Read the Bible in 2011 ◊ Week 13: Saturday
“Wherever He entered villages, or cities, or countryside, they were laying the sick in the market places, and imploring Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were being cured.”
In Saturday’s Bible reading of Mark 5–6, Jesus’ ministry centers around the Sea of Galilee as He continues to encounter unbelief and hard hearts. There are some desperately needy people within these two chapters, and some who are not so desperate at the moment. The latter group consists of his hometown and his disciples; they are not driven by need and despite their knowledge of His miracles, they are the ones characterized by lack of faith and lack of insight.
Desperate is no exaggeration. In Mark 5, the first desperate person Jesus meets is the Gerasene demoniac, and He commands the legion of demons to leave him. I’ve always loved the description of this man in the aftermath of his deliverance:
“They came to Jesus and observed the man who had been demon-possessed sitting down, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the “legion”; and they became frightened.”
Jesus is next implored by a synagogue official, Jairus, to heal his twelve-year old daughter, and on the way to his home a woman who has been ill for twelve years, spending all of her money and finding no cure touches Jesus’ robe and is healed. When they arrive at Jairus’ home they find the little girl is dead, but then Jesus raises her from the dead. People with heartache who find help from the Lord Jesus.
In chapter 6, Jesus enters Nazareth, but because of their unbelief only a few sick people are healed. Jesus next sends the twelve out to preach, heal and cast out demons. Mark then catches us up on the death of John the Baptist.
The feeding of the five thousand on the shores of the sea with only fives loaves and two fishes also occurs in chapter six. This is an astounding miracle: Jesus is revealed as the Creator as He causes food to multiply.
After the crowd has eaten, the disciples set off in a boat while Jesus stays to send the people away and to pray. He joins the disciples by walking across the water to their boat. When Jesus gets in the boat and the wind stops, Mark records that the disciples “were utterly astonished, for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened.” They had failed to grasp the implication of this incredible miracle.
The chapter closes with the crowds frantically seeking Jesus to have their sick healed. Desperate people heard there was hope, and they are rushing to find Him.
Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications
The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes (La multiplicité des pains), James Tissot:
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Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter