When they made it back to shore (John 6:21 says they immediately reached shore when Jesus entered the boat), what happened (v. 53, 54)?

 

2.  What did the people do when they saw it was Jesus (v. 55)?

 

3.  When these people saw it was Jesus, they ran around the region; literally, they went around in circles.  Kenneth Wuest well said of this, “What a pathetic picture. The people kept running from place to place, carrying their sick on pallets from place to place, wherever Jesus was reported to be or wherever it might be possible to find Him. This incident brings us near the close of our Lord’s Galilean ministry, and to the time when His popularity was phenomenal.”[xiii]   Even though this was a pathetic scene, what extraordinary things took place at that time (v. 56)?

 

NOTE: The marketplaces (Mark 6:56) were the largest open areas of a town or village, where larger crowds could gather. In contrast to Greek cities, market areas in Galilean towns weren’t always in the center of town.[xiv]  The Agora, or marketplace, was one of two platforms along with the synagogue that Paul would later use to minister in the various cities he traveled to in the book of Acts. 

 

4.  Something which was not addressed here by Mark but was by John was that another problem arose prior to Jesus leaving Galilee, which was that most of the people followed Him not because of gratitude but out of what they could get out of Him!  What are some of the sad things the following passages from John’s Gospel records about this?

 

John 2:23-25

John 6:26-36, 60-66

 

Scripture Memory:  Can you write out this week’s passage by memory here below?  Give it a try, and keep reviewing the passage several times throughout the day.

Mark 6:34:


DAY SIX: Following Christ

1.  We are too busy in our culture.  If we aren’t at work, we are on the way to and from it, or busy with miscellaneous activities we just have to do.  We have forgotten that God has designed our bodies to need rest every so often, and spiritual rest and seeking Him is probably one of the most neglected aspects of our daily grind.  As Kenneth Wuest well said above, through the lack of rest and giving in to life’s stressors, “The Devil would wear us out before our time, if he could.”  This is true for all of us, but especially for men.  A recent review by this writer of PubMed, the website of the National Library of Medicine,[xv] stated that the following problems can or possibly be attributed to stress and the lack of rest:

 

Job stress has links with tooth grinding and “restless legs” syndrome

Symptoms of heart problems and heart disease

Flare-up of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Weight gain, which can lead to hypertension and the risk of stroke or heart disease

Exhaustion, lack of positive emotional expression to others

Emotional feelings of depression, anxiety, worry, loss of vigor

Over-stimulation of hormonal glands which can impact many things

Risk of increased alcohol abuse, drug abuse, other addictive behaviors

 

Possibly some links to male infertility have been seen

Inability to recover well from cancer, illnesses, and injuries

Possibly neurodegeneration (the decay of the nerves, possibly a factor in Alzheimer’s Disease)

Decreased ability of the blood to flow in the body properly

Recurring headaches

 

In view of these things, what are some ways you will better incorporate both types of rest into your life, starting this week:

 

Physical Rest:

Spiritual Rest, seeking the Lord:

 

2.  We also face a danger the disciples faced, and that is not letting ourselves learn the lessons that God wants to teach us.  Warren Wiersbe well warns us about that danger, and what it may take for us to let the lessons He wants us to learn to sink in through our thick skulls: 

 

The scene illustrates the situation of God’s people today: We are in the midst of this stormy world, toiling and seemingly ready to sink, but He is in glory interceding for us. When the hour seems the darkest, He will come to us—and we will reach shore! Even a disciple of Jesus Christ can develop a hard heart if he fails to respond to the spiritual lessons that must be learned in the course of life and ministry.[xvi]

 

What are some ways that this week’s study has helped you think about how you can learn from your experiences and grow in your faith as a result, before you have to learn it the hard way like these guys did?  Please share some of your thoughts here.

 

3.  At the time of this writing, September 3, 2005, this has been a very fitting passage for the believers of our nation and this writer personally.  Disaster has struck our nation, perhaps the worst to ever hit us in our history.  The shadow of September 11, 2001 still looms large in our minds, and our nation had best never forget that day.  Terrorists seem to be able to steal, kill and destroy at will.  Our young men and women give their lives daily on foreign soil without any hope in sight of the end of the current conflicts.  We don’t know what the reasons are for these things, nor their outcome.  At times it seems as if we are those disciples, hopeless and about to succumb to the attack of the enemy, and then we see Jesus...but it seems to us that He’s passed us by as He walks on the water of the storms we face! 

