Even though Jesus gave ample evidence that he was more than a mere man, those who knew him on the physical plane still refused to believe in him. This refusal led Jesus to turn increasingly from the multitudes to the training of the disciples.
Mark arranged selected events in Jesus’ training of his disciples to show how he brought them to a deeper understanding of who he was, and to a deeper commitment to himself. Jesus led then through two similar series of experiences to teach them these lessons. He had to do it twice because the disciples were slow to learn.
May we be humble and teachable followers of Christ,
Is Jesus powerful enough to overcome unbelief?
- Judgment (6:1-13)
- Compassion (6:30-44)
- Revelation (6:45-56)
MAIN IDEA: Jesus is powerful enough to ultimately overcome unbelief and opposition, either through judgment or revelation
What one thing spoke to your heart the most from the Word of God in these Scriptures?
How can so many people encounter Jesus’ power without recognizing who He is? How is this spiritually possible? Does this still happen today?
Read Mark 6:1-13. What does it mean that Jesus ‘marveled at their unbelief?’ Was Jesus’ power actually hindered by a lack of faith? Are there circumstances in which Jesus performed miracles without people having faith? If so, how can we explain this? How did Jesus tell his disciples to respond to rejection to the call to repent?
Read Mark 6:30-44. How does Jesus respond to the clamoring crowd? The word ‘shepherd’ here indicates a strong ‘military-type’ leader; How does Jesus’ response show his skill in such leadership? How is this miracle unique (how does he bring others into this?)
Read Mark 6:45-52. What is a ‘Theophany?’ Why does Jesus show the disciples the Glory of God? What is disappointing about their response? How is it possible for someone to observe all Jesus did and still not understand?
Read Mark 6:53-56. Why were people coming to Jesus? Does this seem to be a recognition of who He really is? How are people able to experience Jesus’ power in this scenario?
Christ commissioned his disciples to go and proclaim repentance to the lost. How can we take comfort in seeing Christ ‘marveling’ at unbelief, and his command to the disciples to ‘shake the dust off’ when the message was rejected? Is the power of the gospel in our ability to convince others? Why / why not?
Jesus compassion caused him to meet the needs of the crowd. What was the first need Jesus met? (v. 34) Why is this important? What does this teach us about meeting the needs of the ‘harassed and helpless’ today? How does Jesus continue to care for his sheep now? How does he call his disciples to join in his work?
In what ways does unbelief still creep in to your life? Are there times when fear or weakness cause us to ‘miss’ Jesus revealing himself? How has God ‘caused his goodness to pass by’ in the midst of your doubt and fear? How can we be sure of Jesus’ power in the face of unbelief?
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