Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Jesus, Community, Demand of the call, Rest

Last Sunday night our Ecclesiastes study lead us to Mark chapter 6. Mark 6 tells us of how Jesus gives authority to the 12 and sends them out without all the things that would typically be needed for a trip. Jesus sends them off but with no resources. If I was one of the 12 the first thing that would have gone through my head after Jesus told us we were being sent, was that I need to go pack my north face as tight as possible with plenty of underwear, socks and money, with maybe a power bar in the front zipper pocket. But Jesus does not tell them to do what I would think would be obvious. He tells them to take no bag, no money and take no extra tunic. What a call, and what a promise that Jesus would send them with nothing but a staff. Well as the chapter unfolds we fine that they were provided for on the journey and returned safely. I can only imagine how tired they must have been after such a long grueling trip. I know that when I get back from vacation all I want to do is hug my pillow for about 16 straight hours. The crazy thing is that the 12 get no relief upon return. They come back to large needy crowds that were so demanding that they could not even eat. They were surrounded like dead meat by vultures. Can you put yourself there. The frustration that they must of felt when Jesus brings up the thought that the 5 thousand deep crowd had grumbling stomachs. The 12 just wanted rest so they suggested that Jesus would send them home to get some food then they could finally wind down from there long trip. Jesus however tells the 12 “You give them something to eat.” The 12 must have been at a loss of words, just wanting some rest. This is when Jesus steps up and provides. Jesus works a miracle with five fish and two loaves and uses the 12 to help distribute.

This has so many implications of the source of true rest. True rest can be experienced in the midst of the needy sucking the life out of us or the busyness of a job and family. The 12 had each other and they had Jesus as there provider. With our faith tuned deeply into the saving grace of God through Jesus we can find rest in Jesus and the community of 12. The twelve saw something incredible that day. We to must see that Jesus is providing.