Why We Must Go Into the Wilderness (Mark 6) Sermon from 5/5/13
– Reasons why I am grateful to be in this church.
– But I am most grateful to be in here because it is raining out there.
– Everyone is either in a storm, going into a storm, or coming out of a storm
– In this passage today, we will be looking at a storm, but us first look at the events leading up to the storm, starting at the beginning of Mark chapter 6.
Rejection in Nazareth (1-6a) 1st cause for going into the wilderness
– V. 1 The reference to the disciples is important, for during this period Jesus had been concerned with their training in preparation for the mission of sharing the Gospel.
– Jesus’ rejection was part of the disciple making process, for they too will one day be rejected by their own people.. . and so will we.
– V. 2-3 Why would anyone reject Jesus? (how could someone so perfect get to people?)
- Jesus had not been trained to be a Rabbi, but had been trained as a carpenter.
- The people knew his family, and there was nothing special about them either. Just a poor carpenter family in a small town that is already looked down upon.
- They watched him grow up as a baby, they cared for him, changed him, watched him play in the mud just like every other Jewish boy growing up. How could he be the messiah.
– We also see a hint of mockery in this passage. We see this by the way they refer to him as the son of marry. This is a mockery for two reasons.
- In their culture you always referred to the fathers household. Jesus was not only the son of Joseph, but ultimately the son of David, but more importantly the son of David that will reign forever as the true King.
- But this is also a mockery because it hints at the rumors that were probably going on around the town of Nazareth about Mary’s virgin birth.
- See the people of Nazareth were not stupid people, they just like us, are hesitant to believe that someone could be born of a virgin birth. They knew the reproductive math and saw that it was not adding up.
- Basically, many just could not believe that this common illegitimate carpenter’s son, that they have seen growing up could be the messiah.
– V. 4 However, we see that this passage is in the Bible not only to prepare the disciples for rejection, but also to foreshadow the ultimate rejection of Jesus by Israel as well.
- And we know that if they rejected Jesus they will reject us as well.
– V. 5-6 With some exceptions, Jesus could do no mighty work there. Jesus will not force his miracles on a hostile, skeptical audience, Jesus refuses to put on a magic show or to entertain them. It stands in contradiction to the character and will of Jesus to heal where there is fundamental rejection of him (unbelief).
– V. 5-6 Jesus was amazed not because he did not see it coming, but because despite know beforehand what would happen, it did not make it any easier to go through.
- EX. of disappointment of others.
- These are the people that he loved since he was a young boy, friends, people who have helped raised him (ex. of when he got lost for 3 days)
- His love for them still caused amazement despite knowing that it had to happen.
The First commission (6b-13) 2nd Reason for going into the wilderness.
– V. 7-9 The travel instructions serve as signs to Jewish people of peace, defenselessness, trust in God, and urgency. The scene echoes the first exodus (cf. Ex. 12:11). In both instances, there is liberation from servitude.
– Notice in this passage the requirements for sharing the Gospel.
- It is not the Gospel + money
- It is not the Gospel + food
- It is not the Gospel + this really cool program that you should do
- It is not the Gospel + these magical words you need to say to everyone
- It is not the Gospel + this superstitious prayer that you need to make everyone pray.
- It is the Gospel only that they head out with.
- This required for the disciples to have a full commitment to total dependence upon God for food and shelter.
- And that is what God wants us to rely on as well. Only Him.
The Imprisonment & Death of John the Baptist (14-29) 3rd Reason for going into the wilderness.
– Comparison of John the Baptist and Jesus
- Both had miraculous births (one a virgin and the other barren)
- Both had Angels appear to their parents.
- Both preached a message of repentance
- And now both with have a passion story in the Gospel according to Mark.
- The purpose of this passage is to point us forward to the suffering and death of Jesus.
- Both innocent
- Both because of adulterous women
- With Elijah’s suffering was because of Jezebel
- Proverbs also warns us to be aware of the adulterous woman.
- With John the Baptist’s suffering was because of Herodias
- With Jesus’ suffering was because of the nation of Israel.
The Provision of Rest & Bread in the Wilderness (30-44) The reason for why they had to go to the wilderness.
– The transformation of the desert into a place of refreshment and life through the power of God is an aspect of the wilderness tradition which is prominent in the prophets. By divine intervention the land of curse will become fat pastures where the sheep will be gathered and fed by the true shepherd.
– Why must we go through the Wilderness?
- Illustration of skipping rocks.
– This is extremely good news for us because we all will find ourselves in the wilderness wanting rest and food, and Jesus is showing to us that the wilderness is already being changed into the land of fertility and rest. God will use all our sufferings not only for our good, but more importantly His glory.
– The God who gave manna in the wilderness and who made startling provision for his servants Elijah and Elisha now gives to the people their daily bread, and promises to do the same for you as well, as you go into the wilderness.
– Here is more good news. Jesus does not just make the most of the situation, and gives everyone a little; on the contrary, everyone is fully satisfied. Jesus tells them that if you hunger after me, the true bread of life, then you will never be hungry again, that he will satisfy you.
– Eat only of physical bread and you will be hungry again, but eat of the spiritual bread of God’s Word and you will be satisfied.
Lord of the Sea (45-52) The Storm
– Why would Jesus withdraw from people wanting to follow Him?
- They were wanting to follow him for the wrong reasons.
- Jesus refused to be the warrior-messiah of popular expectations.
– Who sends them into the storm?
- Jesus knew a storm was coming
- Jesus knows they did not get the message about the feeding of the 5k
- So he sends them into the storm.
- So now the question is: Is it more loving for Jesus not to send them into the storm and allow their hearts to stay hardened or is it more loving to allow them to go through the storm in order that their hearts will be softened again?
- So he sends them into the storm.
– So why is it such good news to know that Jesus gets in the boat with you?
– Illustration of a son father in a storm with his son.