Today's Bible Reading: Mark 6
Selected Biblical Text
53 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. 54 As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. 55 They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he went--into villages, towns or countryside--they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed. (Mark 6:53-56)
Thinking and Reflecting
How does one summarize the unique flavors of this chapter? Jesus is amazed at the lack of faith of those in his hometown...the sending forth of the Twelve with spectacular results...the death of his cousin, John the Baptist...the faith test of the Twelve as Jesus feeds over 5000 people with sparse resources...Jesus walking on the water.... I chose today's selected text because it is a summary of these events. Who sees; who does not see? Who believes and who struggles with faith? Is it possible to struggle with faith immediately after a wonderful successful effort? The actions of the Apostles in this chapter demonstrate that the answer is "yes." Those who see and believe want to be with Jesus. They want to touch him. They seek help and healing. Some days I wonder why we are so far away from Jesus.
How would you answer the question in the title of today's devotional? Would the activities of your life support your answer or deny your answer? How far would you go to have Jesus as a part of your life? What would you give; what would you be willing to give up? With which group would Jesus identify you--the 'lack of faith' folks in his home town (6:1-6), the sent followers (6:6-13), the suffering preacher (6:14-29), the doubting followers who do not understand how the challenge can be met (6:30-44), the fearful followers in the boat (6:45-52), or the genuine seekers (6:53-56)?
Father God, in Jesus' name and by his power we want to follow Him more closely. We want to overcome the doubts and faith challenges of our lives. We want to go forth powerfully in His power. Increase our faith, especially in the face of fear. Again, we ask these things in Jesus' name, Amen.