Lesson 183-May 5, 2019
Lesson: “No Rest for the Weary-At Least Not This Day!” Scripture: Mark 6: 34-36
Lesson Goal: To learn that ministry is not always convenient.
Charles Swindoll offers these insights to help us as we begin today’s lesson:
“The Twelve had returned to Jesus at Capernaum. To escape the crowds and to debrief His trainees in private, Jesus took them about four miles northeast to Bethsaida, the hometown of Andrew, Peter and Philip. It lay near the bank of the Jordan River and offered a quiet retreat from the bustle of Capernaum.
“Jesus retreated to Bethsaida to give His disciples a chance to unwind and give an account of their experience. He undoubtedly evaluated their work, gave constructive criticism, affirmed their many successes, answered their questions, explained the broader context of their work, and calmly prepared them for the future.
“During the debriefing process, Jesus and the Twelve apparently started out in Bethsaida and then retreated further into the hill country. Meanwhile, the multitudes found out where Jesus had gone and followed Him. By the time the crowds caught up with Jesus and the apostles, they were in the remote hill country on the east- ern side of the Sea of Galilee.
“Jesus didn’t rebuke the crowd or say “Why don’t you leave us alone? Give us a break-we’re trying to get just a little time by ourselves!” Even the accessible and patient Savior, He welcomed them and continued His min- istry of proclaiming the Kingdom of God and reversing the effects of evil.”
(v34) Instead of finding solitude and respite from the crowds Jesus and the disciples are followed and joined by a great multitude. Instead of being upset or angry with the crowd for disturbing them and preventing them from much needed rest, Jesus was moved with compassion for them.” Jesus did not respond to the large num- ber of people that had gathered by getting back into the boat and heading to another location or by going so far back into the hills that most of the people could not have followed.
Even though Jesus and the disciples were exhausted, Jesus’ “compassion” would override His weariness. The word that is used for “compassion” means a deep moving from deep within ones being. This “word is used in the New Testament only by or about Jesus.” (James Brooks) This word also suggest “help”, actual “help”. It is much more than concern or pity.
Please explain this statement by Charles Swindoll: “Ministry is rarely convenient.”
Please explain this statement: “Ministry can be exhausting.”
(v34b) because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things. No doubt Jesus’ teachings astounded the people, His ministries amazed the people but it was Jesus’ obvious and genuine compassion that spoke to the hearts of the people. Jesus’ compassion led Him to see the people as
“sheep not having a shepherd.”
Question: What does it mean “sheep not having a shepherd?” Many things can be deduced from this phrase, “sheep not having a shepherd.”
Please explain “Sheep without a shepherd soon cease to be a flock.” Phillips
Please explain how verse 34b applies to the context of sheep without a shepherd are in great danger. Please see Numbers 27:17, Psalm 23:1, Ezekiel 34:1-31.
The crowds that gathered were like lost sheep in need of a shepherd. While is was Jesus’ desire to be alone and spend time with His disciples, He did not send them away. He did not rebuke them for coming but just as a shepherd, Jesus sought to help them.
(v35) When the day was now far spent, His disciples came to Him and said, This is a deserted place, and al- ready the hour is late.
It was late in the afternoon and sunlight would soon be fading. The disciples wanted to send the crowds away By this time the number of people gathered had reached the thousands.
Question: Why were so many people coming to Jesus?
Question: Why do we come to Jesus?
Warren Wiersbe tells “When D. L. Moody was building his great Sunday School in Chicago, children came to him from everywhere. They often passed by other churches and Sunday Schools to be with Mr. Moody. When asked why he walked so far to attend Moody’s Sunday School, one boy replied ‘Because they love a fella over there!’ The children could tell the difference.”
As the disciples sought to send the people away, they themselves were tired and hungry. This rest period had been no rest period at all. To be honest the crowds were now probably beginning to get on the disciples’ nerves. With the hopes of a quiet and peaceful evening on their minds, the only way for this to happen the people must be sent home.
(v36) Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread; for they had nothing to eat.
The disciples were concerned for the welfare of the multitudes but they were also concerned about their own welfare. They too were hungry! It was time to have the benediction! It was time for the final amen! It was time to join hands across the grass and sing our way our of here!
Question: Now, do you understand where the disciples were coming from?
As I read and study this passage thinking of perhaps the disciples own ulterior motives, I, with a smile, think back to those days when Granny Brackin was living with us. Granny had a sugar problem but also had a mighty big “sweet tooth.” There were on many occasions when Granny would say, usually calling Arleigh or Daniel by name and ask them “don’t y’all want some ice cream?” That was her own sweet way of saying “I want some ice cream?” In her reasoning if they desired ice cream she would “might as well have some.”
The disciples were truly interested in the hunger of the people but their own stomachs were growling as well. The sooner we can get rid of this crowd the sooner we can eat and rest ourselves.
(v37) “But he (Jesus) answered and said to them.” WOW! Did His response surprise the disciples? Not what they were expecting or hoping for at all.
Next week we will study and see what happened on the green grass!