Monday, June 28, 2010

Send Them Away?

We had a missionary speak last night. His sermon on Mark 6 reminded me that privacy is lacking. Security cameras in cities track without our awareness. London’s ability to follow people has been proven openly, and it is certain others can do as well. If not government cameras, businesses use them, too. Doing something without notice is difficult. It has always been so, even without cameras.

And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. And they departed into a desert place by ship privately. And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him. [Mark 6:31-33 KJV]

Just a bit of rest. Perhaps some food. They needed to get away, privately. Yet, they were noticed, and followed.

And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things. [Mark 6:34 KJV]

They stayed and listened to a man who had compassion. Not pity – that’s an entirely different response. Jesus not only felt their suffering, He wanted to relieve it, to change their lives and give them more than they had. He had the ability to do so, though His disciples doubted it.

And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed: Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat. [Mark 6:35-36 KJV]

Send them away. Can you believe that? Send them away. To stand in front of the Son of God who was sent to seek and save, and ask Him to send them away. How little had they learned. Have we learned more? Do we send people away?

Of course, this was different. These people were becoming hungry for real food, not just food for thought. There would be physical discomfort, and the disciples knew there was not food available. They were looking at the situation with reality, not with possibilities.

He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat? [Mark 6:37 KJV]

Do you think they sounded a bit sarcastic? A penny was a day’s wages. Two hundred working days needed to pay for the bread – with no bakeries nearby. What? Did He expect miracles?

Of course He did – and created one right in front of them.

And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. And they did all eat, and were filled. [Mark 6:41-42 KJV]

How did they pass out those five loaves and two fish? What did they see of the miracle? Did it multiply when they received it, or when they passed it along? Oh, to have been there and stared at the sight of five thousand men, plus women and children, being fed not only with His words, but His miracles.

Do we ever say “Send them away” when the task appears overwhelming, not realizing He stands ready with a miracle? Do we doubt His ability to do so?

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