We are in the Christ Stream reading more about the miracles of Jesus. We are reading from The Living Bible this week.
7streamsmethod.com | @7StreamsMethod | @serenatravis | #7Streams
Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
Jesus – you certainly show your wonderful deeds for us. You feed and heal and instruct and love and welcome all who will come. Thank you for being so marvelous and so loving. We wholeheartedly thank you. Amen.
Jesus is now into his second full year of ministry. From the feeding of the 5,000 (last story we read last week), to the final story today, (the healing of the blind man) this is an 8-month period. It is spent much in Galilee, Herod’s jurisdiction, and the wonders of Jesus are making an eternal impression on many Greeks and Greek-speaking people as well.
6:45ff The theme of Mark is “Jesus the Wonderful” and we certainly read of this today. His walking on water is universal proof that this is God’s message bearer to us even to those who can’t bring themselves to surrender to Him as of yet. Walking on water is deity in action. He enters the boat and the storm calms immediately. Remember, that Jesus sent them on ahead and they are caught in contrary winds that have them basically rowing in place through most of the night. Jesus comes, all is calm and they proceed. Perhaps this is a good place to make a devotional point –> in evaluation of this story, “if we try to go on ahead without Jesus, we will likely find ourselves in a storm that we cannot deal with, and wasting our energy.” We don’t want to parse that illustration in a myriad of ways but it seems to be a helpful dab of wisdom. They soon land on shore and Jesus is healing EVERYONE he touches. Imagine the joy that was raging through the countryside like a wind of happiness!
Perhaps the day ended and the disciples -part elated, part in shock- and by nightfall they’re thinking, “uh, let’s stay with Jesus, avoid the storms, and watch all the wonders, eh?”
7 – The Pharisees confront Jesus about how his disciples weren’t washing their hands properly before eating. The full explanation of this tradition could easily be a half day lecture /discussion so we’ll just ask this: “if you ran into Jesus personally do you ask Him to touch your life too or do you ask him about the sanitary status of His disciples hands?” Really! Jesus lets ’em have it over this one. He points out the real issue – the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and he details the matter. It’s a lesson that angered them to the point of no return. Jesus does two more prominent healings in this chapter. [Remember there were thousands of other healings that we are not told of.] He heals a young girl of demon possession out west near the coast. The area was Phoenician. The area was cultic – thus the encounter, the mother’s reasoning and persistence, Jesus agreement and the blessing is all quite a story. We can take away from this that we are to encourage people of any background that if they can’t get through to Jesus, keep pressing until you do – because you will. Next he heals a deaf/mute man. Last story the request for healing came from the mother. This time it comes from everyone who knew him. What a great way to have the witness of Jesus’ power explode. And everyone marveled.
8 – Jesus does another huge and miraculous feeding. The numbers are slightly different than the last time, but the lessons again are manifold and are to be taken to heart. The disciples are worried about food when they should be ingesting the deeper lessons that were unfolding in front of them. The power that Jesus has is because of His deity. Notice that seven loaves becomes enough for everyone. The bread was broken in Jesus hands but it multiplied in the disciples’ hands. Seven = The Holy Spirit at work, and it happened in the hands of the disciples. Memo to the Disciples is a memo to us today: “let the Holy Spirit use YOUR hands to do His work. Get in the Holy Spirit and stop worrying so to take part in the wonders of God.”
Next the Pharisees arrive and demand a sign and Jesus just walks away from them. I mean who’s got time for these jokers who have no intention of following Him? He then heals a blind man from Bethsaida. This is a town that Jesus cursed for their unbelief. [Mt. 11:21 -It’s now a deserted archaeological dig with a sun god carving that’s visible even today, btw!] So Jesus takes him outside Bethsaida to heal him. Jesus heals him in his second “attempt” [2nd demonstration, actually]. The first gesture to heal has a comical result. Memo to the disciples and to us: “when you endeavor to minister healing and the immediate result is not the desired result – persist. Pray again. Reach out again. Be like the Syro-Phoenician woman and plead. With the deaf man, the whole town showed up to ask. Get more people involved in healing ministry. Don’t go it alone. P.U.S.H. [Pray UntilSomething Happens] I mean, do you like to pray with quitters? Why would God ever want us to be quitters?