Messages from Pastor Raddatz
18 July 2021, Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Houston TX; Psalm 23, Jeremiah 23:1-6, Ephesians 2:11-22, Mark 6:30-44
REST AND BE FILLED, Mark 6:30-44
God will use what you bring to multiply His kingdom.
Grace, mercy and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Today Jesus calls us to rest and be fulfilled. The reading from Mark 6:30-44 we will examine the curiosity of the people, the compassion of Jesus and the contentment that comes from God’s multiplication of our gifts. He wants to bring us to complete contentment. He often does this as he shows his compassion that supplies all that we need regardless of the difficulties we face.
REST, VV. 31f
You have probably heard the phrase after a vacation, “I need a vacation from my vacation!” You have probably experienced a time away from home that was enjoyable yet exhausting. For Type A people, who always are looking to accomplish things, setting aside time to rest can be difficult. Maybe this is one reason God gave us Psalm 46:10, “BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD”. In context, verses 10 and 11 of Psalm 46 read:
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Even the Son of God, Jesus, needed rest.
Jesus disciples were busy. Jesus was busy. People always seemed to find him because they sought help. They ministered (see first part of Mark 6). Jesus just hears of John the Baptists execution. Being fully man he wanted to rest. He needs some time alone. So he asks the disciples to go away with him awhile. They get into a boat.
The distance around the northern part of the lake was about ten miles. The distance by boat, straight across, was about four miles. But if there was little wind for the boat and in view of the intense desire of the people to see Jesus, perhaps it is not too unthinkable for the people to cover ten miles while the boat covered only four. Furthermore, this indicates that the Apostles did get the rest which Jesus desired for them. Perhaps Jesus made sure that the boat proceeded slowly so that there would be time for rest. And yet, the "uninhabited place" might well have been the middle of the lake.
The people followed him for a number of reasons:
- Sheep without a shepherd are needy because they have no Shepherd to fill their wants.
- Sheep without a shepherd are hungry and thirsty, because they have no Shepherd to make them lie down in green pastures or to lead them beside still waters.
- Sheep without a shepherd hurt because they have no Shepherd to restore their soul.
- Sheep without a shepherd wander, because they have no Shepherd to lead them in paths of righteousness.
- Sheep without a shepherd are vulnerable, because they have no Shepherd to protect them with His staff.
Our source of fuel and resupply come from God, but if we do not stop and rest, sometimes something breaks down so we have to stop and rest. Even though our compassion can fail the Lord’s compassions never fail.
COMPASSION, V. 34
“…his compassions never fail”, Lamentations 3: 23
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.” WHOLE VERSE
Curiosity is good. - C.S. Lewis said, “The love of knowledge is a kind of madness.” - Oscar Wilde is quoted as saying, “The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing.” Curiosity does not always lead to discipleship which is following Jesus with one’s heart and soul. Look at John 6:14-15. How did the people react to the miracle of the feeding? They wanted to make Him king. How did they treat Him on the day following that miracle? All but the Apostles left Him.
Jesus knows his purpose and he must work while it is day. The night is coming when no man can work. Jesus knows his purpose and it is to do the will of his father who sent him. STOECKHARDT: Through the preaching of Christ and the preaching about Christ everywhere in the land many disciples were won. But the majority of the people had hardened themselves against the Word and Work of Christ.
What is truly remarkable, in view of these facts, is the tender compassion of Jesus toward the masses. His heart went out to them. V. 34 … “SO HE BEGAN TO TEACH THEM MANY THINGS”. This is particularly important. The compassion he gives them feeds their soul. He will soon feed their stomach, but feeding the soul is the first priority of Jesus.
And the only other place where "rest from labors" is mentioned is Revelation 14:13, in heaven. Christians get little rest in this life. Many people in our culture are preoccupied with leisure and it often leads to a lot of unhappiness. Through the cross of Christ (HIS WORK) we receive the satisfaction of all our sins (REDEMPTION). God is pleased with us. Therefore we can rest from our work.
