February 23, 2020

February 16, 2020

Faith Grown in the Delayed Love

Mark 6:45-52

The reason Jesus called the disciples to him for service was so that they would have eternal life. Jesus taught them and trained them so that they would be saved and go to heaven. The disciples need to grow in their faith in Jesus so they would have eternal power.

Jesus sends out the disciples who experience great miracles and victory. In Mark 6:7-13, immediately after these victories of experiencing the power of the Lord, there is a change in mood. In Mark 6:14-29, we read about John the Baptist's beheading. The disciples became discouraged. After the shocking execution of John the Baptist, Jesus performs the miracle of feeding the 5000. This pendulum lifestyle is to train the disciples for a transitory life. The disciples need to understand that the material blessings in the world are not permanent just like the painful difficulties.

Soon after the feeding the 5000, Jesus sends his disciples in a boat ahead of Him while He prays in the mountains. The boat hits rough waters and makes little progress in its travels. Jesus knows about their troubles and sees the distress of the disciples, yet He waits until a later time to help.

And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them,
Mark 6:48 ESV

Jesus delays manifesting his love to show the disciples who they are and what their true hearts are. Despite the skills of the disciples, some of them were fishermen, they could not help themselves in the storm. The disciples needed help in a situation that they should have been able to do on their own strength. By waiting, Jesus was able to teach a lesson to the disciples to help them grow their faith.

As Christians we need to understand that we are not exempt from hardships. We should remember that when we are going through low moments, that Jesus is still with us. Jesus may delay his love for us because He wants us to grow or to learn something.

When we are threatened by difficult times, we must understand that it is God who is directing it all. God is with us and He is aware of what we are experiencing and feeling. God is allowing these situations to happen so that we will lift our eyes to Him and understand how much we need God.

If Jesus had allowed the disciples to stay on land and be with the people who were feed miraculously, they may have become arrogant or content without growth. Instead the disciples were instructed with a simple task of taking a boat out to meet Jesus on the side. Whatever pride the disciples had was tested when they could not cross over and Jesus had to walk on the water to calm the sea.

And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded,
Mark 6:51 ESV
Jesus loves us and wants us to mature spiritually. To mature we need training and struggles to bring us to the level of honesty and growth which Jesus demands of all His disciples.

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