Thursday 04 February 2016

Bible Book:

“When they got out of the boat, people at once recognised him, and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they hear he was.” (vv. 54-55)

Mark 6:53-56 Thursday 4 February 2016

Psalm: Psalm 29


Today's passage follows on from Jesus calming the disciples' fears, as theyfinally crossed over to the other side of the lake and moored theirboat at Gennesaret. But if Jesus' intentions were, as he said tothe disciples at the beginning of this whole section (Mark6:31), to "Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves andrest a while", then he was going to be disappointed. From themoment they got out of the boat people at once recognised him andrushed around the whole neighbourhood to bring to him those in needof healing.

It's only a short passage, but it brings home two very importantthings. The first is to demonstrate just how fast and how far thenews about Jesus had spread. For "wherever he went, into villagesor cities or farms" (v. 56) people come to seek Jesus out for help.This highlights a key theme or motif in Mark's Gospel which isoften termed the 'Messianic secret'. It's about how, despite thefact that on numerous occasions Jesus told those who he had healednot to tell anyone about it (eg the household of Jairus after thehealing of his daughter (Mark5:43)), the news of Jesus' healing power seemed to spread evenmore. It's almost as if the more Jesus commanded people to keepquiet, the more the good news about him and his ministry breaks outall over.

The second is to emphasise the extent and range of Jesus'healing concern. Just as in the feeding of the 5,000 which precedesit, all those who were there ate their fill and there was enoughand to spare, so here on the other side of the lake, Jesus healingpresence was made available to everyone, from those who werebrought and laid before him in the marketplaces to those could only"touch even the fringe of his cloak" (v. 56). Mark's Gospel tellsus that "all who touched it were healed" (v. 56) and in thisaccount it seems that there are no limits either to the healingpower of Jesus or to the breadth of his concern.

To Ponder

  • This passage emphasises Jesus' healing power; how do Christiansshare in this ministry today?
  • Are there health service professionals in your church orfellowship? Try and find time to speak to them about theirfaith.
  • In the passage there seem no limits to the range of Jesusconcern and care; how might this influence current discussionsabout health care provision and resources?
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