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He Had Compassion on Them
Tony Chute, Interim Pastor
Overview: Mark’s narrative continues with the return of the apostles as they report to Jesus all that occurred during their brief missionary journey. Their excitement is understandable, given the fact that they had received authority from Jesus to do what they otherwise could not have done on their own. However, their excitement is soon tempered by the fact that they are faced with challenges that reveal multiple remaining inadequacies. They are unable to address the physical needs of the crowd; they cannot make progress against the headwinds; they choose fear over faith in the midst of their difficulties; and they are completely out of the picture when multiple people are healed from their affliction. Yet, rather than dismissing the role and importance of the apostles, Mark has provided a realistic framework for understanding and appreciating various aspects of the church as we point people to the One who never fails.
01. We will never find fault with Jesus, but we will find plenty of faults with the church; yet this does not discount the importance of the church as it relates to our relationship with Jesus.
02. Leaders in the church can serve members of the church placing the needs of others above their own; planning and preparing to meet those needs; praying for wisdom and strength to serve; and pointing everyone to Jesus instead of themselves.
03. Members of the church can support leadership in the church by acknowledging their need to be shepherded; appreciating the difficulties that come with shepherding; and assisting them as they seek to follow the Chief Shepherd.
Questions for Discussion and Discovery
1. Imagine how the apostles felt when they first discovered that the power Jesus delegated to them (Mark 6:7) had the impact that it did (verses 12-13). What must have gone through their minds as they witnessed people being made whole? What might they have thought when they no longer had this authority?
2. Why did Jesus tell the disciples to rest awhile after their return (verse 31)? Wouldn’t their adrenaline rather have encouraged a desire for more ministry, not less? How important is it for leaders in the church to spend time alone with the Lord?
3. What is the significance of Jesus’s role as Shepherd over the church? What does this role communicate regarding leaders in the church today? Is it possible to truly serve people without having compassion on them? Pray that leaders at NP will look to Jesus as the Chief Shepherd as they seek to minister to the congregation.
4.Take note of the many miracles in this section. What can we learn from each miracle regarding Jesus’s identity? What do these miracles communicate to us regarding our complete dependency on the Lord for all things?
5. What do you make of the contrast between the complete ability of Jesus to do all things, and the remarkable inability of the apostles to do the same? Does this realization cause you to look down on the church? Does this realization encourage you to pray for and assist the church instead?
For Further Reading: Jeramie Rinne, Church Elders: How to Shepherd God’s People Like Jesus (Crossway, 2014)