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Mark 6:47-56 - Faith and Spirits

Gospel of Mark  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Joel and Mary Nadel, Covenant Church

From J.C. Ryle’s “Expository Comments on the Gospels - Mark”

House Rules: Phones, Respect, Stay on the Text

Pray
Mark 6:47–56 ESV
And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened. When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored to the shore. And when they got out of the boat, the people immediately recognized him and ran about the whole region and began to bring the sick people on their beds to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.

Introduction:

The Gospel
John the Baptist and Jesus
The message: How to have peace with God
Jesus ministry thus far - the Gospel plus
People are sick with the sin disease and need healing
Teaching with healing and other wonders
Miracles
Teaching His apostles
Feeding the 5000
Today - Faith and Afterlife
Where we stand between the first and second advents of Jesus
Like the disciples -
we are tossed and troubled by storms - do not enjoy the visible presence of Jesus
We will see Him again, in a time of real trouble, when He returns
We shall see all things changed for the better, when Jesus comes - we will no longer be troubled by the storms
There will be Calm
Today’s text: Jesus has just fed the 5000 and sent His disciples to Gennesaret. Jesus remained behind, praying in the mountain.
Mark 6:48–50 ESV
And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

Jesus sees the troubles of His people and will help them in due time

Comfort here for all true believers
Where-ever they may be, no matter what the circumstances, the Lord sees them
Alone or with others - sick or healthy- by sea, air, or land - in city or country, the same eye that saw the disciples floundering on the lake sees us
We are never beyond his reach or care
We are never out of His sight
He knows what is happening to us and is able to help
May not come in our time, but will in His own - will not let us perish
the one who walked on water never changes
Always comes at the right time to help His people
Though He may take His time, we need to be patient and wait - He sees us and will not forsake us.

Secondly: the disciples were afraid of Him, when they saw Him on the sea.

Mark 6:49 He meant to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, for they all saw him and were terrified.
An accurate picture of our own human nature, in this passage
How many today would have had the same reaction?
How many, if they were in a boat, in a storm at midnight, and suddenly saw someone walking on the water, would have been able to stay cool and not be afraid?
You can laugh at the fear and superstition of these primitive and ignorant men
You can get prideful that we we live in the age of science and that we are much more intelligent
In you are honest, there are few today, who if in the same position as the apostles, would have shown more courage.
The greatest skeptics and mockers have often been the greatest cowards, when confronted with the unknown
Truth - instinct in all men makes them fearful of things that seem from another world (aliens, as an example, paranormal as another)
We all have some kind of understanding that makes us fearful of anything that seems to be from another world
We try to keep that fear and that understanding hidden - that there are beings seen and unseen, and the the physical world we can see, feel, touch taste, is not the only reality there is
Most stories about ghosts are foolish and superstitious - traced to fears and imaginations of the weak minded
But, the fact these stories are common all over the world, is something we should take note of
It is indirect evidence of our hidden belief in unseen things
It is a testimony that the unbelievers would find hard to explain away
Something in men testifies of a world beyond the grave, and when we feel it, we are afraid
The Christian has a duty - live and tell of the solution to all these fears - faith in an unseen Saviour, who is in constant communion with him or her
Nothing need make us afraid
We live in a world of spirits - surrounded by many dangers
With Jesus as our shepherd, we do not need to be afraid. He is our shield and keeps us safe
Mark 6:53–56 ESV
When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored to the shore. And when they got out of the boat, the people immediately recognized him and ran about the whole region and began to bring the sick people on their beds to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.

Finally, we have a duty to each other

This is a great example for all of us - we should do what they did - bring those around us who need the medicine of the Gospel, to Jesus, the great physician, that they can be healed.
People are dying each day - time is short - opportunities are passing away
The night comes when no one can work - lets work tirelessly now, to spread the good news - bring everyone to the knowledge of Christ
A comfortable thought: as many as touched him were made well.

Questions

If you want to know more about following Christ, please see me after the service. I’d love to chat with you.

Prayer

Announcements

Next week - Chapter 7 - Correcting the Pharisees
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