Friday, September 4th, 2009 at 12:05 am

Day 5: Hope of Bearing Fruit

Mark 6 (NLT)

45 Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and head across the lake to Bethsaida, while he sent the people home. 46 After telling everyone good-bye, he went up into the hills by himself to pray.

47 Late that night, the disciples were in their boat in the middle of the lake, and Jesus was alone on land. 48 He saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. He intended to go past them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the water, they cried out in terror, thinking he was a ghost. 50 They were all terrified when they saw him.

But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage! I am here!” 51 Then he climbed into the boat, and the wind stopped. They were totally amazed, 52 for they still didn’t understand the significance of the miracle of the loaves. Their hearts were too hard to take it in.

53 After they had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret. They brought the boat to shore 54 and climbed out. The people recognized Jesus at once, 55 and they ran throughout the whole area, carrying sick people on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 Wherever he went—in villages, cities, or the countryside—they brought the sick out to the marketplaces. They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed.

The disciples had seen Jesus perform many healings, multiply food to feed thousands, and calm a raging sea, but despite this, their response to this miracle was fear then amazement.  These 12 individuals who were closest to Jesus and perceived to be “in” with Him, still did not understand the full extent of who He was because of the condition of their own “hard” hearts (v. 52).

Yet, he amazingly continued to have them with Him!

Jesus understood the condition of their hearts, and later, through His death, resurrection and the sending of the Holy Spirit, the disciples received soft hearts that bore incredible fruit- the fruit of the church, which we are still a part of today.

Responding to the Transmitted Message:

This passage gives us hope because we are just like the disciples. Whether we’ve been “around” Jesus for a while or not, we can sense that our hearts may be harder than they should be.  But Jesus does not abandon us for he desires for us to be close to Him and to live in what He is doing.

Let’s spend time today thanking the Lord for His inseparable love towards us, and then pray that He would continue to do his work of softening our hearts, so that we can live in what He is doing, and become his effective workers for His Kingdom.

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