Life in mission: compassion

eremosA Heart Moved. 34 When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.

It is easy to imagine the groan of despair that must have gone up from the exhausted disciples, when they saw, long before they had reached the other shore, that the inevitable curious crowd had followed and the possibility of rest was fading. It is probable that this natural weariness accounts for the note of irritation in their question to Jesus in v.37, as well as their obvious hint in v.36 that the crowds had had more than enough teaching already: “36 Dismiss them so that they can go to the surrounding farms and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” 37 He said to them in reply, “Give them some food yourselves.” But they said to him, “Are we to buy two hundred days’ wages worth of food and give it to them to eat?” Continue reading

Life in mission: exodus

eremosAnother Exodus. 31 People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. 32 So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them.

It seems as though Jesus and the apostles have attracted a large crowd of people. The short lake voyage, back to the old familiar surroundings of the sea, after tramping the dusty roads, must in itself have been a rest and relaxation for the Galilean fishermen. But the small size of the Sea of Galilee made it quite possible for the crowds, travelling along the shore, to outdistance the little ship, which probably had no favorable wind. Continue reading

Life in mission: rest

eremos30 The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. 32 So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.

The Return. At the conclusion of their mission to the Galilean villages the disciples returned to Jesus. He had commissioned them to be his emissaries (Ch. 6:7–13), and it is appropriate to this circumstance that they should report to him how they had fulfilled their commission. While the word “apostles” is accurately translated in v.30, there is a tendency in the modern reading to associate this with “the Twelve” and to associate the term with an official title. What might get lost is the whole purpose of what they were sent to go. Simply put they were missionaries. Continue reading

Life in mission: context

eremos30 The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. 32 So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. 33 People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them. 34 When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. (Mark 6:30–34) Continue reading

Life in mission: compassion

eremosA Heart Moved. 34 When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.

It is easy to imagine the groan of despair that must have gone up from the exhausted disciples, when they saw, long before they had reached the other shore, that the inevitable curious crowd had followed and the possibility of rest was fading. It is probable that this natural weariness accounts for the note of irritation in their question to Jesus in v.37, as well as their obvious hint in v.36 that the crowds had had more than enough teaching already: “36 Dismiss them so that they can go to the surrounding farms and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” 37 He said to them in reply, “Give them some food yourselves.” But they said to him, “Are we to buy two hundred days’ wages worth of food and give it to them to eat?” Continue reading

Life in mission: exodus

eremosAnother Exodus. 31 People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. 32 So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them.

It seems as though Jesus and the apostles have attracted a large crowd of people. The short lake voyage, back to the old familiar surroundings of the sea, after tramping the dusty roads, must in itself have been a rest and relaxation for the Galilean fishermen. But the small size of the Sea of Galilee made it quite possible for the crowds, travelling along the shore, to outdistance the little ship, which probably had no favorable wind. Continue reading

Life in mission: rest

eremos30 The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. 32 So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.

The Return. At the conclusion of their mission to the Galilean villages the disciples returned to Jesus. He had commissioned them to be his emissaries (Ch. 6:7–13), and it is appropriate to this circumstance that they should report to him how they had fulfilled their commission. While the word “apostles” is accurately translated in v.30, there is a tendency in the modern reading to associate this with “the Twelve” and to associate the term with an official title. What might get lost is the whole purpose of what they were sent to go. Simply put they were missionaries. Continue reading

Life in mission: context

eremos30 The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. 32 So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. 33 People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them. 34 When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. (Mark 6:30–34) Continue reading