Zev Porat

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Need for Rest: Mark 6

I want you to look around yourself; I want you to observe what is going on around you at this moment. You may be at your home, your workplace, you may be sitting down or standing up or even walking and reading this on a mobile device, but whatever your current surroundings are, the chance that you are surrounded by busyness is great. Let us face the facts, we live in a world/culture that is ever- moving, ever- changing, and ever- busy. A simple observation of people will reveal mayhem during the morning and afternoon commutes, people hurrying throughout stores so they can make it to their next destination, parents rushing kids to school then to extracurricular activities, employees racing to meet deadlines, and the list goes on… Think about it, when is the last time you sat down and rested? I do not mean jumping in to bed so you can grab every minute of sleep possible only so you can rise in a couple of hours and sprint through the next day. I am wondering when is the last time you sat down and rested your mind or your body from working? When is the last time you sought spiritual rest that can only come from an encounter with God Almighty? You may attempt to argue that you do not have the time to rest and recharge but I would argue that you are wrong. I would even go a step further and tell you that Jesus demonstrated the need for rest thus we should heed his example.


One could argue that no person has walked the face of the earth who was more busy than Jesus. John 1:3 tells us that nothing was made without Him so He was active before the world began, He was the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8), so He was the Savior of a people before that  people had ever fallen from grace. While on earth he went about teaching, performing miracles, and pointing the way unto Himself for salvation. Those three items do not begin to describe the depth of Jesus' work while on earth. Jesus teaching was a continual ministry, His miracles were an ever- present display of the power of God contained within Him, and His pointing unto Himself as the means of salvation was met with continual opposition due to the religiousness that the people of Israel had built around the Law of God. However, in Mark 6:45 we get a glimpse of Jesus dismissing the crowds of people and drawing away to spend time in rest and prayer. Imagine that, God in the flesh was sending people away.


In Mark 6:30 we read of the disciples returning to Jesus from the journey Jesus had sent them on in Mark 6:7-12. The disciples were instructed by Jesus then sent out from Jesus to teach, drive out demons, and heal the sick. Mark 6:30-31 reveals that when the disciples returned to Jesus and reported all they had done, there were so many people that Jesus tried to pull the disciples away so they could rest. However, as we discover by continuing to read Mark 6:32-44, the people followed the disciples, Jesus had compassion on them, and thus we have the account of Jesus feeding five thousand people. Nevertheless, after the feeding Jesus sent the crowd away so that He and the disciples could rest and pray.

If nothing else, let us take away the understanding that there comes a point in time where we need to rest and spend some alone time with God. If Jesus thought it important for the disciples, then we would do well to apply the principles to our fast- paced lives. We need a time to relieve the busyness of the work schedule. We need time to get alone and spend some quality time one-on-one with God to refill our spiritual tanks. We need time that is devoted to relaxing in the midst of the hectic rush of life. Lest we think we do not need this time, remember that God rested from his work on the seventh day and Jesus dismissed the crowds of people so that He and the disciples could rest. Take some time to rest and, more importantly, take some time to fully dedicate to the One who created you, offered you salvation, and continues to move and work in your life. Take time to rest in God.

James Christopher Powell has served as assistant minister in Northwest Florida for ten years. 
He studies at The Baptist College of Florida where he is working on a Master's degree in Christians Studies.
He married his wife Jennifer in March 2014.

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