 

Yet we mustn’t miss an important aspect of the things the disciples faced.  The Greek word used about their struggle, basanizo,  not only means to be vexed and tormented by an enemy, but it also means “to test (metals) by the touchstone, which is a black siliceous stone used to test the purity of gold or silver by the colour of the streak produced on it by rubbing it with either metal.”[xvii]   Jesus is using the hard times like these to test and purify the quality of our lives and effectiveness for Him.  It is in these times that we’ll hear Him say to us, “Take heart! I AM! Stop being alarmed and afraid” (Mark 6:50, amp).  The great I AM will be to us what we need in every situation we face, and we can trust Him no matter what our eyes see and emotions feel.  Let’s close out this week by considering these great meditations of Oswald Chambers, and then please record below how this study has helped you to face the hard times in your life:

We are apt to imagine that if Jesus Christ constrains us, and we obey Him, He will lead us to great success. We must never put our dreams of success as God’s purpose for us; His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have an idea that God is leading us to a particular end, a desired goal; He is not. The question of getting to a particular end is a mere incident. What we call the process, God calls the end...What is my dream of God’s purpose? His purpose is that I depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay in the middle of the turmoil calm and unperplexed, that is the end of the purpose of God. God is not working towards a particular finish; His end is the process—that I see Him walking on the waves, no shore in sight, no success, no goal, just the absolute certainty that it is all right because I see Him walking on the sea. It is the process, not the end, which is glorifying to God...God’s training is for now, not presently. His purpose is for this minute, not for something in the future. We have nothing to do with the afterwards of obedience; we get wrong when we think of the afterwards. What men call training and preparation, God calls the end.[xviii]

Scripture Memory:  Hopefully you now can write out this week’s passage completely by memory.  Do so now, and keep on reviewing it so you will be ready to share it with others in your group time.

 

Mark 6:34:

 



[i] Unless elsewhere noted, all Greek word/phrase translations are based on the following:  A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.  In Oak Harbor:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1932, 1933, 1997);  James Strong, The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible:  Showing Every Word of the Text of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurrence of Each Word in Regular Order, Electronic Edition (Ontario:  Woodside Bible Fellowship; in Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996); M.R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament (Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2002); Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Studies in the New Testament:  For the English Reader (Grand Rapids:  Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Co; in Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1984, 1997); and Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary:  New Testament, Electronic Edition (Chattanooga:  AMG Publishers, in Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1992, 1993, 2000).

[ii] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Studies in the New Testament: For the English Reader (Grand Rapids:  Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Co; in Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1984, 1997).

[iii] M. Mills, The Life of Christ:  A Study Guide to the Gospel Record, 3 Vols. (Dallas:  3E Ministries.  In Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1999).

[iv] John D. Grassmick, Mark.  In John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck eds., The Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament (Wheaton:  Victor Books/SP Publications, 1983), p. 130.

[v] James A, Brooks, Mark. In David S. Dockery ed., The New American Commentary V. 23 (Nashville:  Broadman Press, 1991), p. 108.

[vi] James A, Brooks, Mark, p. 109.

[vii]A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.  In Oak Harbor:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1932, 1933, 1997)

[viii] Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary (Downer’s Grove:  InterVarsity Press, 1993), p. 151, 152.

[ix] Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary, p. 152.

[x] John MacArthur, The MacArthur Bible Commentary (Nashville:  Thomas Nelson, Inc. 2005), p. 1218.

[xi] John D. Grassmick, Mark, p. 131, 132. 

[xii] John Phillips, Exploring the Gospel of Mark (Grand Rapids:  Kregel Publications, 2004), p. 157.

[xiii] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Studies in the New Testament:  For the English Reader.

[xiv] Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary, p. 152.

[xv] This website can be accessed at www.pubmed.gov.

[xvi] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary Vol. 1 (Wheaton:  Victor Books/SP Publications, 1989), p. 133.

[xvii] James Strong, The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible:  Showing Every Word of the Text of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurrence of Each Word in Regular Order, Electronic Edition (Ontario:  Woodside Bible Fellowship; in Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).

[xviii] Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, Electronic Edition (New York:  Dodd, Mead, and Company, 1935; in Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1993).

 

 

 

© 2005 by Harvest Christian Fellowship. All rights reserved. Written by Thomas Klock for Men’s Bible Fellowship, 2005-2006.

 

www.Harvest.org

 

 

 


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