Today, I am happy to share a devotional thought from Joshua Wilkinson. Joshua is a student at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Pray for him as he spends a very busy summer with us in Casper.
This is a great Word that will serve as a sneak peak for this next Sunday’s Bible Text at The Way. We meet at 3:16pm at the Casper Recreation Center. Thanks Josh!
From Mark 6.30-44
One of the most well-known miracles in Jesus's ministry is the feeding of the five thousand. While this passage tells much of God's trustworthy and tender character, a more subtle example of active dependency emerges throughout the story. First, lets look at what has happened in the book of Mark so far. In the first six chapters of Mark, Jesus is baptized, prepared for ministry, and starting to teach throughout Galilee. Jesus has also chosen his twelve disciples and sent them out to preach to the people of Galilee. Starting in Mark 6.30, the disciples return with a progress report of all that they had done and are told to rest. Hot on their trail are mountains of people seeking to hear what Jesus and His disciples have to say. Being the gracious teacher that He is, Jesus starts to speak to the crowd about the kingdom of God. Although Scripture doesn't denote how long Jesus preached to the people, it does mention that He was still teaching when it started to grow dark. The disciples, meanwhile, recognized a very real need for the listening crowd: it was dinner time! Eventually, Jesus miraculously multiplies a simple lunch into a feast fit for five thousand. However, instead of jumping right into the miracle, Jesus and His disciples have a very detailed exchange of words. After mentioning the problem, the disciples not only urge Christ to solve it, but they even offer a definitive solution of how to fix the situation. His reply is startling - how about YOU solve the problem! I can imagine the disciples were taken a bit off-guard. After all, He is Jesus, right? Why should the job fall to a human if God in the flesh is standing right there? Jesus's reply doesn't show apathy or irresponsibility but rather a plain and simple fact: the disciples can't solve the problem on their own. The Bible notes that it would take a total of 200 days' earnings just to feed the crowd once. After He shows the disciples their inability to act without Him, Jesus commands His twelve closest followers to go find Him loaves of bread. Once food was found, the miracle took place. As mentioned in the beginning, this passage demonstrates a prime example of active dependency on God. The disciples had to be dependent on Jesus since there was no other way the crowd would've been fed without Him. Jesus even made this point clearer by pointing out His disciples' weakness outside of His power. However, the disciples didn't sit on the sidelines in the midst of God's work. Jesus not only allowed them the opportunity of taking part in the miracle but He even gave them orders on how to do so. Two thousand years later, not much has changed. God still shows us our weaknesses and inabilities apart from Him so that we will realize that only through Him can ultimate victory be guaranteed. He also calls us to obediently and whole-heartedly take part in His will, which He could very easily accomplish without us. Throwing out pride, self-sufficiency, and passivity, God utilizes active dependency to grow us into the men and women we were created to be.