Prepare to listen. Be still and silent. Pray: Help me, O Lord, receive your words in my heart and hear them with my ears so that I can speak them to others. (from Ezekiel 3:10-11)
Read Mark 6:53-56
When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. 54 When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, 55 and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the market-places, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.
This is an interesting summary of Jesus and his work. Unlike Mark’s first summary (see 1:32ff where Jesus ‘cured many’ and ‘would not permit the demons to speak’), Jesus appears almost passive. The gathering crowds are the active participants. With a sense of urgency, they rushed to Jesus, laying their sick in market-places, begging to touch his garment for healing. They seem to be most active. Jesus neither speaks nor acts. There is no teaching or feeding, merely walking among different groups of people. He seems to patiently and willingly receive the demanding crowd, letting them ‘take’ healing from him. There is a sense of graciousness in Jesus as he ‘puts up’ with people who only want to receive from him without giving back a commitment to follow him. He again demonstrates that he didn’t come to raise an army and violently overthrow the oppressor, but to bring healing and wholeness to all people.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the story is Mark’s emphasis on ‘wherever he went.’ He names four places—villages, cities, farms, market-places. The scope of Jesus’ ministry is wide; he is inclusive of all peoples, regardless of the strata of society or region from which they came.
What image of Jesus does this passage give you? List some characteristics that come to mind.
Respond to Jesus in prayer
Gracious and Patient Lord, wherever you went you willingly gave of yourself to a mixed bag of people from different places, asking no questions and making no demands. Help me be more like you today. Amen.
Go and live obediently in the world following Jesus wherever he goes.