Bible Reading – Mark 6:32-44
As we step forward towards Easter, we are reminded how Jesus came, not to be served, but to serve, and give his life for us (Matthew 20:28). And what a privilege that Jesus invites us to serve WITH him and be His Light to this world. So what would it be like to actually serve along side of Jesus? This passage in Mark show us how we need to be ready as we serve alongside the miracle maker! Here are a few truths to note:
Jesus cares about rest
The context of this passage is that the disciples were just coming back from ministry. They were sent out in sets of twos to preach the coming of the kingdom, to heal, and to bring peace to those who would receive the message of Christ. When they returned and shared all their ministry stories with Jesus, He said, “’Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.” (Mark 6:31) I am thankful that God cares for our rest, and doesn’t want us to get burnt out. Taking time to rest, eat and sleep is important to Christ and should be important to us as well. How can Jesus use us if we wear ourselves out?
Jesus cares for people in need
As Jesus and his disciples traveled by boat to a desolate place for rest, people followed them. There were many needy people. The disciples were expecting to eat and rest, not serve more people. But Jesus’ love for people was even greater than his love for rest. Jesus was will to change the plan because he had great compassion for the people. Jesus demonstrated again what it means to selflessly serve and give yourself for the sake of others.
Jesus is all we need
Jesus ministered to the crowds of people that evening, healing the sick and teaching the Word. as it was getting dark, the disciples thought the answer was to send them away to get food. Yet the bible tells us Jesus incredible response; “But he [Jesus] answered them, ‘You give them something to eat.’ And they said to him, ‘Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?’” Basically we have nothing to give them Jesus. This feeling of inadequacy in ministry is more common than we want to admit. What can we possibly do or give? But we need to remember, when we serve with Jesus, He is all we need. And Jesus is all they need! He is the miracle maker, He is our provider, He is our answer to the emptiness in our lives, He is the one who offers forgiveness and righteousness to the one who feels the farthest from God, He is all we need!
As we serve, we will need to build times of rest into our lives. But times will come when we don’t get an opportunity to rest, and the need is great. We might feel we have nothing left to give, but Jesus is all they need!