There are recognized human conditions labeled, compassion fatigue and secondary trauma. This is where knowing our self is especially important! Just as we should know our strengths we should also know our weaknesses. I think it was phrased best by actor Clint Eastwood, “A MAN MUST KNOW HIS LIMITATIONS”. Clint Eastwood as 'Dirty Harry' Callahan in the 1973 film, 'Magnum Force. ' His now famous line was, 'A man's got to know his limitations. ' (Warner Bros.) Clint Eastwood as 'Dirty Harry' Callahan in the 1973 film, 'Magnum Force.
Knowing that God is our source of strength we are called to set aside time for rest and be filled by God. Then, we are free to serve our fellow man and thus serve Christ by sharing the gifts God has given us. The supply of strength for these gifts come from God.
BE FILLED, VV. 35f
“Send them away … for they have nothing to eat”: Both Jesus and the disciples saw exactly the same need among the multitude. The disciple's solution was to "get rid of" the need by getting rid of the needy. Jesus saw a different solution, and wanted the disciples to see it also (You give them something to eat).
Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat? This is equal to 200 pieces of silver. It's hard to know if the disciples were angry or just couldn't believe what Jesus said. Clearly, they thought spending about a year's income to feed this multitude for one meal was not only impossible, but also a waste.
He multiplies what they have. He uses what they bring. They brought him five loaves and two fish. Besides the resurrection this is the only miracle that is recorded in all four Gospels. The Gospel of John is the only place that a little boy is mentioned who offers his five loaves and two fish.
So, once again, what does the boy’s role in the story say to us? What is in a boy? The answer lies, I suggest, not in the boy himself, but in Jesus’ reception of his loaves and fishes, and by extension the boy himself, and in what Jesus does with what was the boy’s. Andrew sees “little” in the boy and his provisions. Perhaps his presence was to Andrew something of an annoyance; elsewhere in the Gospels we hear of the disciples rebuking parents who brought children to Jesus (cf. Matthew 19:13, Luke 18:15). Jesus, however, places value on the “little” boy and uses him to do something “big”. I wonder if, through the “sign” of this boy, Jesus is inviting us to also place “value” on the children amongst us. I wonder if he is inviting us to be open to “big” things he can do through them to bless us and many others. And not simply those children we might see as particularly virtuous – those who are generous and kind and selfless – but any children who happen to be in Jesus’ presence – whatever their motivations or backgrounds or journeys. I wonder how such an understanding and attitude might change how we view and involve and relate to children who are with us in the presence of Jesus? Do we see them as “little” or as “big” in Christ? Do we see the “smallness” of what they bring to the table, or do we have a “big” vision for Jesus’ work in and through their lives? -forminginfaith@gmail
God has resources that we know nothing about, so we can trust Him and be at peace even when we can't figure out how He will provide. God’s provision begins with what we have. Do what you can with what you got!
Are you content with your condition? Are you mad at God for something that disturbed you? In what area of your life are you not content? What does God say about that in the Bible? Take time with him and learn his truth, therefore finding rest and resources. Submit to God’s leadership in your life. Seek his compassion.
1 Timothy 6:6, “But godliness with contentment is great gain”. Godliness is from the Greek word: Eusebia which means=I. reverence, respect, II. piety towards God, godliness Contentment is from the Greek word: Auterekia which means= I.a perfect condition of life in which no aid or support is needed, II. sufficiency of the necessities of life, III.a mind contented with its lot, contentment
God calls us to rest and be filled. His compassions will never fail, Lamentations 3:22. His desire is to bring us the contentment we seek. It is found in him. Follow Jesus call. Enter into his rest (Hebrews 4:3), Amen.
May this peace which passes every single human understanding keep your heart and your mind in the one true faith in Christ Jesus, to life everlasting, Amen.
Pastor John F. Raddatz, To God be the glory=Soli Deo Gloria
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