Game Changer Week 3: Devotional Day 2
DAY 2 – Tuesday
Dig Deeper: Mark 6:45-52, Matt 14:22-32, John 6:15-21, 2 Tim 1:7, Ps 27:1-2 Heb. 5:8-9
- What boat has Jesus made you get into and go before him to the other side?
- Were you obedient?
- How does obedience help fight fear?
Today, reflect about what the disciples have just gone through in their lives and how this relates to “fighting fear”. It is recorded in previous verses that Jesus sent them out two by two to teach, to take authority over unclean spirits and heal the sick. (Mark 6: 7-13). While these incredible things were taking place, the death of John the Baptist occurs with all the gristly details. Upon returning to Jesus, the disciples tell him all they had done and taught. Jesus takes them to a desolate place to rest. This desolate place was in the hill county north of Capernaum and west of Bethsaida; a five-to-six-mile row across the Sea of Galilee. It usually would take only a couple of hours of rowing at this location. The crowds find them. 5,000 people are fed with five loaves and two fish! There were 12 baskets left over! After all these events, our verses for the week start:
“Immediately he (Jesus) made the disciples get into the boat and go (back) before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.”
Why did Jesus make them get into the boat? In his commentary on Mark, Jim Edwards writes: “An unusual number of signs thus suggest the wilderness commotion was aflame with messianic fervor, and that the crowd hoped to sweep Jesus up as a guerrilla leader.” Jesus immediately—compelled posthaste—the disciples to leave. Jesus needed to dismiss the crowds. He didn’t need the disciples getting involved with this fervor. He knew the disciples were tired and fearful, exhausted from rowing earlier in the day, exhausted from the earlier days of ministry when they went out two by two. He knew the fearful reflections of John the Baptist’s death, and fear of more terror reigning down on them from Herod, and he knew their amazement and astonishment regarding the feeding of all those people! Jesus knew his disciples and he was protecting his own. He made them leave for their own benefit. They responded to his immediacy. They were obedient.
Have you been exhausted and fearful over life situations and yet compelled posthaste by Jesus to get into a boat? To go before him, knowing that you immediately needed to obey? It is hard to believe those times are for our benefit. Fear tends to sneak up on us in life’s stresses and we let our emotions paralyze and rule us. “You can’t mean that you want me to go before you, Jesus? You are supposed to be my forward guard and my rear guard! And you always go before me!”
And yet, there it is, the boat before you and you are compelled to get in. Think about your obedience and your boat today.