Wednesday, September 02, 2009

a PICNIC with a PURPOSE - part 2

This is part 2 of a 3-part series of postings. Be sure to read part 1 before reading part 2!

Mark’s account would tell us that Jesus wanted His disciples to be with Him during this time of grief (Mk 6:30-31). This appears to have been for two reasons. First, John the Baptist was the first New Testament martyr and Jesus knew that He Himself would be next followed by all of His disciples (except John, who would be tortured but not killed, and Judas, who would hang himself). Each of them would be the next ones to die for their faith and commitment to Christ. For this reason, Jesus wanted to spend time alone with these men who meant so much to Him and talk to them about the significance of John’s death. Jesus also knew that they all needed a little bit of rest (Mk 6:31). They hadn’t even had time to eat anything. On the trip over in the boat, the disciples had begun to tell Jesus all about the ministry they had just experienced when Jesus had sent them out in pairs (Mk 6:7-13). It was important to Jesus to spend time alone with these men hearing about their ministry experiences and the lessons they had learned.

However, Jesus had become something of a magnet among the people and they followed Him on foot toward His destination. Many of them beat Him to the shore where He landed (Mt 14:14). Some no doubt had real needs but many were also thrill seekers who simply wanted to be entertained by seeing His miracles (Jn 6:2). It is apparent from the text that many in this multitude had traveled a long ways as the disciples would later point out their need for lodging as evening begin to set in. (Luke 9:12). They were far enough away from home that they were in need of a Motel 6 and someone to leave the light on for them.

Now put yourself in Jesus’ shoes for a moment. You are tired. You are grieving. You have just learned that a family member, friend and ministry companion had been savagely murdered. You now want to spend some time alone with your closest friends catching up on their lives. But the multitude of people insist on your ministering to them instead. How would you respond? Would you be annoyed? Would you be irritated? I sure would! “Hey, folks, can’t you give me a break here? I have needs too you know?”

Jesus most certainly had a right to feel all of this, but how did Jesus respond when His agenda got completely interrupted by the people? The Bible says that Jesus had compassion on them. Now don’t skip over this word too quickly. Understand its depth and significance. This word literally means “to be moved in one’s bowels.” The bowels were considered to be the seat of emotion in the Middle Eastern culture much like today we use the symbol of the heart (i.e., “I love you with all of my heart”; “Put your heart into it.”). The idea is much stronger than simple sympathy. It means to have one’s inner being “stirred.” It comes from a Latin origin meaning “to suffer with.” This word is used in the Gospels 8 times to speak of Jesus’ compassion toward hurting people. He had compassion toward people’s spiritual needs. He had compassion toward people’s physical needs. He had compassion toward people’s daily needs. And as a result, His compassion caused Him to postpone His rest during a time of great stress and grief in order to heal (Mt 14:14) and teach (Mark 6:34) the people.


Anonymous said...

Was Judas saved?

Pastor Scott said...

Hi Anonymous. My opinion is NO...He was not saved.