Chapter 6 Summary
Chapter 6 is LOADED! Lots going on here. Lets dive in and pick out some highlights.
The chapter begins with a public rejection(vv. 1-6) of his ministry in his home town of Nazareth. This is significant because it demonstrates for us the reality of the relationship between message and messenger. This is a tenuous relationship when applied to the current church. But Jesus is worried about his friends and family reject him and his message out right. In Jesus’s case, rejection of the message, is rejection of the messenger. And vice versa.
This is followed up by the commissioning of the 12 (vv. 7-13). Jesus has some strong words of warning encouragement for his Apostles. He also teaches them about the mode in which they will operate. Bottom line: the primary, and really only, priority to preaching the Gospel is to preach the Gospel. There is this call to a single minded dedication, near obsession with preaching the Good News.
We then has a brief interlude with a description of the events leading up to John the Baptizer’s execution (vv. 13-29). John the Baptist was the Forerunner of Jesus: he only mission was to point out the Messiah when he came. Between that and slapping around Herod earned him execution- again, the cost of discipleship.
The Apostles return in vv. 30-33 and to debrief Jesus invites them to come away with Him so they can rest and recharge. But they don’t get far. While trying to go away Jesus is drawn up into a vast crowd, to whom he preaches. After he preaches, he feeds them with bread- feeding more than 5,000 people. There is symbolic meaning to the number of baskets left over: 12. 12 tribes of Israel, 12 Apostles… the number 12 is a number of universality, of totality: Jesus feeds in abundance; the Apostles, 12 in number, go out to all parts of the world.
After feeding the multitude, he dismisses the crowd and the Apostles. They climb into a boat, Jesus starts to walk, the disciples start to sail and before you know it: there’s Jesus walking on the water! What the…! Where did he come from! Jesus’s words here (v.50) speak for themselves.
The chapter ends with Jesus healing numerous people in the town of Gennesaret. His work is never done; constantly on the move; he has now drawn the Apostles into His tireless ministry. They would never be the same. The world will never be the same!
Point for Prayer
After preaching the Good News, the Apostles return to Jesus and he invites them: “Come away with me, by yourselves, to a quiet place, and rest for awhile.”
We all need that. We all need quiet, restful time with the Lord. When was the last time you took time be alone with the Lord? When did you last go on a retreat? Ever thought about starting your day with solitary and silent time alone with Jesus in prayer?
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